Adding More Women To The U.S. Workforce Could Send Global Stock Markets Soaring
PowerToFly Partner, S&P Global, Releases New Report
Below is an article originally written by PowerToFly hiring partner S&P Global (Jodie Gunzberg, Beth Ann Bovino and Jason Gold) and can be found here. Go to S&P Global's Page on PowerToFly to learn more.
The global bull market in stocks has been long. Historic, even. Will it end? Sure, someday, just as all such runs do. But S&P Global has found an underutilized source of growth that could send global market valuations soaring—to the tune of an extra $5.87 trillion over the next decade. On the heels of our 2017 paper, The Key To Unlocking U.S. GDP Growth? Women, we decided to see what adding more women to the American workforce would mean for an aging bull market, in the U.S. and abroad. The results astounded us.
- Acceleration in U.S. GDP growth under increased female labor force participation could add a whopping $5.87 trillion to global market capitalization in 10 years.
- For every 1% of GDP growth, the S&P 500 returns 3.4% on average annually. An additional 0.2 point of GDP growth would therefore boost the S&P 500 another 0.7%—and could increase U.S. market capitalization by $2.87 trillion in a decade.
- Around the world, each additional percentage point of U.S. GDP growth has also translated into a 4% jump in equities in Germany, 6.2% in China, and a whopping 9.3% in Korea—even more than the gains we can expect in the U.S. itself.
- An increase in women's participation to that of other advanced countries would add an average of 0.2 percentage point annually to U.S. GDP in the coming decade—or a cumulative $455 billion in output above S&P Global's baseline forecast.
Beyond the benefits that additional workers—and, therefore, additional disposable income—would have on an economy so heavily reliant on consumer spending, we can draw an unswerving line from increased U.S. GDP growth to increased market value in not just the U.S. but in a number of other countries and regions. Specifically, based on the historical sensitivity of stock markets to economic expansion, an acceleration of U.S. output at the pace we calculate under increased female workforce participation could help extend a historically long global bull run in equities (see Chart 1), adding a whopping $5.87 trillion to global market capitalization in the next 10 years.
The U.S. is the most significant economy in the global market, making up more than half of the S&P Global Broad Market Index (BMI). Nearly 25% of U.S. equity market revenues come from overseas—mainly from the Asia-Pacific region and Europe.
One way to measure the sensitivity of stocks to U.S. GDP growth is by using the "up-market capture ratio," which gauges the average historical annual stock market return per 1% of growth, and shows substantial gains from even a modest acceleration in the U.S. economic expansion. With the U.S. bull market embarking on its 10th year—and now the second-longest in history, just three months shy of the October 1990-March 2000 stretch (see Table 1)—an extra jolt could comfort those investors who are on the lookout for bearish signals.
While it's often said that bull markets (and expansionary periods) don't simply die of old age, among the signs that have historically augured market slumps are: fast-rising interest rates, slumping consumer confidence, and fear of recession.
The increasing likelihood that inflation will move up to the Federal Reserve's 2% target by the end of this year lends justification to S&P Global economists' forecast for four rate hikes this year as the central bank takes further steps along the path of monetary-policy normalization. U.S. equities markets seemed to buy into this view when a stronger-than-expected jobs report in late-January fueled investors' fears that borrowing costs would soon climb faster than expected. This kicked off a market correction (commonly defined as a 10% decline from recent highs), with the S&P 500 index dropping from its all-time high close of 2,872 on Jan. 26, to 2,581 on Feb. 8. (The benchmark index has recovered and was up 1.83% year-to-date through May 16.)
Since then, the yield on the 10-year Treasuries, an important benchmark for borrowing costs such as mortgage rates, recently topped 3% (albeit briefly) for the first time in four years—even as the yield gap between the two- and 10-year notes remains about as slim as it was before the Great Recession. This has led some market watchers to suggest the yield curve could soon invert. (While an inversion doesn't guarantee a recession, the past three economic downturns were preceded by a flip in yields on two- and 10-year notes.)
