Posts Tagged ‘jobsearch’

Career Management Tips for Legal Executives

Career Management Tips for Legal Executives
Career Management Tips for Legal Executives

by Dan Resendes, Chief Consulting Officer at The Barrett Group

When considering changing careers, keep the following tips from The Barrett Group Legal’s career management professionals in mind to prevent some of the most common mistakes legal professionals make:

  1. If you want to get out of litigation, do not focus on litigation as your main competency, billable hours and case work in your value proposition; instead, highlight your marketing or business development skill sets, how you run operations of your own law firm, your community outreach, all of the charities and relationships you built with municipalities and government representatives.
  2. When transitioning from a private practice or law firm employer to a corporate in-house or legal services employment, include your competencies in collaboration, leadership, interdepartmental and cross functional communication; as well as best practices and protocol authoring/compliance; customer, community and vendor/3rd party acquisition, outreach, and relationship nurturing.
  3. Focus on corporate or company challenges versus cases won and case law.
  4. Highlight operational expertise, accounting and financial wellness, marketing and business development efforts, pro bono, community or charity work.
  5. Include metrics and quantifiable results – employ workarounds in content authoring if concerned about confidentiality.
  6. Get used to working with Word documents versus PDFs for your hiring process.

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What Should Women Know to Get Ahead?

What Should Women Know to Get Ahead?
What Should Women Know to Get Ahead?

by Julie Norwell

Between the #MeToo movement and the Kavanaugh confirmation process, the national news has been focused on women a lot recently. It seems fitting in this forum, then, to consider employment from the perspective of women. It’s no secret that they have a tougher road to travel than men. Their disadvantages begin right out of the gate and have no end in sight. So, what should women know to get ahead in the employment market?

Understanding the barriers to achievement for working women and quantifying the obstacles are the first steps towards gender parity. It is hard to measure when and by how much sexism tips the balance against a woman in the workplace. Consider Serena Williams’ loss to Naomi Osaka at the U.S. Open last month. Was the umpire harder on Williams than he would have been on a male tennis player behaving in the same way? Many argue that he was and altered the outcome of a high-stakes match in the process.

In a similar way, women face harsher judgement by employers and superiors in the workplace, resulting in fewer hires, promotions and pay raises than men – and sometimes more terminations. In the corporate world judgements usually are aren’t on public display. But statistics tell the story.

What Do We Know?

Women earn more college degrees than men and have done so for decades, and they also represent 57% of the U.S. population. Nevertheless, women make up only 47% of all entry-level hires.

According to reports by data company Visier, women are 21% more likely than men to be considered “top performers” by their companies. Yet, they continue to be hired and promoted at lower rates than men, and they continue to lose ground throughout their careers. Despite greater company commitment to gender diversity than ever before, women are paid 80% of a man who does the same job, and they are underrepresented in corporate America at every level. Studies also suggest that women are treated more harshly than men for similar misconduct violations at the same firm, time and location.

Global management consulting firm McKinsey & Company has partnered with LeanIn.org to undertake a long-term, comprehensive study of the state of women in corporate America.

In the 2017 report, McKinsey has produced some remarkable new conclusions. One key finding is that women’s ambitions are curbed early. “At the first critical step up to manager, women are 18% less likely to be promoted than their male peers.”

Another key finding is that people don’t see the problem.

In companies where only one in ten senior leaders is a woman, nearly 50% of men think women are well represented in leadership – and as many as 33% of women agree.

Sometimes Culture is the Enemy

Some conclusions appear consistently in the report each year. One example is that women, in general, are less likely to receive advice from senior leaders on career advancement. This is problematic because employees who do so are more likely to be promoted. Apparently, men are just naturally more likely to mentor men and women are more likely to mentor women. But as men largely fill the ranks of senior leadership, women are left behind.

Second, women are doing double duty. According to the report, 54% of women are shouldering all or most of the household work, compared to 22% of men. Women with a partner and children are 5.5 times more likely than their male counterparts to do all or most of the household work. This is true even of women who are the family breadwinners.

