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Senior Executive Looking for Work: Consulting is the Solution
December 9, 2011 — Dominic Rubino
Alex Haley, the author of "Roots", is quoted as saying, "Every time an old person dies, it's like a library burning down." Mr. Haley was evidently referring to the family history and ties of the old to current living family members. But, he could just as easily have been indicating the loss of wisdom, knowledge, expertise and experience passing away with the death of the person. In our current economic and high-unemployment situation, the senior executive looking for work is in a similar position. Only in their case, the library has not burned down, but the doors are locked.
The Plight of The Unemployed Senior
Age discrimination in hiring is vehemently denied by corporations. But it is there, just below the surface. It exists for a variety of reasons. Chief among them is the length of time left for the worker to be useful to the company before retirement. There are other reasons as well:
- Younger managers and supervisors either feel uncomfortable managing older executives or fear conflicts will arise because the older employee may resist adapting to newer managing techniques.
- Since aging brings health risks, the company may not want to subject itself to potentially higher benefit costs.
- Corporate management wants younger executives who make quick judgments and decisions. There is the feeling that older executives go slower in the decision-making process.
- There is a view that aging executives won't be happy working in a lower position or making less than they were. And, the older worker is seen as a litigation risk.
The Key to the Library
In many cases, the senior executive looking for work has been a victim of downsizing or a corporate closing. They may feel they have much to offer another employer but are constantly ignored or passed over for a younger person. There are alternative options they may not have considered.
There are dozens of charitable institutions and organizations in existence and more are springing up due to the economy. A senior executive looking for work may be just the asset needed to get an organization moving forward. Marketing skills learned over a lifetime could make the difference in their success and impact thousands of lives in the process.
Another, even more lucrative, possibility is investing in a consulting franchise. The senior executive has expertise in a field that is highly sought after. The corporations needing consultants are not investing in them for the long term and seek expert advice to move the company in the right direction. With a consulting franchise, the executive becomes their own employer, able to use their skills to the maximum potential.
How Consultants Benefit Business
There are a number of reasons why business executives hire consultants. The unemployed executive has much to contribute to other companies. Here are some of the needs filled by consultants:
- The Ready Availability: Consultants respond quickly, they are available for consultation on the corporation's schedule and they are ready when needed.
- Singular Focus: The consultant is focused on only one aspect of the business. There are no distractions for the consultant as there would be if it were an on-staff employee.
- Objective Assessment: The consultant is outside looking in. They are not hampered by corporate "politics" and will give an honest opinion and assessment based on factual information. It eliminates input from "yes" staff who may have ulterior motives which color their suggestions.
- Strategic View: While in-house management has other obligations, the consultant uses their experience to more clearly see long-term goals and objectives.