Andrew Linger, Director of Executive Search at Robert Walters, explains how an uncertain jobs market has impacted the career aspirations of senior finance professionals.
Due to the economic downturn and subsequent fluctuations this has caused to market conditions, the jobs market has changed dramatically over the last five years. While the impact of these changes has been wide and in some cases extreme, one particularly interesting development is the shift in the average duration of senior finance roles.
Due to the economic downturn and subsequent fluctuations this has caused to market conditions, the jobs market has changed dramatically over the last five years.
Typical job duration now two to three years
Overall, these are now noticeably shorter than they were, with most finance director assignments now typically lasting only two to three years. The main reason for this trend is that employers are now changing their focus and internal structures far more frequently. This is impacting the career aspirations of senior finance executives, who in turn are now adapting and accepting they must change roles more frequently as they seek to progress their careers.
Finance directors now looking to strike a balance
When considering new opportunities, finance directors are therefore now looking for a balance between the longevity of the role on offer and the need to gain good experience quickly in order to make themselves as marketable as possible for their next career move. The challenge of the job is therefore now the most important priority for senior finance professionals.
This trend has been particularly evident at the most senior level. In the past, individuals at the £150k+ basic salary level would be seeking the last important move of their careers. However, this is now becoming increasingly difficult due to the nature of the market. These individuals now understand and accept they will have to change jobs more regularly to fulfil their career aspirations.
Different motivations at less senior levels
However, this is not the case at less senior levels, where executives are driven by different motivations. While some in the £100 – 150k salary range are primarily motivated by a challenge and ultimately progression, others at this level may feel they have reached their own personal career ceilings. These professionals instead typically seek job stability and job satisfaction when moving roles. However, given how frequently the priorities of most businesses are changing, long-term job security is difficult to guarantee.
To discuss this article in more detail, contact Andrew on firstname.lastname@example.org or 020 7509 8724.
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