Post-Recession Career Choices - Are You Ready for Your Next Responsible Career Move?

Good news on the job front, the fall might be bringing more career choices to those looking for a responsible job!  Indeed, over the last couple of weeks, I have been hearing from my colleagues and contacts that they are being contacted by a number of companies that have underhired and are now looking for talent.  The pool of candidates that are contacted first by these companies includes previous interns and recent graduates that have expressed an interest or have previously interviewed with the firm.  Therefore, if you have been in touch with a company that has turned you down before, now is the time to send them a nice note or to call them to reiterate your interest in the firm and in specific positions that you are interested in.

Also, hiring managers will clearly go after professionals currently working in a similar functional area for other companies.  Their reasoning is that the professionals that are still standing and are currently working for a competitor are the kind of professionals they need to attract.  These professionals know the industry, they have the functional expertise needed in the industry, and they also have demonstrated the business savvy needed to avoid the ax and deliver results in the toughest economic climate since the Great Recession.  Hiring managers also know that, if these professionals have been with their organization for the last 3 years, they are likely to be quite disgruntled right now.  Indeed, these employed professionals might not have gotten a raise in the last 2 years.  They might have been doing the work of laid-off colleagues, and have been barely recognized for going the extra mile. Basically these employed professionals are most likely to be ready to make a different career choice and move to another company.

New research by Aon Consulting shows that hiring managers might be onto something here.  Indeed, their European Employee Benefits Benchmark Report indicates that 17% to 49% of currently employed professionals in ten of the leading economies in Europe intend to start job hunting by the end of 2010.  While professionals in the Netherlands and Belgium seem likely to stay where they are (only 17.4% and 17.5% respectively intend to switch jobs), about half of the currently employed professionals in the UK and in Ireland reported that they will start job hunting before the end of 2010 (47.4% and 49.4% respectively).  Peter Abelskamp from Aon Consulting further reinforced these findings in a comment stating that “s a result of the recession, many employers across Europe have introduced austerity plans in order to lower costs and maintain profitability. Typically, these have included salary freezes, or even cuts, and the value of associated benefits have seen significant reductions. Such policies have tended to be applied uniformly, with little distinction being made between high- and low-performing employees.  Not surprisingly, high-performing employees are starting to feel trapped and, with a glimmer of hope for economic recovery, many such individuals are asking themselves whether better opportunities lie elsewhere. The result is a significant hike in the number of people intending to seek a job with a new employer. Whether these jobs are out there remains to be seen, but the risk of losing key personnel is definitely real. This could seriously undermine an organisation’s competitive position once the recovery takes hold".

In the US, evidence suggests that the recovery will be different this time around, with US workers having to make career choices not only based on the soft labor demand but also based on the consequences of the housing bubble bust.  Not surprisingly, a study by Fernando Ferreira and Joseph Gyourko (Wharton School of Business), in collaboration with Joseph Tracy (Federal Reserve Bank of New York) shows that job mobility is hampered by the inability of homeowners to sell they house and relocate for a new job.  Given the currently high proportion of homeowners with upside down mortgages (i.e. who owe more on their home than it is worth), less professionals can make the career choice to consider jobs that will require them to relocate.

Believe it or not, if you are currently employed and are looking to make a responsible career move, this is good news in terms of your responsible career choices!  Indeed, now is the time to build a list of your favorite responsible organizations, and start making contacts with both recruiters and current employees in your functional area in these organizations.  Meet people in person for coffee or lunch, or connect online with like-minded professionals.  Talk to them about your interest, ask questions about what their next steps and growth strategies are, and let them know how interested you are in joining their team.  If you know you can't or don't want to relocate for a job, look for responsible organizations in your area.  We reviewed directories of responsible employers in the US and beyond through the new G1000 ratings, and in our previous posts here and here.

You might be fearful of making a career move, but there are more responsible career choices out there than you might think! Putting the time and energy to position yourself well for opportunities that will come up this fall will be worth it!  So get started on your job search today, and look for career choices with companies and organizations that get business done better!

As always, I look forward to reading your questions and comments in the comment box below.

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