Our Blog

BY Joel Junker

Cameron-Brooks Outlook on the Future

My previous blog post focused on the impact of the recession on Cameron-Brooks.  Now, I want to share with you insights about the future.  I am not an economist so I am not predicting the macroeconomic future, but I do listen carefully to our clients who represent numerous industries, and I want to share a few key observations.

More of our clients are seeing their specific economic conditions stabilizing and are experiencing upward trends in business and revenues.  They are using these indications to justify increased recruiting from Cameron-Brooks.  I spoke to one recruiter a few weeks ago who told me he has an open position and he must hire because the workload has increased where his current team cannot meet customer demand. 

I still hear numerous Human Resource professionals talk about their retiring leadership problem, meaning they have many seasoned managers who will be retiring over the next 5 to 10 years.  The economic changes of the last year have not changed the fact that there are 76 million Baby Boomers many of whom are in leadership positions in business.  Though some may have delayed retirement because the stock market dented their retirement savings, this only means they will delay for a few years, but not indefinitely.  In the book First Break All the Rules, Marcus Buckingham with the Gallup Poll said it takes a minimum of 5 years just to start making an impact in a career and hit your stride.  Company managers and Human Resource personnel understand this and know they have to recruit leaders today to be their future leaders tomorrow, assuming positions vacated by the Baby Boomers.  As we approach the August Career Conference we are noticing more companies addressing the “grey haired” problem, and recruiting to fill open positions to meet current business goals.

Recently, a recruiter told Chuck Alvarez, “I need leaders to be on board in 2009 or 2010 to experience our current challenges.  The experience that a JMO could get in 2009 and/or 2010 could be worth 5 years of experience in normal times.  The current challenges are unprecedented, and experiencing them will provide experience that may never again be duplicated.”  I never had thought of it that way.  Even though the economy appears to have improved, they view the upcoming leadership challenges as invaluable for development and making a long term impact in their organization.  As in  the military, one cannot overstate the value of combat experiences in developing future General officers.

I hear many JMOs say that their career goal is business but that they want to wait because a career search today seems risky.  I understand that, and it can be risky if it is taken lightly or without a plan of action.  Scott LePage outlined career risks in his blog post “Got Career Security?” (http://blog.cameron-brooks.com/2009/06/15/got-career-security/).  The point he made is that the market is less risky now that it has deflated, than it was when it was inflated prior to 2009.  As in the stock market, the time to buy a stock is not necessarily when it is flying high, but rather when it depreciates to a reasonable level and has the strong potential to grow.

I also hear some JMOs with strong interest in business say they are getting pressure from  parents, spouses or other advisors to stay in the military for job security reasons.  Everyone has to live their life and pursue their own goals.  It is important to listen to others and take counsel, but it is also important to get the facts on your own marketability as well as market conditions to make your own decision.  As I wrote in the previous blog post, we have openings and in fact, our biggest challenge at this time is finding more qualified candidates.  If you are willing to prepare and work hard to succeed, and you want a career in business and will be patient in your career search, there are numerous good reasons to explore a career transition to business today.  Companies like candidates who have a plan of action to lead their lives, make decisions, and go after their goals and dreams.  It takes a lot of commitment, and it’s not easy, but anything worth something has never been easy.

 Joel Junker