On another front, U.S. consumer confidence, while still strong, declined in March amid tempered optimism about the economic outlook. The Conference Board's measure of consumers' views on current and future economic conditions fell to 127.7, missing economists' expectations of 131—although, that comes after the index reached a record high in February.
Meanwhile, S&P Global expects U.S. real GDP growth of 2.9% this year and 2.6% in 2019, helped by a boost from the recent tax package and increased government spending. Additionally, our quantitative assessment of recession risk in the next 12 months is less than 10%, and our qualitative assessment, which recognizes hard-to-measure policy mistakes, remains at 10%-15%. While few economists see a recession on the near-term horizon, it's important to note that, as a leading indicator, the stock market typically slides before the onset of an economic slump, rather than the other way around. In fact, bear markets have historically preceded recession (defined as consecutive quarters of contraction) by more than half a year, according to investment research firm CFRA.
Fear of recession is difficult to measure, but there has been a dramatic increase in stock market volatility, reflecting uncertainty—or higher risk. The current annualized 90-day volatility of the S&P 500 is 18.4%, and it's 12.4% for S&P Global BMI (see Chart 2). That's a respective 1.8 and 1.5 times higher than the levels at President Trump's inauguration. Current volatility is also 3.4 (U.S.) and 2.6 (global) times higher than the lows at the end of 2017.
Why Women Are the World's Secret Weapon
Against this backdrop, S&P Global believes an increase in the female labor force participation rate (LFPR) in the U.S. can help.
As it stands, less than 63% of the working-age population (defined as 16 and older, with no maximum age) in the U.S. is employed or actively seeking a job—hovering near the lowest level in more than four decades. For years, the surge of women entering the workforce largely offset the slow attrition of male labor force participation. But since the turn of the millennium, women's participation has also declined, to just 57%, from roughly 60% in 2000, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.
True, having nearly three in every five U.S. women in the workforce is nearly double the rate of the years immediately following World War II (when many working women left to make way for returning soldiers). But it compares unfavorably to the strong gains of the 1960s-1990s, when such things as advances in household-appliance technology, the advent of the birth-control pill, and (perhaps most importantly) evolving attitudes about societal roles gave women greater freedom to work outside the home.
And it wasn't that long ago that the U.S. was among the global leaders in women's workforce participation. As recently as 1990, LFPR among prime-age American women was near the top of advanced economies in the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD). In 1990, LFPR for women of prime working age in the U.S. reached 74%. Since then, that rate has stayed roughly stable while increasing steadily elsewhere, pushing the U.S. down to 20th place among 22 advanced OECD economies by 2016.
So, why the focus on women and not some other cohort of workers?
In the U.S., the biggest obstacle women must hurdle to fully engage in the labor force involves children—in large part because the U.S. is the only country in the OECD that doesn't provide income support during maternity or parental leave by law. Moreover, a 2012 OECD report showed that full-day care for an infant eats up 41% of single mothers' median income, and a 2013 survey by the Pew Research Center found that 39% of mothers had, at some point in their careers, taken off a significant amount of time to care for a child or other family member. More than 25% had quit work entirely to do so; just 24% of fathers had taken a significant amount of time off to assume these responsibilities.
These trends take on greater importance when we consider that the median age of baby boomers is now 63. This means that more than 74 million people are at, or approaching, a time when old age goes from some far-off future state to a day-to-day reality. And, as we've seen, the responsibilities of elder care are out of balance from a gender perspective.
This holds true not just for the U.S., but in many other advanced economies—and is particularly important as the aging of societies as a whole adds to their economic burdens. According to a 2014 report from the Pew Research Center, the "old-age dependency ratio"—that is, the number of people 65 and older per 100 people of working age (15-64)—is rising around the world, particularly in Northeast Asia and Europe. The report suggests that by the middle of this century, the old-age dependency ratio in South Korea, for example, could soar as much as 51 percentage points from 2010, to 66. In other words, for every three working-age Koreans, there will be two in old age. Similarly, Spain's old-age dependency ratio may jump 42 percentage points, to 67, and Italy's may rise 31 points, to 62.
