Despite Recession, 75% of Employed Executives Still Open To New Career Opportunities

Poor company values cited as most important factor in decision to leave existing employer, a change from 2007 when lack of career development was most important.

Findings from the 2009 BlueSteps Executive Mobility Survey show that, despite the recession, 75% of currently employed executives are likely or very likely to consider a new job opportunity. The most important factor in an executive’s decision to leave their current employer is poor company values, with 74% of respondents rating this as extremely important, up from 64% in the 2007 Mobility Survey. Poor company values has replaced lack of career development as executives’ most pressing concern when deciding to leave a company; 63% of executives voted lack of career development as extremely important in 2009, down from 74% in the 2007 survey.

Della Giles, Director of commented “This openness toward new opportunities during a very difficult and unstable economic climate indicates that executives realize the importance of taking career management into their own hands, and that mobility plays a large part in that. While executives are still concerned with traditional things like professional development and responsibilities, they are also now more concerned than ever with the company culture and values.”

The executives surveyed for the report maintain traditional ideas of executive mobility, with 57% expecting to work for 4-7 organizations by the end of their career and 48% saying that 2 years is the shortest tenure an executive can have at an organization without compromising the value of one’s resume.

Comparing the results of the 2009 Executive Mobility survey to the 2007 survey shows an increased awareness of the negative appearance of having too many jobs in one’s career. 82% reported that working for 3 organizations in a 10 year period is the maximum to remain credible, up from 68% in 2007.

Survey results also showed an increase in competition for executive level roles, as 56% of respondents reported feeling more competition for senior level positions now than 5 years ago.

The BlueSteps Executive Mobility Survey was completed between 15 May and 29 May 2009. The survey received 1,518 respondents, 60% from the Americas, 26% from Europe and Africa, and 10% from Asia Pacific and the Middle East.

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