McKinsey finds that, contrary to conventional wisdom, women are as ambitious as men in achieving career success, and they are no more likely than men to plan to leave their jobs to focus on family. Still, when the pressures of family life rise, it is women who fill the gaps.

Women are more likely than men to assume responsibility for child-care and women make up 60% of the caregivers for elderly family members.

Government Policies Are Failing Women

Outdated government social policies bear much of the blame for stalling progress towards gender parity. According to a new book published through the Brookings Institute, huge gaps in social programs, like affordable child-care and elder-care, exacerbate the problem.

Also, consider that U.S. is the only industrialized country without a national paid leave policy for mothers.

Companies aren’t doing their part either. Women in more senior roles are more likely to have a working spouse than men, but companies aren’t reliably supportive of employees who need to balance work and family. Less than two-thirds offer maternity leave beyond what’s required by law, and only about half offer fathers the same benefit. Meanwhile, longer-term support, such as emergency or on-site child care, is relatively scarce.

Perhaps less acknowledged is the tax penalty women often face when they get married. U.S. tax structure tends to raise the tax rate for the spouse who is the lower earner – which, for reasons already mentioned, is usually the woman. This has the effect of discouraging women’s labor force participation.

When it comes to career and financial advancement, the cards seem stacked against working women.

Steps to Take to Get Ahead

The first step women might take when considering their career prospects is an optimal place to work. The Institute for Women’s Policy Research publishes an annual study of the employment and earnings status of women in the U.S. and ranks every state, plus Washington DC, based on the gender wage gap, women’s labor force participation, and representation in professional and managerial. According to this year’s study, only Washington DC merited an A grade. The next five highest ranking states (Maryland, Massachusetts, Connecticut and New York and New Jersey) received a B+.

Industry is also important to consider. Although no industry can boast equal representation of women and men beyond the director level, certain industries do better than others, such as health care, insurance, pharmaceuticals/medical products and retail.

The industries that struggle the most include automotive and industrial manufacturing, technology, and telecom and IT services.

No matter where they work, women need to be thoughtful about how to advance their careers. Not only should they ask for a raise, they should specify an amount. They should argue their case by demonstrating that they are high performers, have taken on a greater workload or assumed the responsibilities of a more senior person.

Above all, they should solicit advice from managers on how to move to the next level.

One happy bit of news for women this past spring was the ruling by a federal appeals court that prohibits employers from paying a woman less than a man who is doing the same work because of her salary history. It effectively institutionalizes discrimination. To date, 11 states have banned employers from asking job applicants for salary history.

Breaking down barriers for women in the workplace is slow going.

But doing so ultimately benefits everyone. Until people at the government, corporate and individual level, alike, commit to resolving the problem, true progress will be elusive.

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The Future Of Work Is… Virtual!

The Future Of Work Is... Virtual!
The Future Of Work Is… Virtual!

by Julie Norwell

The Digital Age Is Transforming Work: Here Is How to Get Out in Front of the Changes

A review of management consulting literature about the impact of the digital age on the workplace is apt to take your breath away. The language used predicts nothing short of a full-scale revolution of the global order of business as we know it.

Consider the following statements:

  1. “Digitization is sending tremors through traditional workplaces and upending ideas about how they function.” (McKinsey)
  2. “The digital age is moving at such a fast pace that it is fundamentally transforming the way organizations operate….” (Deloitte)
  3. “A tidal wave of change is coming that will soon make the way we work almost unrecognizable to today’s business leaders.” (Boston Consulting Group)

The consistent theme of these reports is that the landscape for workers of all calibers is shifting in very important ways. Automation, artificial intelligence and digitization will disrupt traditional notions about career-tracks and full-time employment.

Increasingly, organizations that have hired people for well-defined jobs with a general function will instead employ them for on-demand assignments.

They will favor creating small, flexible, high-performing teams with talents specific to a given project that can respond to varying workloads and short time tables.

In an effort to be agile and responsive to technological advancements, companies will increasingly seek workers with specific expertise, whether it be from their own ranks or from contract employees working remotely – and outside the payroll.