How To Possibly Add $2.87 Trillion To U.S. Market Value
S&P Global believes that a concerted effort to increase participation and foster retention of women in the American workforce, particularly in those professions traditionally filled by men, represents a substantial opportunity for growth of the world's principal economy. (See "The Key To Unlocking U.S. GDP Growth? Women," published Dec. 5, 2017.)
We calculate that if the U.S. were to increase women's LFPR to that of other advanced countries, it would add an average of 0.2 percentage point annually to GDP in the coming decade—which translates to a cumulative $455 billion in output above S&P Global's baseline forecast for growth. Even for an economy now exceeding $20 trillion, an extra few hundred billion dollars goes a long way.
Similar to the way the returns on increased government infrastructure spending, for example, can exceed the investment through the so-called "multiplier effect," a boost to annual GDP of 0.2 percentage point would typically translate to even greater gains in equities. In fact, for every 1% of growth in GDP, the S&P 500 returned 3.4% on average annually, from 1990. An additional 0.2 point a year of GDP growth would therefore boost the S&P 500 an additional 0.7%. All else being equal, the additional estimated economic expansion would increase U.S. stock market capitalization by $2.87 trillion in a decade (see Chart 3).
In the U.S., the technology sector might be the biggest beneficiary of this extra jolt, given that it has the highest up-market capture ratio, at 5.6% per percentage point of GDP growth. An additional 0.2 point of growth could therefore add 1.1% to tech shares. At the other end of the spectrum, the sensitivity of utilities stocks to GDP growth is just 2.2-to-1, and so an extra 0.2 point of growth would add just 0.4% to shares in this sector (see Chart 4.)
Given stocks' sensitivity to economic expansion, it makes sense that accelerated growth in the U.S. would boost equities around the world—especially when we consider that the U.S. accounts for slightly more than half of the global equities market capitalization of $54.8 trillion. Still, the "multiplier" effect that U.S. growth has on specific countries' stock markets is, in some cases, surprisingly large.
The mechanism for this is fairly simple: Because the U.S.'s "trade elasticity" is such that the country's imports tend to increase at a faster pace than GDP growth during expansionary periods (while shrinking at closer to a 1-to-1 rate during times of economic contraction), manufacturers and other exporters to the U.S. enjoy outsized benefits when the American economy expands.
S&P Dow Jones Indices calculates that, for example, each additional percentage point of U.S. GDP growth has translated to a 4% jump in equities in Germany, 6.2% in China, and a whopping 9.3% in Korea—even more than the gains we can expect in the U.S. itself (see Chart 5).
When we add in the boost to U.S. GDP of increased women's LFPR, the numbers become even more impressive. Equities in Korea would enjoy an additional 1.9% bump, and those in China would gain another 1.2% (see Chart 6).
The notable difference in the up-market capture ratios of, for example, China and Japan—the Nos. 1 and 4 U.S. trade partners among single countries—can be explained in part by the amount of trade the countries conduct with the U.S. relative to the size of their trade surpluses with the U.S. and their annual output, as well as where the countries rank in total market capitalization.
In dollar terms, China exports almost four times as much to the U.S. as it imports in American goods and services, with exports to the U.S. accounting for 4.2% of the Chinese economy. For Japan, exports to the U.S. are roughly only twice its American imports, and exports to the U.S. account for just 2.8% of Japanese economic output.
Further evidence that this dynamic is at least partly responsible for the disparity includes the fact that South Korea—the U.S.'s sixth-biggest trade partner and No. 11 on the list of national economies—sends just about a third more to the U.S. than it receives, but those goods and services make up a substantial 4.6% of Korea's GDP.
Meanwhile, Japan's market cap, at $4.92 trillion, puts it at No. 2 in single-country rankings (although a distant second behind the U.S.'s $27.7 trillion). The dollar value of stocks traded in Japan is also roughly equal to the size of the country's economy, which is the world's third-largest. On the other hand, China's market cap, at $1.88 trillion, is much smaller than its island neighbor's and is less than one-sixth the size of the country's $12 trillion economy.
