Patience is a Virtue: Making Careful Career Decisions in a Recovering Market

Since 2007, the mantra of those in the real estate business could have been “Do what you can.” Homebuilders found projects wherever they could. Companies in commercial development, sales, finance and other areas cut back in the interest of self preservation. Likewise, professionals made many hard decisions to keep their careers afloat.

Five years later, growth has finally resumed. For many, “what you can” now means potentially jumping to a better position at a different company or in a different city. Career advancement after a period of emaciated budgets is usually long-awaited and always hard-earned. Nonetheless, it’s important to remember the value of patience and long-term planning when tempted by the chance to change jobs.
After years of putting in extra effort and making tough decisions just to keep their current positions, it’s understandable that highly skilled people may want to jump ship as soon as the economy begins to improve. But a broader perspective reveals important reasons why a hasty job change can be a bad idea.

It’s a mistake to assume the job market will remain consistent during a recovering market. Sought-after leadership positions might be rare at first, but acting on the first advancement opportunity that arises could mean passing up a better position or a better contract if growth speeds up 12 months later. Employees who stuck it out through the recession also have an edge at their current companies when things improve. Executives may reward them for their past sacrifices or make use of their demonstrated loyalty once the company finally has a chance to fill out the ranks of its leadership. In either case, it does a career no good to make a lateral or slightly upward move, only to see a better position arise soon after you’ve made a commitment.

What’s more, companies want managers who’ve shown they can solve problems. Leaving because of conflict at a prior workplace shows potential employers you know how to look after your own interests. Sticking it through, though, by working out personal differences and having the courage to address conflicts until they’re solved demonstrates that a job candidate won’t just leave for greener pastures as soon as conflicts inevitably arise at the new position. Always be sure your job search is motivated more by career goals and the pusuit of the right opportunity rather than by the chance to leave an immediate work situation.

Patience is a virtue, and considering the possibilities five or ten years out is a smart decision with any career move. As evidenced on our jobs page, more and more real estate employers are coming to Christopher Frederick to find the best people for a wide range of sectors and positions. Opportunities are finally emerging, and it’s once again time for leaders in the real estate industry to plan the best course for their professional growth.

For more than two decades, Christopher Frederick has been a trusted executive search partner to the real estate industry. To learn more about how we can help your company benefit from our extensive network’s fast and affordable new search process, contact firm principal Chris Hingle at Or visit our website at

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