Understanding these and other changes and getting out in front of them will be crucial for everyone in the workforce to retain a competitive advantage – and even to stay relevant. It will be incumbent on us to continually learn new skills and remain open-minded about flexible work arrangements. Done right, we can learn to harness the benefits that the digital age offers us towards better work-life balance and overall job satisfaction.

The Gig Economy

The concept of the gig economy – that is, an employment environment where independent workers are increasingly used for short-term engagements – is getting a lot of study as people try to quantify it and analyze its impact. In 2016 global consulting firm McKinsey calculated that there are as many as 68 million independent earners in the US – or 27% of the working-age population (McKinsey). A year ago Intuit found that figure to be as much as 34% and said it was expected to reach 43% by 2020 (Money). Meanwhile, Forbes recently cited a survey that forecasts that over 50% of the US population will be freelancing by 2027 (Forbes)!

To be clear, these statistics do not mean that one in three workers is employed full-time as independent workers, only that they derive some income from that source. McKinsey has found that a majority of the independent workforce is made up of people who participate in it for supplemental income.

Of course, some may regard independent work as a more permanent income stream. Whatever the motivations, the trend is clear: the gig economy is expanding. And whether you join their ranks or not, they will be your competition.

To be sure, there are challenges for gig workers, especially those who rely on the income.

Lack of income security is the most obvious risk. Someone who isn’t working isn’t making money. Perhaps the biggest downside is that independent workers face gaps in health care, pension, unemployment insurance, and other benefits. There is also the risk that project-based work undervalues independent workers and their full package of skills.

For all its shortcomings, however, the gig economy offers some very attractive upsides. It offers flexibility and autonomy. The work is diverse and offers opportunities to network with people in other industries, which could open doors to future job prospects. Hate your job? McKinsey reports that those who choose to be free agents are more satisfied than those who work in traditional jobs and that about 25% of the people who hold traditional jobs would prefer to be independent workers.

Adapting Is Key

The increased prevalence of digital technology will lead to new job functions and categories – but also to shortages of people with the skills needed to fill those roles. Research firm, Gartner, reports that “…talent has now been recognized globally as the single biggest issue standing in the way of CIOs achieving their objectives. The biggest talent gaps are around information — big data, analytics, and information management — followed by business knowledge/acumen.” (Gartner)

The Boston Consulting Group forecasts that nearly every organizational role will eventually require the use of sophisticated technology. In the face of such radical change in the job environment, staying competitive means adapting. Companies and individuals alike will need to invest in massive, ongoing skills development.

For you, staying competitive might also mean leveraging the power of the virtual workplace to live in a city with a lower cost of living while working remotely for a company headquartered elsewhere. Constant upskilling will be imperative, and so will be an openness to new attitudes and work styles. Above all, workers must view changes in the workplace as an opportunity to envision how the new environment can shape their careers in satisfying ways.

Older Workers Have an Edge

In many ways, older professionals are well situated to benefit from the changes that the digital age will usher in. Their professional confidence and veteran experience make them much more desirable to employers looking for reliable, quality work. Older professionals who demonstrate an ability to obtain new skills, especially digital skills, will be in high demand. This will be true whether you are a full-time employee or a temporary consultant for a short-term project.

When it comes to the gig economy, the financial situation of older workers, which is generally more stable than that of young people, will afford them more flexibility to weather income fluctuations.

And because work-life balance is more important to older workers, the ability to control their own schedule is very attractive, even if it comes at a financial cost.

Independent work can also be useful as a life preserver for older professionals transitioning from one job to another or for those scaling back their careers but who aren’t ready for retirement.

With such major changes on the horizon, even senior professionals in stable corporate jobs should consider developing at least one side stream of income to enhance their career and themselves, according to an article in Harvard Business Review (Hustle).

Author Dorie Clark argues that, if nothing else, a side gig is a hedge against uncertainty, enables you to learn new skills, builds your network, enhances your brand and, of course, grows your income.