The Potential to Create an 'Extra' $5.87 Trillion in Market Value
Things get even more interesting when we consider the dollar values that could accumulate to various countries' market capitalizations. Most notably, Korea, which currently has the smallest market value of the countries in our forecast, could benefit so extraordinarily from U.S. GDP enhanced by increased female LFPR that it would jump to No. 3, just behind Japan and the U.S. in the 10 years we examine (see Table 2).
In total, global market cap could surge by $5.87 trillion in a decade given an acceleration in U.S. GDP growth at the pace we calculate under increased female workforce participation (see Chart 7).
All told, if the U.S. were to follow the lead of many other developed countries and implement policies that encourage women to enter and remain in the workforce, the effects could reverberate globally, supporting a stock market boom far greater than the economic growth itself. Given the sensitivity of historical stock market returns to U.S. GDP growth, the result of adding more women to the workforce could boost U.S. stock market value by an additional return of 0.7% annually in the next decade, translating into an extra $2.87 trillion of market value. What is perhaps more impressive is the sprawling power that U.S. growth has globally, with an incremental return of 0.6% to the global stock market translating into $5.87 trillion of added market value.
💎Want to know what engineering teams are like at Workiva? Watch the video to the end to find out!
📼 Engineering teams at Workiva are constantly hiring. Marie Yue, Senior Engineering Manager at the company, tells you what they look for in a candidate and what the dynamics of teamwork are like.
📼 The typical path in the engineering teams at Workiva is that you grow into a senior, and then you move into a lead role. From there, there are a few different tracks that you can take depending on your interest. You can become a staff engineer, an architect, or even an engineering manager. What are you waiting for to apply?
📼In the engineering teams at Workiva every member should feel empowered to do their job effectively. For this, each has to understand how the work they do day to day solves customers’ problems. Managers will always seek to be aware of members’ career path aspirations so that they can look for opportunities and projects to help each person reach the next step in their career.
Engineering Teams At Workiva: A Safe Space
Marie Yue’s team is a safe space for people to make mistakes and ask for help, and each member feels a sense of belonging and inclusion. She wants to make sure that everyone is individually empowered to lead and make decisions. For this, the team has regular meetings where they do fun things like play virtual games or eat lunch together, and they also like to re-review and add to their team working agreement once a quarter.
🧑💼 Are you interested in joining Workiva? They have open positions! To learn more, click here.
Get to Know Marie Yue
If you are interested in a career at Workiva, you can connect with Marie Yue on LinkedIn. Don’t forget to mention this video!
More About Workiva
Workiva was founded to transform the way people manage and report business data with various collaborators, data sources, documents, and spreadsheets. Today, people all over the world use their platform to seamlessly orchestrate data among their systems and applications for transparent and trusted connected reporting and compliance. At Workiva, they are innovative in everything they do—from how they build their software, to how they serve their customers, to how they treat their employees.
We all have our favorite websites– the ones we frequent, bookmark, and recommend to others. You might even enjoy some website features so much that you’ve found yourself wondering why they aren’t more popular. Or maybe you’ve experienced times where you were frustrated with a website and wished you could add features or even design your own!
If you’ve ever found yourself intrigued at the prospect of designing and developing your own websites, then a career as a web developer might be just for you!
As a web developer you would be responsible for coding, designing, optimizing, and maintaining websites. Today, there are over 1.7 billion websites in the world and, in turn, the demand for web developers is on the rise. In order to figure out what kind of web development work best suits you let’s start with an introduction to the three main roles in web development that you can choose from.
The Three Types of Web Development Jobs
Front-End Web Development: The Creative Side
In addition to programming skills, front-end developers need to be detail oriented, creative, willing to keep up with the latest trends in web development, cyber security conscious, and geared toward user-friendly designs. The median salary for a front-end developer can reach well into the $90,000 to $100,000 range.
