MORE than 75 percent of top executives are searching for a new job. More than 50 percent have received a job offer within the last year.
These are the findings of a recent study by Paul Ray Berndtson, an executive search firm in Ft. Worth, Texas, and Cornell University's Center for Advanced Resource Studies. Even executives who perceive a high degree of opportunity within their companies are considering new employment options, the study says.
``In these cases, job search is often used as a device to signal their market value and their desire for promotion to their current employers,'' says Paul Ray of Paul Ray Berndtson.
The survey of 3,581 managers and executives was conducted to find out how executives view their work and their lives in general. The average respondent was 46 years old, male (93 percent), Caucasian (94 percent), and married (91 percent). The average annual compensation of the executives was $156,000.
Most the executives say that work is the most important factor in their lives, followed closely by family, and less closely by leisure, religion, and community. Most respondents say they would like to work less (49 hours versus 56 hours currently). A majority (52 percent) say work takes up time they want to spend with family.
Although 60 percent of the executives say that, in general, they are happy with their jobs, 76 percent have started ``preliminary'' job searches, including reading job listings and revising resumes.
More than 58 percent say they have sent out resumes and gone to job interviews.
``These findings contrast with the traditional notion that executives begin to search for jobs only after they have decided to leave their present job,'' says Robert Bretz of Cornell.