Inspiration can come from anywhere, so why not a fortune cookie? The fortune read, “Life is like a mirror. When you smile into it, it smiles back. When you frown at it, it frowns in return.”
Let’s not get too metaphysical here, but there is a certain basic truth to this observation. Just as clear glass allows light to pass through unfiltered, but stained glass changes the color of the beams. Our perceptions are colored by our moods, or feelings, our frame of mind. This is, of course, also true when you set out to seek professional advancement or perhaps to find a job if you’ve been made redundant, or indeed, if you are simply tired of the old rat race and need a change.
What they often do not know is that only about 15% of the executive job market is hired through on-line ads—the so-called published market. What they quickly come to realize is that this is a buyers’ market where there are many more candidates than positions, and you are often lucky to receive even a rejection notice, as most applicants never receive a response at all having been filtered out by algorithms or junior HR staff.
One client summed it up like this: “I tried job boards and LinkedIn, but what I was doing wasn’t working.” [Read more.].
Often candidates then decide that the right approach is to contact executive recruiters. Recruiters cover another 10% of the executive market in our experience. Here’s how another client expressed his feeling about that approach:
“I know recruiters work for a company and, if you match their criteria, you might be in luck. If you don’t, well, maybe someday they’ll call you…” [Read more.]
In other words, smiling while being passed over by recruiters who simply do not have the right career spec becomes tedious, too. The frown starts to tug at your mouth and the mirror starts to frown back.
Considering that more than 450,000 executive positions change hands in the US, Europe, UK, and Middle East each year [Read more.], there are literally always opportunities available if you know where to look. But most candidates do not immediately realize the size and power of the invisible, unpublished market—where 75% of executives land their next assignment. The Barrett Group has evolved multiple approaches to this market over three decades none of which involve actually asking for a job.
Here’s how one client experienced one of these approaches:
“Reaching out to my network turned out to be extremely useful and a lot of fun. People were shocked that I would consider leaving my company, but they were happy to connect me with other people that they thought I should speak to. I soon realized that the grass was greener on the other side – and that I could do this! Building social capital ended up being extremely instrumental to the entire process of my job search.” [Read more.]
Another obstacle candidates encounter involves having vague or inappropriate career goals. We minimize this risk through our meticulous Clarity Program©—the targeting component—that helps clients be extremely clear up front about what they want and why, including a basic inventory of each candidate’s behavioral preferences. Another client summarized this aspect of our program as follows:
“The personality testing was wonderful. It was amazing to see how I’m perceived by others, and it has helped me be more cognizant of my strengths and weaknesses […] It was clear to me that the TBG team was using the information they gleaned from the test to tailor the program to me.” [Read more.]
Still, motivation and support are also key during the often arduous process of locating that ideal next executive position, so having an advocate at your side for support can be critical. Here’s how one client described that aspect of our program: “Paula [her Senior Career Consultant] was always very helpful. It’s extremely hard to work and job search. It’s two full-time jobs! But Paula is very task oriented. I really valued the work we did on social networking and LinkedIn, as well as Paula’s ability and patience to keep me on track!” [Read more.]
Of course, it is much easier to keep smiling if you have a booster in the background with profound experience in helping executives navigate the search process.
Experience (more than 30 years). Hard work and diligence (both on the clients’ and our part). Strong processes. Dedicated people.
Does it work? Results do not lie: It’s the ROI!
So, why not banish that frown in the mirror by hiring the Barrett Group? Then you, too, will have something to smile about.
Peter Irish, CEO
The Barrett Group