Why Should You Pay to Play?

Why should you pay to play for career management services and what difference can that make? I’m probably an unusual case in that I have paid for career management services five times in my life. Why did I pay to play: in each case I knew I needed help. The scope of services varied significantly, but in 80% of the cases the investment paid off, and my return exceeds 2,000%, so, it is no wonder I’m a proponent of career management—specifically the Barrett Group’s services.

After all, we are effective.

We have now helped 82 executive clients find new jobs since April—in the middle of a pandemic and economic crisis.

Many prospective clients, however, have never considered why they should pay for career management services. So let us examine a live case, look at the economic justification, and see why paying to play might make a significant difference in your career search.There are a number of factors to consider.

First, lost income. This could be income you do not receive because you are unemployed. It could also be the difference in your income because you are “underemployed,” i.e., not earning what you are worth.

Second, a benchmark for how long it takes to find a job on your own. The simplest answer is the US Bureau of Labor Statistics rule of thumb that it will require one month for every $10,000 of income. This rule is intended to suggest that the more you earn, the more difficult it probably will be to find a job at the same income level. According to this rule, a $100,000 job might well take 10 months to replace. A $200,000 job, could take 20 months… under normal circumstances.

We are not facing normal circumstances right now, by the way.

Third, your investment. There are relatively few career management firms active worldwide. They employ wildly different methodologies, offer highly divergent services, and have various success rates. Make sure you are hiring a legitimate firm that will provide the expertise, market access, and support you require. Our firm has been in this industry now for 30 years. Our success is evident on the Hiring Line where you can read about all of our clients signing employment contracts, receiving offers, and negotiating enhanced compensation every week—in the middle of a pandemic and economic crisis.

Now let’s put these factors together and see how they played out in my case some years ago.

Prior to this period, I had been earning about $200,000 per annum, so my lost income per month while unemployed was about $16,000. This accumulates to a loss of $320,000 by month 20 per the Bureau of Labor Statistics model [point A in the graphic]. It would, of course, continue to plunge further into the red if unemployment continued [B].

As I mentioned, I knew I needed professional help given my age, etc., so I hired my fourth career management firm in April (month 4), paying them $20,000. They put me through their program and we hit the market in Q3, generated an offer, and signed on in November for a January start (month 13). My new compensation (base) was $230,000.

So, the Improvement series in the graphic shows how the income began to reduce my cumulative negative cash flow from January, and by December this had improved my bottom line by $202,000 [C] versus the worst case of continued unemployment, or $138,000 versus the BLS Prediction.

Needless to say, I was happy with this result, but, at the time, I had never heard of the Barrett Group.

We cannot promise these results, of course, because we cannot force our clients to do what they must to be successful. But clients who follow our process and do the work have at least a 90% probability of finding the job of their choice within 6-12 months based on our track record and experience. A six-member team, a tried and true five-step process incorporating a unique targeting step, 30 years of experience, and probably the most advanced technology in the industry are some of the reasons clients enjoy these exceptional results.

So let’s apply the Barrett Group advantage to this model and see what that might have delivered.

If we take the Barrett Group Q2 results as a baseline (a fixed period—including the effects of the pandemic and economic crisis), our clients who landed in this period landed executive jobs on average 24 weeks after signing on with the Barrett Group. They also derived a negotiation benefit because of the more than 100 negotiation levers we have developed over the last 30 years, however, I will ignore this factor in this case and focus only on the acceleration that our methodology typically achieves—at least for clients who follow our guidance and do the necessary work.

In that case, I might have landed after only six months and this would have added an additional $54,000 or so to my net cash flow. This brought the total improvement with the TBG effect to $257,500 [D] by month 24.

If you are scratching your head about why no one responds to your job applications online. Why recruiters are not calling you back. Or why your networking efforts have so far yielded little more than moral support. You should consider hiring an expert and accelerating your career search. Feel free to contact the Barrett Group. We can help.

[Editor’s Note: in fact this case history took place in Europe and the currency was Euros. But we do not think this makes any difference to the point we are making.]

Peter Irish
The Barrett Group

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