Is your industry being buffeted by gale-force winds of economic change? And if so, how do you decide whether to hunker down and ride it out or look for higher ground in another industry? Cheryl Palmer, a certified executive career coach and president of CalltoCareer.com, encourages executives in all fields to keep an eye on the horizon: unemployment and hiring-trend figures published by the Bureau of Labor Statistics can help you choose how to weather the storm.
The following are some of the signs your industry is under stress:
Analysis paralysis: Watch for analysis paralysis, when there's less activity from sales but senior managers spend more time analyzing the same data. "That's a clear sign there's something wrong."
Management paralysis: When you start to see memos with elaborate descriptions of the thought process explaining why they're just going to stay the course because they don't know what else to do and don't want to make things worse.
Consolidation: Being acquired might be good for the health of your employer, but there will be a lot of overlap in job descriptions and a lot of layoffs that have nothing to do with how well you do your job.
Offshoring: "Another sign is offshoring and outsourcing; if you see the kind of work you do being shipped overseas that's a very bad sign."