Tomorrow’s Timeless Allure

Ever since humanity invented “tomorrow” as much as 160,000 years ago the day after today has held a special place in our pantheon of excuses for not doing something now. After all, to quote Orphan Annie, “How I love you, tomorrow! You’re always a day away.” In other words, tomorrow actually never arrives. It lingers just over the chronological horizon, anticipated but never actually experienced. What’s not to like about it?

  • Take the trash out? “I’ll do that tomorrow.”
  • Do your homework? “Tomorrow’s soon enough.”
  • Begin saving for retirement? “Yes, I’ll start tomorrow.”

These are extreme examples, you might say. But we hear this every day from executives who are exceedingly uncomfortable in their roles, their companies, their industries, but they still want to wait until tomorrow to make a decision about finding a new job.

“After the summer holidays” is another version of “tomorrow”, as is, “the market isn’t right just now.” To the first excuse, we note that three dozen of our executive clients found fantastic roles in a recent summer month (Read more), and to the second objection, we can confirm that at least 470,000 executive positions changed hands in the last 12 months (Read more), so clearly the market is very active even now—if you know how to look.

Why start now? Because so many executives are changing roles even as we speak, the longer you wait to get into the market, the farther back in the queue you will find yourself with all of those more enterprising executive candidates ahead of you. If you are sure you want to make a change, then waiting is the worst of all strategies.

Yes. There are peaks in hiring as far as the published or the recruiter markets are concerned.

These come about as new budgets come online, year-end goals loom unfulfilled, or for other corporate and strategic reasons. One of those peaks is in the autumn, and if the time to market is three to six months to gain interviews and/or offers (that is our clients’ typical experience) then you had better get started now. On the other hand, the unpublished market (where some 75% of our clients land) is always active, so again, waiting makes little sense once you know you want to change.

Some candidates are paralyzed by uncertainty about “tomorrow”—unsure about what they want to do differently in their careers or even whether they should really change industries. All of our clients begin their career change process with the Clarity Program©, the targeting stage that helps clients to be sure about their next step. Here’s what one successful executive client had to say about his Clarity Program© experience:

“I didn’t understand Clarity at first. I thought, ‘Really? Do we have to spend time learning about our preferences? Can’t we just get to the ‘finding the job’ part? But Clarity was unique. I’ve done similar training and I’m certified in evaluative tools for organizational development, but I’ve never experienced what I did this time,” said Philip. “Clarity was absolutely the MOST valuable part for me because I had trapped myself into thinking that I have to be in the C-suite. That I must continue doing what I have been doing. My coach, Lisa Levesque, really helped put things into perspective. The exercises I did made me deeply examine what is important in my life.” [Read more.]

“But should I really make a change?” is usually just another excuse.

Executives who make career changes simply earn more money ultimately. We’re not talking about job hopping. Strategic, thought-out career plans definitively earn clients more money then sitting still and hoping. (Read more.) Besides, how many times have you negotiated a compensation package? With the Barrett Group at your elbow, you have access to more than three decades of experience—thousands of successfully employed predecessors’ experiences—and this inevitably means $10,000, $20,000, $30,000 or more in improved compensation over the initial offer once it comes in. See our Hiring Line for hundreds of specific examples if you need proof.

Who are we to argue with 160,000 years or more of human evolution? So let “tomorrow” continue to provide psychological comfort when it comes to simple, uncritical subjects such as taking out the trash, but when your career is on the line—your biggest pre-retirement asset by far—remember what Julius Caesar had to say on the subject of tomorrow:

“There is a tide in the affairs of men
Which, taken at the flood, leads on to fortune” (William Shakespeare, Julius Caesar)

In other words, don’t wait for tomorrow. It is probably high time for you to make a career change now and, if so, then why would you not want the best in the business supporting you (Read more)?

We’re the Barrett Group and we make it our job to help you find yours.

Peter Irish, CEO
The Barrett Group

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