Free Yourself from the Economic Cycle

There seem to be two prevailing theories on offer at the moment regarding the economic cycle:

A) Too much fiscal stimulus will ignite inflation and lead to recession.; or B) well timed and adequate stimulus combined with the broad success in vaccination will allow for a sustained and full-throated return to something approximating economic normalcy.

Reasons for Changing Jobs

So do you expect a V-shaped recovery, a bumpy W-shape, or something a little slower and steadier?

In late February there was a sudden burst of concern about inflation picking up as treasury yields ticked up, pointing to higher inflation. This week though stock markets seemed to prefer to read the passage of major stimulus measures as a positive signal for the US economy, job-creation, and economic recovery. Of course, the stock market patently does not reflect the real economy. But it does affect people’s wealth and therefore their moods. So how are executives feeling now?

We decided to look at the executives who come to our website and declare their intention to look for a new job. What do they think?

Perhaps by comparing Q1 2020 and YTD 2021 we can gain some insight into our own particular slice of the economy.

Income Demographics

Alas, there are scant differences in the reasons given by would-be job-changers who come to our website and complete our surveys. As you see in the graphic “Reasons for Changing Jobs,” the only slight difference may be in the “No Growth Potential” dimension this year. All others parameters are essentially within a point or two of each other year over year, so we cannot detect any major trends in what is driving executives.

This stability in motivation is all the more remarkable when we consider that the income demographics of executives who provide this data have shifted considerably over the past year toward a higher income demographic. (See the “Income Demographics” graphic.)

Could it be that executives are increasingly becoming aware of the opportunities available at the executive level despite the pandemic?

Certainly our interview, offer, and landing statistics support this. Why last week for example, we had six clients land executive jobs, while 15 had first or second interviews. (Visit our Hiring Line website for a full report—every week!)

The fact of the matter is that we help clients uncover opportunity mainly in the unpublished market. There are numerous openings every week regardless of the economic cycle. Sometimes hiring organizations need to change the focus of their “steady-state” management to navigate a crisis instead and that requires a completely different set of skills. In other cases, one industry (see the airlines or other tourism-related businesses during the pandemic) need to significantly restructure or reposition, and, again, this requires a totally different skill set from their management. In the process many executives may be set loose and suddenly need to consider alternatives.

Those affected executives often come to us. They want to explore alternative industries where their skills and experience may be applicable. Here are two examples of feedback we received after the initial step in our career change process. They completed the Targeting Step—what we call the Clarity Program©.

“We have such a tendency to view pieces of our life as separate or disconnected. The opportunity to take a step back and view holistically enables us to better identify root causes and underlying trends impacting our entire lives.” Matthew Frate, February 2021

“Overall, I highly recommend Clarity as a good foundational step in making career plans. I liked the 3 stages and the fact that DISC helped me understand how I am “wired”. The Whole Life Snapshot helped me reflect on what is important to me. Having those two stages completed, I was able to factor those results into the Career steps in the Career Navigator.” Douglas O’Neil, March 2021

What career change support do executives want?

So, in fact, you are not actually dependent on the economic cycle at all.

There are executive opportunities available every day if you know where to look. And, we do know where to look! This is something we have spent 30 years doing and we’ve been doing it well.

Of the executives who have spent enough time during January and February 2021 with our team to really articulate their needs, we understand they are looking first and foremost for an Effective Job Search Campaign (see the “What Career Change Support do Executives Want?” graphic) followed by access to Decision Makers.

Of course those are fundamental outcomes of our process. But many executives underestimate the opportunity to improve their interview performance. Often they are able to better negotiate their compensation packages, as well—something else we have spent 30 years perfecting.

Here’s how one client put it:

During the negotiation process “Greg [her career consultant] taught me how to ask for things in a way that didn’t sound demanding – and I got exactly what I asked for. I asked for a signing bonus and more stock and they didn’t hesitate. I never would have done that before…” Kathleen, 2020

Not only are you freed from the economic cycle when you work with the Barrett Group. But you can also confidently position yourself as the best candidate for the job. Why? Because we prepare you to demonstrate transferability of skills and experience during the interview process. And then help you negotiate what you are really worth….Usually to the tune of tens of thousands of dollars of additional compensation.

Looking for the freedom to change jobs deliberately and on your own timetable? You’ve come to the right place. Give us a call.

Peter Irish
The Barrett Group


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