Overcoming Fear of the Unknown

These days you would have to be asleep not to be confused about the contradictory signals we are all receiving regarding the state of the economy.

One minute the stock market is hitting a new high, then it’s off by 5 points because the jobs report disappointed or some early-warning inflation index has ticked up.  A ransomware attack affects gasoline distribution in the US, oil prices spike, the DOW falls… and then reverts to near-record highs.

What’s going on?

Well, western economies are hopefully beginning to exit the worst pandemic in modern times. Though a resurgence is possible if vaccination efforts lag or the variants get the upper hand.  Still, major democracies are pumping money into the system in unprecedented volumes.

“Eighty-three percent of all US business leaders are expecting to increase revenues this year,”  PWC reports.  “Part of that optimism comes from the $1.9 trillion in COVID-19 relief money that’s flowing into the economy…”

This wave of government largess is not restricted to the US either: “The EU’s long-term budget, coupled with NextGenerationEU […] will be the largest stimulus package ever financed in Europe. A total of €1.8 trillion will help rebuild a post-COVID-19 Europe. It will be a greener, more digital and more resilient Europe,” says the EU.

The OECD reports significant improvement in both business and consumer confidence, too.  Overall the OECD—including the US, Germany, the Netherlands, and France—all reported index values in excess of the long-term average as of April. This indicates a positive momentum in business sentiment.

The story is similar on the Consumer Confidence front. The US recovers to register 99.9 versus the long term average of 100 while the UK (101) and Netherlands (101) exceed it.

So, while all of this stimulus may well lead to inflation in the medium term, the economies of Europe and the US are focused on helping business and consumers get back to a species of normal as quickly as possible and on balance doing a good job of it.

With that understanding as a baseline, is this now a good time to look for a new job?  We speak with literally thousands of executives every month.  They come to us for a variety of reasons.  Some are unemployed or have been negatively impacted by Covid-19.  Others are reentering the job market after a long hiatus.  Still others are bored, undervalued, underpaid, or uncomfortable with their work/life balance.

Our Clarity Program© is the first step in our five-stage career change system. It is designed to help clients answer the big questions by looking at their personalities, their current life circumstances, and their medium term ambitions to create alignment.   One recent client had this to say about the program: 

“I thought Clarity was super interesting,” said Lisa. “I learned a lot about the way I handle things in business, what kind of professional personality I have, and where I best fit culture-wise. (It has to be fast-paced and organized!)” Read More – Lisa, 2021

This “targeting” step creates the handshake we need to execute the remaining four steps in our career management system. We have perfected this system over the past 30 years to the point where 90 percent of our clients who follow the system land their dream jobs in 6 to 12 months.  In fact, the Q1 2021 average for these clients was just 27 weeks!  Read More – Eight Dream Jobs Filled Last Week

Our tried and true compensation negotiation step alone provides more than 100 opportunities. We have assembled these over three decades to help you improve your income and benefits.

Our career consultants have enormous experience and our clients appreciate their unstinting support. For example, in preparing answers to difficult interview questions:

“In the practice questions, George [his career consultant] made me realize that I needed to change my answers. He helped me prepare better responses for what a hiring manager would want to hear and put my best foot forward.”  Read More – Mike, 2021

Although our method works across all industries and geographies, our client landings reflect the changes in the economy, too, of course.  Health care and technology continue to be very strong sectors. But financial services and manufacturing have jumped in the first part of 2021. (See graphic “Positions by Hiring Industry.”)


One important fact to bear in mind is that if you have the Barrett Group supporting you and are willing to do the required work, there is never a bad time to contemplate a change. Whatever industry you are in or want to leave.

In fact, you can essentially Free Yourself from the Economic Cycle with our support.  Because three-quarters of the jobs we help clients uncover derive from the unpublished market where there is always executive activity. 

This is probably why Forbes recently again cited the Barrett Group as one of the best executive search firms in the US.

Perhaps it is time for you to set those excuses and fear aside and take a serious look at your career, your economic potential, and your long term goals.  We would be happy to help you.

Peter Irish
The Barrett Group

Read next: We Did It Again! Forbes Media and Statista recognize The Barrett Group

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