Optimistic Executives Ready to Make Career Move

CEOs are so optimistic about business prospects this year that they are thinking about seeking a better job. Brazilians are the most enthusiastic about the possibility of preparing a shift in career enjoying the windfall of the labor market.
This is in a survey conducted by the BlueSteps website, a service belonging to the Association of Executive Search Consultants (AESC), which surveyed 879 CEOs of large companies in various regions. Among American, European and Asian leaders, 79% said they want to look at a new job opportunity in 2011, compared to 100% of Brazilian respondents.
The prospect of changing jobs, however, comes with a certain apprehension on account of increased competition for jobs with younger people. Almost 60% of executives surveyed say they compete with younger executives for a place at the top, "Many feel discriminated against because of age," says Peter Felix, president of the AESC, "but more experienced executives, with a history of good results, are more confident and the least moved by it."
The fight for senior positions in general is higher across all organizations. In the survey, 77% of senior executives said in the last five years they have felt the growing competition for executive positions.
Another concern mentioned by 13% of respondents is in relation to the return of expatriate professionals, who are increasingly joining the race for top level executive positions, "The rise of emerging markets, with increased employment opportunities and more competitive salaries, has made many executives turn to their countries of origin," says Felix. Another reason, according to the headhunter, is the desire for companies to fill their ranks with local talent.
But the optimism of the respondents is even greater than the fear of a place at the top. Half of all respondents said that they are very excited about the career prospects for this year. The Brazilians are also ahead in this aspect. Among national leaders, 93% see good business prospects for the year ahead, while only 60% of the others share this view.
Career change for an experienced executive, however, is not so simple, "I recommend to consider changing careers when there is sufficient opportunity to progress and be challenged," says Peter Felix. Indicating that a change of employment for a CEO must offer to best fit your long term goals for your career. In the survey, 61.5% of respondents outlined the strongest motivation for changing executive jobs is for more responsibility or a better role.
Pay is also a pull factor. However, it should be a secondary in the executive’s decision to change executive jobs continued Felix, "If you do not manage your career correctly, you may have a short term gain but long-term stagnation," he said.
Felix, however, says that these moments of transition are usually positive, "Executives who wait until the last minute before deciding on a change or until they are no longer employed are under more pressured to accept less desirable jobs," he says. Or worse, executives run the risk of creating employment gaps as they search for their next position.

Article originally posted in Valor Economico in Brazil - Read online in Portuguese.


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