Chart a Safe Course for Your Career

Let’s face it: this is a complicated employment market for executives.  So let’s assume that after trying to find a good job for some weeks (or months). You have finally decided to get serious and hire a professional (ideally, the Barrett Group) to help you accelerate your job search process. Like the more than 100 TBG executive clients who have already landed since April.  (Read More.)  Will you pursue a familiar trajectory or explore new opportunities? Let’s chart a safe course for your career.

Consider the economy as a map for your job search. 

If you are targeting the US, then you are facing a shrunken economy at the macroeconomic level—down by 17%—or 11% in the EU based on USD GDP.  [Most of the data below was provided by]

The working population in both markets suffered a stiff contraction. So far in 2020, though most of the job losses were in lower-paid jobs.  For example, youth unemployment spiked to 18% in the EU. It’s up from 15% in the pre-crisis period while it rose from 10% in March to 27% in April before falling back to 14.7% in the latest period in the US. 

Recent major layoffs in the US and Europe, however, are affecting white collar jobs as well. So it is time to be proactive.

Consumer spending contracted markedly in 2020, affecting particularly restaurants, hotel, airlines, other travel, and entertainment businesses. 

Business confidence also fell sharply before starting to recover in Q3 and early Q4.  The Economist (10-9-20) reports that many companies are now taking the opportunity to think strategically. This includes their cost structures, sector exposures, and other long term adjustments (for remote working and other aspects of work that now seem to be with us for the duration).

Some people (especially politicians) are confused by the positive developments in the stock market versus the  real economy.  McKinsey offers a revealing portrait of this disconnect in a recent report excerpted below. Including certain sectors punch well above their weight on the stock market, or, conversely, the stock market does not necessarily reflect the real economy.

There are profound regional differences, too, of course. So while much attention may be focused on the US economy and predictions of how it will recover, again McKinsey provides a more nuanced picture based on surveys of respondents in various regional markets. It suggests very different speeds of recovery in different markets.

Lastly, let’s consider the business sectors that are growing the fastest and/or declining the fastest (by employment) as reported by the US Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Many of our clients are deciding under these circumstances to consider alternative career tracks—often radical changes of direction. 

Our Clarity Program© helps them do this and achieve greater clarity about where they can be best off economically, but also with respect to their work/life balance.  Once this “Target” is clear, we help clients clarify their personal brand, access the market of decision makers, excel during interviews, enhance the offers they receive, and land happily, typically within six to twelve months in—spite of the pandemic. We help our clients chart a safe course for their career.

Want some professional advice on how to chart a course for your career? Call the experts now celebrating our 30th year—the Barrett Group.  We make it our job to help you find yours.

Peter Irish
The Barrett Group

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