2014 Outlook for Senior Executives

By Ford R. Myers
President, Career Potential, LLC

In the not too distant past, ascending the corporate ladder assured management professionals of a bigger office, a healthier compensation package and a more secure future.  But today, executives are being told: Don’t get too comfortable in that corner office and don’t buy that new boat you’ve always dreamed of, because your job is just as vulnerable as everyone else’s.

In my work as an Executive Career Coach, I see first-hand how the role of the senior-level executive has changed – and will probably continue to change – in the year ahead.  I counsel a variety of clients every day – many of whom had been with the same company for 20 or more years.  These are individuals who worked their way up the corporate ladder, felt they had proven their value, then were unceremoniously dismissed from their positions as if they just came off the street as a new hire. The attitude toward senior-level executives and the role they play within a company has drastically changed in recent years.  As an Executive Career Coach, it’s my job to re-instill the client’s confidence, analyze his or her strengths and weaknesses, and “re-package” that individual for the current job market.

I see several trends taking place with regard to senior-level executive job stability and security, including:

Trend 1:
More and more positions, even at senior levels, are now being offered on a contract or temporary basis. The position, in these cases, lasts only as long as is needed to fulfill the employer’s contract with their client. This requires job seekers to think differently – more like an independent consultant who works on assignment – rather than in a permanent job. In many business sectors and industries, it could be said that the “permanent, full-time job” no longer exists as we knew it. This trend also puts the responsibility on the part of the executive to consistently promote and market himself or herself – for the next opportunity and the one after that.

Trend 2:
Companies are still very cautious and careful about making any hiring decisions of high-paying senior management positions. Executives seeking such jobs must now “sell themselves” more than in the past. They need to demonstrate just how they will enhance the company’s productivity, efficiency and profitability – or they probably won’t get the offer. This means that the job seeker needs to learn how to effectively present and market himself or herself. Just having the right job titles on one’s résumé or having the appropriate technical skills for the job are no longer enough.

Trend 3:
Executives are receiving smaller career transition programs than ever before from the large outplacement firms – and most are getting no career transition programs at all. This leads many to seek-out their own career consulting support from smaller, more personal firms.

At Career Potential LLC, we advise our clients on disciplines they never thought they would have to worry about again in their careers – like self-marketing, networking, interviewing and negotiating. And here’s the GOOD NEWS:  In the end, the majority of our clients who are forced into career transition are actually thankful for the experience and ultimately land jobs that are a much better ‘fit’ than they had in previous positions.

About the Author:
Ford R. Myers is an award-winning career coach and President of Career Potential, LLC. He is author of the best-seller, Get The Job You Want, Even When No One’s Hiring. Ford’s firm helps clients take charge of their careers, create the work they love, and earn what they deserve! He has held senior consulting positions at three of the nation’s largest career service firms. Ford’s articles and interviews have appeared in hundreds of magazines, newspapers, television and radio networks. He has also conducted presentations at many companies, associations and universities. Learn more at www.CareerPotential.com or contact Ford directly at 1-800-972-6588.

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