Whether you call this work model freelancing, contract or contingent work, or “alternative work arrangement,” you must also call it the future of work. While it can be unsettling to have to re-learn how to be competitive in the digital age, adapting to the change is the best way to position yourself for success and is the key to shaping your career in the most satisfying way possible.

More articles by The Barrett Group:

https://www.careerchange.com/career-change-lessons/
https://www.careerchange.com/what-should-women-know-to-get-ahead/

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Career Change Lessons

Career Change Lessons
Career Change Lessons

by Dan Resendes, Chief Consulting Officer at The Barrett Group

The vast majority (around 80%) of our clients each year are unhappily employed, the rest are out of work for one reason or another.

Most clients are looking to leave their current job… but many are looking for relief in their current situation: the boss from hell; political negativities; uncertainty resulting from a merger or acquisition; glass ceiling with zero room for advancement; lack of raises beyond cost of living adjustments; feeling under utilized or undervalued; looking to telecommute when it is not the norm; and various unsustainable challenges with no relief in sight.

Those who are out of work, feel quite alone in their search. They may feel embarrassed due to their situation and lack of financial contribution to their families. Many are sitting home applying to endless jobs on the internet and getting nowhere. They reach to 3rd party recruiters who treat them terribly or feel totally ignored.

About 25% of The Barrett Group’s (TBG) clients achieve success by doing a better job of dealing with third party recruiters and job postings.

The truth is that recruiters get pounded every day with dozens of job seekers (yes dozens) who want to take them out for coffee or expect them to spend their time helping them to find a job. Those job seekers mistakenly think it is the recruiter’s job to place them. As many TBG employees are former recruiters or executives who have hired recruiters in the past to fill open positions. This allows us to expertly coach our clients on how to motivate a recruiter to work set up interviews on your behalf.

Many individuals spend hours applying to job postings. Not only is it frustrating, but is ineffective. We know how to make sure your application is read by an actual human being and not just a computer. We know how to customize each resume and cover letter so the system or person in charge of screening applications will be highly motivated to speak with each and every client. We help our clients to build a library of different resume and cover letter versions so that the reader will perceive each client as deserving of an interview.

Some 25% of our clients achieve success by leveraging their reputation to gain advocacy, political referrals and nomination for unpublished opportunities through their LinkedIn social networks.

Most new clients have LinkedIn profile, but severely lack understanding on how to tap into the unpublished market via LinkedIn.

Most new clients also spend the majority of their time on LinkedIn’s job board. They fail to realize that 90% of the hiring on LinkedIn is done covertly by people who leverage their reputation and people looking to hire them do not post jobs, they search for individuals with the background and skills they need.

Every year we have dozens of client who land the perfect job due to the learnings we provide. It is amazing.

Another 25% of our clients achieve success because we help them to grow their network with very little effort on their part.

We know our clients are busy so we identify and send introductions to individuals working at specific companies in targeted geographic areas and industries.

We do all the work: We research and identify the individuals, author the introductions, print, sign and process introductions. We pay for postage, we send a confidential packet to each approved recipient. We coach our clients on the nuances of how to make a 2 minute phone call to inquire about the recipients interest in networking or employment. Even the busiest person has time for a short phone call.

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Preparing for Your Job Interview

Preparing for Your Job Interview
Preparing for Your Job Interview

Make it a two-way interview

The modern day interview has evolved tremendously from what it used to be. Gone are the days of sitting on the other side of an imposing interviewer sitting behind a huge desk with a significantly-raised chair. Nowadays, candidates are interviewing the companies just as much as they themselves are being interviewed. And why not?

“Nowadays, candidates are interviewing the companies just as much as they themselves are being interviewed.”

Greg Emslie, Business Coach

The hiring process is a two way street. Both sides need to be engaged in the process and be equally excited to work with the other. Next time you find yourself interviewing for a new position, be sure you make it a two-way interview.

Here are forty questions to help you figure out if the company will be right for you.

Questions about the position

You want to understand exactly what will be expected of you and whether or not this aligns with your skills and ambitions. Be sure to have a full understanding of the position and your role in it before leaving your interview.

