The Upside of Downsizing

I remember the first time I was fired.
Existential dread.
I felt I had worked so hard for that company and delivered so much value, to be fired for what proved to be political reasons was so unfair. But it happened anyway. I felt I was a downsizing tragedy.

Well, In Hindsight, After A Period Of Recovery And Healing It Proved To Be A Good Thing Because It Forced Me To Look Around And Discover New Opportunities. It Also Helped Me Begin The Process Of Weaning My Self-Worth Away From My Job, Role, And Income.

Naturally, I feel deeply for people affected by announcements like this one:

“Goldman Sachs to kick off Wall Street layoff season with hundreds of job cuts this month”

At the rational level, it is understandable that when deal-making drops off, a company like Goldman Sachs does not need so many deal-makers or support people.

Bear in mind that this company has about 8,300 vice presidents and almost 190 C-level officers collectively having an average tenure of 7.3 years if LinkedIn’s data is correct, and that this group has actually grown over the past year by a net 115 positions.  Most of the talent flow has been an exchange with Morgan Stanley (-26/+28), JP Morgan Chase & Co. (-14/+26), Next Capital (+36), Citi (-10/+17), and Wells Fargo (-12/+11). (Note, our clients have access to incredibly detailed data on millions of companies via our research arm.)

Well-run companies are constantly reviewing their human capital and evaluating this against the expected demand, shuffling specific specializations as they do to make sure that the demand and capacity remain relatively balanced over time. In fact, even during a restructuring, new positions may be created that require particular skills and experience.

Great, You Say, But What About The Poor People Let Go?

Some of them will feel as I did back then. Others will roll up their sleeves and find new opportunities. Still others will discover that they weren’t happy anyway and look for something more meaningful to do with their lives. Humanity, on balance, is incredibly resilient.

For one thing, when demand in one industry is down, there is usually an industry that requires more talent. Take the industries impacted by the recent US inflation Reduction Act or the resurgent interest in alternative energy sources in Europe as a result of curtailed energy supply from Russia. (Read “New Energy for your Life, your Career, and the World” for more information.) Billions of dollars and euros will flow into these related industries, building electric car charging stations, gas storage and transport infrastructure, new chip manufacturing facilities, and many, many other industries.

You Have No Experience In Those Industries, You Say? So What? We Know How To Demonstrate Transferability.

So much of your experience is probably relevant and valuable elsewhere, but you may not be able to see that if you have spent most of your life in one industry, company, or role. We actively help our clients think outside the box and discover new options through our Clarity Program©. (Read “Do You Have Tremendous Transferability?” for more information.)

I’m Tired Of Applying To Jobs Online And Being Ignored, You Might Respond.

If you think recruiters and the online job market are your only options, then think again. There is a vast and powerful market available to you that you might completely overlook. Read “Why are You Peering through a Keyhole at the Market for Executives?” for more information. About 75% of our clients land through the unpublished market—opportunities so new that they are not in the public domain. How do you find them? Simple, hire an experienced guide, an expert in helping executives discover their next career step. Hire the Barrett Group.

Remember, Your Career Is An Asset, And Just Staying In Place Or Chugging Along On The Same Career Track Is Not Necessarily The Safest, Most Lucrative, Or Most Fulfilling Use Of That Asset. (Read “Are Your Career Assets Frozen?” For More Information.)

Here’s an example of one client who stepped outside his professional comfort zone:

“It was very difficult,” said Derek. “I redid my resume and prepared a cover letter. I tried LinkedIn, Indeed, and ZipRecruiter. Also I reached out to people I knew in my industry, but they were in a similar situation. The industry was having such a terrible time. There were no contracts being awarded, no new work going on. People in my network were focused on keeping their own jobs and couldn’t help me in my job search.”

After four months of job searching with few results, Derek hired The Barrett Group (TBG).

“What I liked about The Barrett Group is that it focused on a lifestyle change versus a job change,” said Derek. “The Barrett Group program begins with a self-evaluation. You work on yourself first before going out into the job market.”

It was a great change for Derek because the status quo was no longer an option.

“Initially, I thought I would stay in the same industry, but it became quite evident that the industry would not improve for a couple years,” said Derek.

Derek Derived Enormous Value From The Clarity Program© And The Self-Reflection He Was Encouraged To Do.

“I really like the Clarity Program and my Clarity coach, Scott Brown. He is very good at what he does,” said Derek. “Scott got me to look internally. He got me to consider the social and financial parts of my life, my goals past and present, and where I see myself in the future. He made me think more than I’ve ever done in other similar courses. To be honest, it’s probably one of the most valuable things I’ve done in a long, long time.” [Derek Maxwell, Read More.]

So the next time you are forced to think about a new career, whether due to internal or external forces, consider that there is a potential upside to downsizing. We provide emotional and intellectual support to our clients during the transition, not to mention a methodology so tried and true over the last three decades that Forbes magazine cited us as one of the best in the business again for the third year. [Read “Executive Proponent with Impact” for more information.]

Find your personal upside. Invest in professional help to capitalize on your most valuable preretirement asset: your career. Give us a call.

Peter Irish, CEO
The Barrett Group

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