The New Biggest Career Mistake

clueless-manIn past generations, you could expect to be loyal to a company, stay there for 25 years, and you would have job security. The recession of 2008 changed everything and now, that is no longer how job security works. In our new economy, you may find yourself looking for a new job when you least expect it. The quantity of opportunities available to you is great, but at the 200+ level they are hard to come by, miss out on one and your professional relevance will suffer.

Here is how and why the average executive role is only 18 months:

  • Your current employer is purchased by a larger company out of state.
  • Your employer’s product, service or business model no longer is relevant in today’s market. The money runs out with no more investors interested and no additional financing options available.
  • You are making more money than market value for your current duties and responsibilities. Reductions in workforce are now done from a fiscal perspective and no longer LIFO (last in, first out).
  • New PE investors with a new plan and their own people.
  • The new biggest career mistake is not consistently keeping an open mind to opportunities that will keep you in the highest demand in your industry and/or discipline.

Here Are the Top 3 Reasons You Should Look For a Job While You Don’t Need To:

1. The odds are not in your favor. Statistically speaking, what are the odds that you will find your dream job when you need it or when you are not busy at work? In case you haven’t realized it yet, you rarely get less busy. The second issue that stacks the odds against you is that at 200k+ salaried roles, there are fewer opportunities available due to the supply and demand nature of the job market. We call it the Job Opportunity Bell Curve.

2. Desperate job seekers make poor career decisions. If you wait until you “just can’t take it anymore” or your company is purchased sooner than you expected, you will find yourself looking for a job with more urgency. Not only might you end up settling for something that is not your ideal scenario, but the desperation can impact your ability to convey what’s in it for them. Desperation will impact the amount of leverage you have with salary negotiation as well.

3. You are more marketable while you are working. The stereotypes of the unemployed are real obstacles to contend with when interviewing for a job. If you end up suddenly unemployed, you could get in real “marketability” trouble.

Unemployed stereotypes:

  • The good ones are still working.
  • Any time out of the workforce means that skills, perspective and knowledge become less relevant.
  • Unemployed people will say anything to get the job.
  • Do you have concerns about the future of your current company, have a bad boss, want a better quality of life, or just want an environment that fosters growth? Do not make the mistake of waiting until you hate your job, or the decision is made for you.

If you are making 200K or more and do not find a job within 60 days of being unemployed, the average time on the job market is 8-12 months. If you are at this executive level and find yourself on the job market, do everything within your power to define your value, differentiate your value proposition and network ASAP! When unemployed, time is lost money.

If you’d like help with this, reach out to ExecuNet’s Career Services Group and if you decide to work with one of our coaches we will evaluate your job search strategy, resume, online profiles, and networking skills and help you map out a plan and reach your goals.

Saundra Botts

Saundra Botts

Saundra is an ExecuNet Career Strategist and Career Coach. Working 1:1 with high-level senior executives, Saundra provides strategic guidance and coaching to help ExecuNet members land their next great opportunity. This includes uncovering their unique personal value proposition and defining competitive differentiators to advance their careers. Additionally, she provides detailed feedback for improving a personal marketing collateral—well beyond their résumé. Leveraging her expertise, Saundra guides executives through the entire process from entering the job market, which for most is their first time, identifying the path to success, to onboarding with their new company and beyond to create job security.

Saundra is known for “opening doors” and has also facilitated Job Search and Transition Workshops for universities, FENG (Financial Executive Networking Group), and various executive leadership groups. Her depth of experience includes has over 15 years in Retained Search and contingency placement within corporate accounting and finance sector with First Call Search, Dubin & Lee and WinterWyman Search. Saundra has consulted with clients, ranging from start-ups to multi-billion-dollar conglomerates. She has worked with $12 billion companies building accounting and finance teams, succession planning, and hiring, as well as filling key positions at many medium-sized, publicly-traded companies; non-profits; and universities in Boston, Miami and Los Angeles.

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