  1. Why is this position open?
  2. Is this an existing or newly created position?
  3. If someone was in this position before me, why did he or she leave?
  4. Beyond what I see in the job description, what will make someone successful in this role?
  5. When coming into this position, what are the top 3 things the new employee must do?
  6. How will you measure the success of someone in this role?
  7. What keeps you awake at night? How can this role help you to sleep better?

Read more articles by The Barrett Group:

https://www.careerchange.com/becoming-a-truly-great-executive-through-personal-leadership/
https://www.careerchange.com/career-change-lessons/

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Becoming a Truly Great Executive Through Personal Leadership

Becoming a Truly Great Executive Through Personal Leadership
Becoming a Truly Great Executive Through Personal Leadership

by Mark Steinke, Chief Strategy Officer at The Barrett Group

To be a great leader, you must first master the art of Personal Leadership. This is the first of four topics on how to increase, develop and demonstrate your Personal Leadership so you and your business skyrockets to the heights you deserve!

It all Starts with YOU! How you handle stress is critical to your personal success and business success. You see it is not the issue you are facing that is causing your stress. It is YOUR reaction to that issue that is causing your stress. Let that sink in for a minute…

“85% of what people worry about never happened…”

Don Joseph Goewey

Leadership requires consistent high performance coupled with a calm, clear mind and the ability to maintain a high degree of objectivity toward yourself and your business. Stress is rampant. An important step toward becoming an authentic leader, then, is to learn to successfully and gracefully manage the inevitable stress that will come your way. Let’s look at the sources of stress.

Worry

worry

According to Don Joseph Goewey, author of the book, “The end of Stress, four steps to rewire your brain” states “85% of what people worry about never happened and with the 15 percent that did happen, 79 percent of subjects discovered either they could handle the difficulty better than expected, or the difficulty taught them a lesson worth learning.

This means that 97 percent of what you worry over is not much more than a fearful mind punishing you with exaggerations and misperceptions.”

A simple four step process can help you dealing with your stress:

  1. Clearly define your worry in writing
  2. Determine the worst thing that could happen if this worry comes true
  3. Having defined the worst result, resolve to accept it
  4. Set about doing your best to ensure this worry will not occur now that you have a clear mind

Lack of Meaning

When stress arrives, typically our minds go to what is going on with my life… Why is this happening to me? This resonates if one does not have a clearly defined meaning and purpose. You see when you are confident and know what you are and why you are, then mapping this worry against it allows you to define it, determine an antidote and vanquish your worry.

The “Incomplete Action”

A job or task not done or an employee of yours not doing what they should correctly for a client can be a source of enormous stress. It is time to employ the four steps in the worry section so you show self-discipline and keep a clear mind. Do not let not completing tasks or doing the tasks “incorrectly” drive your stress. Coach, teach and show Personal Leadership.

Fear of Failure

Some of us allow a fear of failure to cause us stress. Fear is a great emotion. It is powerful, can be very healthy if we take it as a motivator to focus, concentrate, remove distractions, and act in a way that we know we can. Whatever the results of your proactive actions, they very probably better for you than the paralyzing result of no action or action motivated by fear. Affirm to yourself that you can do what needs to be done, do it, and then adjust based on the outcome.

Fear of Rejection

The need for approval to some is so strong that fear of rejection is scary. As a leader sometimes you need to be on the island by yourself. That is not a bad thing. It is a temporary state until the team, clients, and/or partners start to understand. When they do, they will slowly move over to your island. Stay in the belief that rejection is not permanent and worst case only temporary.

Denial

Probably the biggest stress source to overcome is denial. Refusing to acknowledge and face unpleasant reality is a sign of weakness. Do not let embarrassment, loss of face or even pain be the driver for you or anyone else to deny what is or could be happening. Victory over this starts with acknowledgement!

Anger

The most powerful and damaging emotion is anger. This negative emotion destroys relationships and cultures in companies. Anger comes from within. Henry David Thoreau, a noted poet, wrote: “No one can make you feel bad unless you let them.”

