Guiding the Impetuous and Reckless Candidate

  By Dr. Frank Burtnett  |    Wednesday July 26, 2018

Category: Certification, Education, Expert Advice

If the current job boon is as strong as it appears, your candidates are likely relaxing at the beach this summer wading---not into the surf---but through the spectrum of job offers you’re sending their way. But there may be something more harmful than a dreaded killer shark lurking not too far into those inviting waters.

Last month Fortune Magazine ran a story that indicated that the “quit rate” among American workers had reached a 17 year high. These are members of the workforce so confident in their chances of reemployment that they have voluntarily terminated theirwork  affiliations. Trend analysts have to go back to the explosion of the early 2000s to find a time when job seekers expressed similar confidence about finding a better job. 

The Bureau of Labor Statistics trend data used in the Fortune story beg answers to a number of questions that could impact---in varying ways---the candidates served by search and staffing professionals. Those questions include.

• What if the hiring boon hasn’t touched a particular industry or occupational field? 

• What if the gains aren’t being enjoyed evenly in every part of the country?

• Is the employment windfall industry wide or limited to specific types or levels of employment?

• Has the  impact of the recent entry of June graduates been fully felt to this point?

• How will contract employment (i.e., the “gig” economy) influence future full-time job availability? 

• What other issues should job seekers and changers consider before they over-credit what appears to be an excellent climate for job relocation?

Before you accuse me of “raining on the parade” brought on by these exciting and welcomed trends, recognize that I have consistently put forth a view that achieving maximum career success and satisfaction is best achieved when each individual understands the components included in the career development process and engages in a planning strategy that will eventually take that person to their ultimate career goal. 

In Career Errors: Straight Talk About the Steps and Missteps of the Career Development, I suggest that the seventh stage in an eight stage career development process is career growth, mobility and maintenance. Quitting one’s job because you believe the marketplace was never better for growth or mobility, even if that action is based on optimistic signals, may be “pushing the envelope” too far.

While on the surface the BLS trends reported by Fortune may be attractive enough to suggest that quitting as a first step to job change and mobility, doing so weakens a number of the controls which the candidate has over their personal career development and activates a series of calendars and clocks that weren’t a factor when the individual was employed.

Search and staffing professionals witness a range of emotions by the candidates that appear before them, feelings that often result in behavioral actions. When those actions appear impetuous, reckless---or possibly destructive--- a healthy dose of career guidance may be in order.


Direct future topics suggestions for The Career Mechanic and other inquiries to Dr. Burtnett at

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