I always hated statistics. Don’t get me wrong, I like the concept, but having been taught stats by someone using card game metaphors, which I didn’t get, left an impression.
The devil is always in the detail of any given stat and the ones we find most interesting on the jobs front are:
- the movement of jobs lost and those created—things are picking up--very slowly--across most segments
- and the statistic that shows the average time people have been looking for work—never higher, at 31 weeks
Anecdotally, we have seen an uptick in the number of jobs opened in the segments we tend to concentrate on, high tech and new media. We’re engaged with new clients, some ‘retooling’, others expanding. The jobs seem to be concentrated on the east coast and in the bay area.
In fact, we’ve just closed our best quarter ever. That’s a direct reflection on the need for a perfect fit and our reputation for finding it. For every job that is open, companies are still in search of a perfect candidate. I have the conversation daily—yes, you are a smart person, well educated and have done some great things, but we are looking for someone who’s done exactly this and can make an immediate impact in week one. It’s not a general athlete's market.
And so, very talented executives who have worked in very precise and deep segments, sit on the bench until that perfect job opens. I’m delighted that a couple of my colleagues recently landed great roles after being out of the market for quite a while. Others may have to wait until the overall market heats up to the point where more companies can afford to be patient in having employees learn and come up to speed.
This is all a great reminder to be thoughtful about your career choices with a keen eye towards your own ‘marketability’. Even if you have a great job, check out Indeed.com every quarter or so to see who companies are in search of. Pay close attention to the jobs that continue to go offshore—they are not just IT jobs but mechanical, electrical and software engineering roles. Continuous education is a great thing. And, it should be no surprise that people with a series of employments that were less than 2 years in duration are not generally attractive to employers. It does surprise people, however, that the same is true of someone who’s been working in the same company for 25 years. Keep yourself marketable!