You cannot control the people and circumstances in your life. You can only control how you respond to them.

When your anger flares up, put a trigger in your head that will remind you to stop, pause, think and resolve without anger. This is very hard… but very important.

In all honesty, the issue making you angry most likely is NOT a 911, end-of-the-world issue. Put it in perspective.

Personal Leadership is the most important skill you need to develop, and demonstrate in your business. Over the next few articles we will identify the other three behaviors to develop so you can show your truly great Leadership.

More articles by The Barrett Group:

https://www.careerchange.com/anxiety-isnt-good-for-you/
https://www.careerchange.com/preparing-for-your-job-interview/

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Anxiety… isn’t Good for You!

Anxiety... isn't Good for You!
Anxiety… isn’t Good for You!

by Mark Steinke, Chief Strategy Officer at The Barrett Group

According to the Anxiety and Depression Association of America, “Those who are unemployed are feeling anxious and stressed as they search for work in a struggling market. The pressure to find and keep a job, in addition to everyday work-related stress, can take a toll on mental health.”

This feeling of Desperation is very common among job seekers be they men or women, technical or professional, entry level or executives. It is this last group, the executives, we work with at The Barrett Group to assist them in finding that next level of employment.

How clear are you on why you work so hard and whether you are earning the recognition you deserve? Our Clarity Program helps Executives answer this question in three to four sessions.

You see, stress during the job search process brings up a significant amount of Desperation, panic, poor judgment and reactions. Studies conducted by “A team of researchers led by the psychologists and neuroscientists Prof. Markus Heinrichs and Dr. Bernadette von Dawans at the University of Freiburg, Germany, examined in a study how men react in stressful situations – such as job searching.”

Let me clarify that this study focused on men only. women’s reaction to stress has been studied and the results according to Heinrichs and Von Dawans is: “that women show an alternate “tend-and-befriend” response to stress — in other words, a protective (“tend”) and friendship-offering (“befriend”) reaction.” Whereas “men, in contrast, were still assumed to become aggressive under stress.”

The study goes on to say that “”Apparently men also show social approach behavior as a direct consequence of stress. With this study, the research team experimentally investigated male social behavior under stress for the first time. The results are published in the journal Psychological Science.”

So with executives (men / women) experience stress in job searching and both genders are moving toward a “tend & friendship – offering”, their minds are focused on obtaining guidance, assistance and coaching in finding that next job. A wise, lower-stress decision.

The Barrett Group offers executives the opportunity to reduce their stress even more with a solution that expedites the next career option for these executives.

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Should I stay or should I go?

Should I stay or should I go?
Should I stay or should I go?

Respondents to our on-going job satisfaction survey come from many different industries. About 90% of the respondents are currently employed. Their titles range from C-level officer to SVP, VP, GM, and on down the organizational hierarchy with a fair amount involved in sales, finance, and legal professions.

On balance they are surprisingly satisfied with their jobs and can give specific reasons why, but they can also imagine how their professional lives could be better.

How would you rate your job satisfaction?

This ability to imagine that things could be better is actually hardwired into much of life on earth and certainly into homo sapiens. Daniel Goleman (“Emotional Intelligence”) describes the workings of the limbic brain that allegedly only has three basic urges: safety, dominance and adventure.

In other words, in any situation requiring a choice we will generally operate from one of those nodes of motivation: safety, for example, might require us to freeze and stay where we are even if we are uncomfortable or it might require that we run for our lives, depending on the situation.

Dominance may require that we rise to the challenge and fight back. Adventure might dictate that we try something new because we are bored.

All of these motivations can be seen in the workplace, of course, but the question is how conscious are we of why we do what we do. Self-awareness is supposedly what sets humans apart but it is not always switched on.

On-going Job Satisfaction Survey Results

Dan Resendes, Chief Consulting Officer at the Barrett Group tells us that often career changers are fleeing a negative situation with the boss.

Interestingly, our on-going job satisfaction survey indicates that this is one of the most negative aspects respondents cited: the statement “I admire the executive management’s ethical and commercial values” attracted more disagreement than agreement.

