A Fresh Look At Future Executive Career Opportunities: Fish Where The Fish Are

October 21, 2015

Over the last few years, you’ve seen me write about the changing landscape for marketing and sales executives. The likely reality is that fresh executive career opportunities over the next five to ten years may be in industries and with companies quite different from where you started your career. Additionally, the required skills and job locations have shifted for many sectors.


Where Will The Executive Career Opportunities Be?

Based on information gathered from a broad range of publications, the following appear to be reasonable assumptions for executive career opportunities:



  • The top three industries with the highest total demand for talent over the last twelve months are healthcare, technology, and transportation*.
  • The pharmaceutical, media, and healthcare sectors were short qualified talent*.
  • The most over-supplied sectors were food and beverage, hospitality, and energy (given current low energy prices and related reduction in demand).*
  • Regions with the highest demands for talent are generally in the South and West, and specifically in Minnesota, Montana, Missouri, Michigan, Tennessee, South Carolina, Arizona, and Oregon*.
  • Proportionally, there is greater demand for talent in smaller companies.
  • The average length of time an employee stays at one company is just under four years; the average for sales and marketing is even lower.
  • Social and professional networks (digital and otherwise) have replaced personal referrals as the leading source of hires at the Director level and above.

From a skill-set standpoint, the following are increasingly valued:



  • Experience scaling a business in a growth environment.
  • Experience leading cultural or transformational change in an organization.
  • Experience using data and analytics in decision making.
  • Ability to operate in ambiguous environments.
  • Experience working with a culturally diverse management team.

Each potential candidate brings to the table their own unique set of skills, experience, and talent, so the effect of these trends on your career will vary by reader. That said, it is worth noting that this report covering executive search opportunities is much different from what I would have published just five years ago. Read the currents, follow the fish, and maximize your options, and career growth potential.

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