Executive career changes

What type of career opportunity would it take for you to contemplate making a big change? According to the results of a recent survey from Korn/Ferry International, taking an overseas assignment was the most popular option respondents would consider.

Korn/Ferry, an executive search firm, asked 2,700 global executives to identify one major career change they would consider making. More than a third of respondents (37%) selected taking an overseas assignment.

"As the economy continues to improve, we find that executives are increasingly willing to take some career risk and tackle new challenges," says Bob Damon, North American president for Korn/Ferry. "Our firm is seeing improved demand for talent across nearly all regions - particularly emerging nations such as India and China - so it follows suit that executives would be more eager to consider overseas assignments."

Second to moving abroad is changing industries, as chosen by 33% of respondents. Another 19% would ponder opening a business. Taking a year off appealed to 5%, while another 2% would think about working part-time. The remaining 4% of executive surveyed said they would not consider any of the above choices.

In other types of career change, Korn/Ferry also explored the minimum accepted tenure at a single company. Nearly half of respondents (47%) pegged this amount of time at two years, while 42% chose five years. Other respondents were at opposite ends of the loyalty spectrum, with 2% choosing less than one year and 4% opting for more than seven years.

What's old is new again may end up being the mantra of nearly three-fourths of executives surveyed. A full 74% said they would consider or would likely consider returning to a former employer. Only 4% said absolutely not.

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