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Spouse Remains Chief Career Advisor for Many
By: Max Messmer

Those considering a job change seek many sources of guidance, but the opinion they value most often comes from the person closest to them. Nearly half (46 percent) of executives polled said they turn first to spouses or significant others for advice when evaluating a potential job change, up from 42 percent in 2002. The survey also shows mentors carry greater clout than five years ago: 41 percent respondents said they would consult their mentors first, compared to 28 percent in 2002.
The national poll included responses from 150 senior executives -- including those from human resources, finance and marketing departments -- with the nation’s 1,000 largest companies. It was conducted by an independent research firm and developed by Accountemps, the world’s first and largest specialized staffing service for temporary accounting, finance and bookkeeping professionals.

Executives were asked, “If you were considering changing jobs, which one of the following people would you most likely approach first for advice when evaluating a potential job change?”  Their responses:

  2007 2002
 Spouse or Significant Other  46%  42%
 Mentor  41%  28%
 Coworker  4%  13%
 Other Family Member  4%  5%
 Friend  3%  11%
 Someone Else  2%  1%
  100% 100%

“The advice of mentors, colleagues and other confidants helps when weighing the pros and cons of a career transition, but a job change has personal and family implications,” said Max Messmer, chairman of Accountemps and author of Job Hunting For Dummies®, 2nd Edition (John Wiley & Sons, Inc.). “A spouse or significant other is not only familiar with a partner’s overall priorities and motivators, but also has a stake in the outcome of his or her career decisions.”
Along with seeking advice from family, friends and mentors, Accountemps advises professionals to consider the following questions before making a career transition:

  • Is the grass really greener? If you once were satisfied in your present job, what changed? Will the new position be more fulfilling, or would you be better off trying to enhance your current role so it includes more of the duties you enjoy?
  • Will you have room to grow? When considering a new position, ask about advancement potential. If a career dead-end is prompting your desire to make a change, you want to be sure you don’t end up in the same situation at a different company in a year or two.
  • Have you done your homework? Is the firm in good financial condition? Have you researched the industry, and the company’s mission and values? Try to determine if the new work environment will appeal to you.

Accountemps has more than 350 offices throughout North America, Europe and the Asia-Pacific region, and offers online job search services at