At the Barrett Group we help career changers reflect on whether they are running away from something or running toward something better.

Part of our Clarity Program includes a Personal Strategic Plan that helps clients define in some detail the situation they would like to be in professionally in two to five years. This clarity of vision is critical to achieving success professionally as well as in life in general.

Asked about what they would change, respondents to our on-going job satisfaction survey gave an interesting mix of answers that can be qualified as negative or positive as well as more emotional or rational in character.

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Salary and Cost of Living Comparison

Salary and Cost of Living Comparison
Salary and Cost of Living Comparison

Career changers face many barriers and constraints along the way. Helping you to manage these challenges is what we at the Barrett Group do. Consider the information below, and then contact us to evaluate your own specific situation. We’ve helped more than 2,000 executives change careers over 28 years… why not you?

It seems to us that there is often too much focus on CEOs and too little on the legions of capable managers who report to them who also add value. Therefore our report today will look at four unsung heroes or heroines: the positions VP of Sales, VP of Operations, CFO, and VP / Director of Human Resources.

There are numerous sources for compensation data, of course. We will use an index derived from want ads via Indeed.com.

The good news is that this data will be quite recent, stemming from March 19, 2018 and reaching back for up to 36 months. The bad news is that want ads often reflect what the would-be employer would like to pay, but not necessarily what they actually pay. In other words, actual salaries are likely to be higher.

Let’s start with the VP of Sales position

With more than 200,000 positions or ads as its data source, this is certainly a representative sample. The average US salary for these positions lies at about $141,000 per annum with a low of $75,000 and a high end of $233,000. The market varies no doubt across industries but also across major cities, as we see in Figure 1 where the national average equals 100%.

Driven perhaps by the frothing tech market, San Francisco comes in at 118% of the national average, while Atlanta lies at 102%. Naturally, the cost of living also plays a role in this differential as does the relative supply and demand situation.

Annual Salary vs. the National Averag and Adjusted for Cost of Living

Figure 2 takes this somewhat into account by factoring in the relative cost of living according to Money/CNN.

Index for Cost of Living

In our sample of major cities, we have set the lowest cost of living (St. Louis) equal to 100% (Figure 3).

That means that although you might earn 118% of the national average in salary in San Francisco, for example, your cost of living would be about 95% higher than St. Louis, so, at least at the reported average salary level, you would actually be worse off.

Now let’s consider the VP of Operations position

The universe is also large here at 127,000 positions or ads in this data set. The average salary lies at $129,000 or so with a reported low of $77,000 and a high of $262,000.

Annual Salary vs. the National Averag and Adjusted for Cost of Living

In this case, Philadelphia actually tops the average salary chart at 133% of the national average while Atlanta (-4%) and Boston (-2%) come in on the low end (Figure 4).

When we take an index of the cost of living into account, however, Tampa really shines because of the relatively high salaries for this function and the relatively low cost of living (Figure 5).

What about Chief Financial Officers?

Annual Salary vs. the National Averag and Adjusted for Cost of Living

Yes, we could have chosen VPs of Finance, but these are relatively rare birds while CFOs are more common, so we focused on them although the number of CFO positions or ads was much lower in the sample (circa 16,500) versus the two previous positions.

In straight financial terms, New York City and San Francisco come off very well at 29% and 25% above the national average on salary, while Philadelphia (-6%) and Denver (-2%) come in on the low end at least within our selection of major cities. (Figure 6).

When we take an index of the cost of living into account, however, the picture changes, and St. Louis actually comes out on top followed by Tampa (Figure 7).

Please remember, this is a simplified comparison. If you want to consider relocating or negotiating a salary, ask an expert.

Lastly, let’s look at Human Resource responsibles

There is probably considerable latitude in the definition of these jobs from hiring managers all the way up to Chief Human Resource Officers and the like. In this sample, we have added them all together (all 106,000 of them) and considered the average salary.

