Time for a Job Change? Look – at the CPG Market – Before Leaping

Job Change Strategy for CPG jobYou may feel that a job change is be imminent and necessary. But, how do you know the right time for a job change and how to best manage your job transition?

Look before you leap. Know the triggers that are driving the job change, and determine whether your skills are relevant enough to command the compensation you seek in the consumer packaged goods and consumer-driven industries.

Scan the Market Continuously

The current CPG job market is the true test of the relevance and value of your professional skills. The time to pay close attention to market trends and forecasts is…always! Market forces will greatly influence your options, so don’t wait until you are feeling ready to submit your resignation to dive into industry reports.

For example, the recent innovation report by Nielsen points out that – while the top 25 food and beverage companies generated 45% of category sales in the U.S. –  it was the “long and mighty tail” of 20,000 companies below the top 100 who drove 49% of all category growth. So you might reconsider your career goal of joining a Fortune 50 CPG company and, instead, focus on opportunities where growth abounds.

Tap into Resources

It’s also important to understand where your skills will place you in a highly competitive candidate pool. Has being in the same job for a long period stagnated your relevance? For example, the same Nielsen report highlighted the absolute necessity of being digitally savvy. Even R&D roles are focusing less on product development and more on “leveraging digital, mobile and social technologies to enable desired consumer experiences.”

An experienced executive recruiter focused on the CPG niche can give you an objective and accurate assessment of where your current skills and experience may fit. As you prepare for a job change, they can help you identify what to focus on in order to meet the requirements of clients who are hiring now and developing their talent pool for the future.

As noted before, the time to network is….continuously! Be sure you are connected to people working in companies and industries that are growing and appeal to you. But keep in mind: major updates to you profile and a sudden upsurge in your activity on LinkedIn are visible to your employer and signal that you are looking.

Follow the Money, or Not

Data shows that it’s not the act of changing jobs that increases pay. It’s having skills that allow you to negotiate better offers. Economic, age-related and industry-specific factors all come into play.

According to ManpowerGroup, the correlation between job changes and higher wage growth is strongest for full-time, younger workers and weaker for those who work part time or in struggling industries. Compensation rates are slowly rising for senior executives who change jobs, but are still nowhere near the 25 percent hikes that were common before the recession.

Based on our recent experience, the increase in cash compensation (base and bonus) averaged 10% for “job-switchers,” more than double the 4.6% average wage growth reported by “job-holders” during the same period, according to the ADP Workforce Vitality report.

And many times, it really is NOT about the money! In our practice, about one-quarter of candidates accepting new jobs are making a lateral move in terms of compensation because other aspects of the job align with their primary motivations for making the change.

Get the Timing Right

How can you tell when to activate your active job search? Each situation is unique, but there are some common triggers.  Often, a move is needed to broaden your knowledge base or diversify your industry experience. If your current company doesn’t provide a clear development path, you may need to look outside to fully leverage newly acquired skills or an advanced degree.

More often, it is a personal transition that shifts your career priorities. Getting married, having children or assisting elderly parents may require a change, if only to gain flexibility or lessen a daily commute. On the other hand, sending children off to college may send your career ambition into overdrive, now that you have more time and need more money!

Importantly – ask yourself if the timing is right to handle a life transition AND a job transition simultaneously. Before deciding to make a move, be sure to evaluate both your work/life balance expectations and whether your skills and compensation requirements are in line with the marketplace.

Make It Happen

When the time comes to implement your job-transition strategy, talk to trusted advisors and network actively. Find a professional recruitment partner who can guide you through the process, from resume preparation and finding the best unadvertised opportunities to interviewing, negotiating, resigning your current job and onboarding in your new role.

Read our related posts or contact us today to learn more.