Annual Salary vs. the National Averag and Adjusted for Cost of Living

In straight salary terms, Boston (+27%) and New York City (+23%) come in at the top versus the national average salary for this position of $94,000 (Figure 8).

The picture changes, though when we take location into account and again, St. Louis, Tampa and now Houston emerge as relatively attractive from a salary and cost of living point of view based on this data set (Figure 9).

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Get Going While the Going’s Good

Get Going While the Going's Good
Get Going While the Going’s Good

If you are familiar with the theory of the sigmoid curve, you know that whenever you start a new job or activity you need to put in more energy then you get back. At some point your competence and the energy you have put in begin to earn a reward and the job or activity gets easier. However, ultimately, entropy sets in and you start to lose enthusiasm or find yourself putting in more energy then your getting back. Now you are on that slippery downward slope and you will only have to work harder to stay where you are.

That’s why it’s better to make a change at the top of the curve, at the top of your game… to get going while the going’s good.

The executive job market is a case in point.

The Bureau of Labor Statistics’ recent good news about job growth indicates that this 9-year old expansion still has some steam, and even those recalcitrant underemployed older men are starting to reengage as the labor participation rate nudged up to 63%.

Regionally, the US coasts continue to prosper as does the Western heartland, but the Eastern heartland (from Mississippi to Michigan) continue to suffer higher unemployment, opioid addiction, as well as rising disability and mortality rates.

What about the market for senior managers and executives in the US?

The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reports that this pool included about 2.6 million positions in 2016 with an expected job growth of 8% through 2026, adding another 190,000-plus senior jobs. Median pay for the most senior jobs stood at about $180,000 in 2016 while general or operations managers’ median pay stood at about $99,000.

Not surprisingly the states NY, MA, RI, CT, NJ, DE, MD, DC, VA, NC, FL, TX, CO, and CA showed the highest annual mean wage for the operations and general management echelons ($130,00-$168,000) as of 2016. CEOs showed a similarly higher mean wage at $212,000-$242,000 in NY, MA, RI, CT, NJ, NC, GA, FL TX, CO, NE, SD, and CA n the same year.

A recent study by the National Bureau of Economic Research suggests that the ability of a senior executive to capitalize on globalization, i.e., to help his or her company expand in the global market place most directly impacts the manager’s financial success.

From an industrial perspective, BLS reports that health care leads the way in total job growth predictions with a compound annual rate of change of 4.4% for all health care jobs through 2026, followed closely by Information Services and Individual and Family Services at 4.0% and 3.4% respectively.

The list of industries with fast-declining employment will look familiar and should remind us all that the US economy now derives less than 15% of GDP from manufacturing activity.

If you have ever looked for an executive job before, you know what you’re facing… so brace yourself. The Barrett Group helps hundreds of executives find the right job every year, people in all kinds of situations. We understand what you are up against. Which of these describes you?

  1. Best in class but under-appreciated
  2. Expecting a re-org
  3. Exhausted
  4. Bored
  5. Feeling like a dinosaur

Wouldn’t it be great to have a helping hand, a guide, and some moral and very practical support during your six-figure (or more) career change journey?

The Barrett Group has served more than 2,000 executives in the last 2.5 decades in practically every industry as they reflected on their career trajectory, chose their targets, selected their tactics, sharpened their skills, and launched their career change initiative with confidence. Here are a few examples:

Partnering with the Barrett Group was the most important investment that I have made in my career. I strongly recommend their services to anyone interested in advancing their career.

Kevin Baker, Regional Director, Metamark Genetics

I could not have done this without my consultant because she kept me on track for my entire career search, and helped me to understand what type of opportunities and geographical areas to focus on.

Svetlana Tikhonov, Senior Director of Corporate Strategy, SAP

TBG delivers exactly what they promise! I would NEVER have been able to do this or to get the same results on my own. Without TBG, I would still be searching!

Lee Price, Arkansas State Director, US Department of Labor

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Are you in a midlife career change? Are you changing careers at 30, 40 or 50 years of age? Do you need a new career? If you are currently experiencing difficulty in your job search, we’re here to help. Please send a message with your information or call.

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