Back-End Web Development: The Logical Counterpart
While a house can be beautifully decorated, it’s incomplete without a solid foundation and efficient infrastructure. Similarly, a well-designed website depends on logical and functional code to power the features of that website. Back-end web development is code-heavy and focused on the specifics of how a website works. If you enjoy the analytical challenge of creating the behind-the-scenes code that powers a website, then back-end development is for you.
Full-Stack Web Development: A Little Bit of Everything
A full-stack developer is essentially the Jack (or Jill)-of-all-trades in web development. Full-stack developers need to be knowledgeable about both front-end and back-end roles. This does not necessarily imply that you would need to be an expert in both roles, but you should fully understand the different applications and synergies they each imply. In order to work in this position, you will need to know the programming languages used by front-end and back-end developers. In addition to these languages, full-stack developers also specialize in databases, storage, HTTP, REST, and web architecture.
Full-stack developers are often required to act as liaisons between front-end and back-end developers. Full-stack developers need to be both problem solvers and great communicators. The end goal for a full-stack developer is to ensure that the user’s experience is seamless, both on the front-end and on the back-end. In return, you can expect to earn a median salary of $100,000 – $115,000 a year for this role.
Taking the Next Step
Web development is both in-demand and lucrative! All three roles described above contribute to specific aspects of web development and the scope of each one can be customized to the industries and positions you feel best suit you. Regardless of which role you choose, all of them need a foundation in programming.
To gain the programming skills needed in each role, you can enroll in courses or learn independently. Coding bootcamps are a great way to boost your skillset quickly and efficiently.
Click here for some of our highly rated programming bootcamp options! Make sure to check out the discounts available to PowerToFly members.
Joseph Arquillo doesn’t work in Human Resources — he works in People Operations. And the distinction matters.
“It was named ‘human resources’ because it saw humans as resources, utilized for certain tasks or behaviors. But that’s not really what it’s about,” says Joseph, who is a Senior Manager of People Ops at Clyde.
“Calling it ‘people ops’ adds back what you lose with ‘HR.’ My philosophy is that I am there to support you. I am there to work with you, empower you, and enable you so you can be your best self.”
For Joseph, a key element of helping employees become their best selves is making sure that the workplace, whether in-person or virtual, is an inclusive space for all. That doesn’t happen by accident — it requires a dedicated DEIB strategy and leaders who are committed to asking hard questions of themselves and others.
We sat down with Joseph to hear more about his professional journey, and the practices of leaders who create environments where everyone feels included.
More Than Just a Number
As a college freshman, Joseph planned on sticking with liberal arts when it came to choosing a major. But then he took a class in Boston College’s School of Education, and loved its holistic approach to applied psychology.
This inspired him to switch his major to psychology and human development, and select minors in political science, and management and leadership, where he enjoyed learning about organizational psychology.
After graduation, he explored the consulting space to put theory into practice, but found out during an internship at a multinational consulting firm that finance or accounting weren’t the places he wanted to build his career.
“Since Big Four companies have 250,000 employees, you become just a number,” he says of the experience. “It wasn’t my cup of tea. Too corporatized.”
That kicked off Joseph’s interest in startups.
“It’s always fun to get in the weeds! One thing that’s very interesting to me is a challenge,” he says. “When you’re helping a company like Clyde grow and scale, joining when they’re at a Series B and helping them get to the next level, you really get to focus on the interaction between people, process, and product,” explains Joseph. “You need to hire the right people to work towards increasing efficiencies in all areas, but also make sure that we’re enabling them to create a strong product.”
6 Keys To Building Inclusive Spaces as a Leader
Across the different industries and companies that Joseph has worked in, he’s identified the behaviors that create truly inclusive environments — as well as those that discourage them.
Here’s what he’s seen:
- First, recognize your own privilege. “If you’re a man, you have privilege, even if you’re a gay male. If you are a white woman, you have racial privilege. It’s really important that you’re cognizant while you interact with somebody how they might interpret the interaction based on your identity.”
- Leaders should always speak last. This is important always, but especially in in-person spaces, where it might seem even more nerve-wracking to speak up in a crowd, says Joseph. “You want to make sure you’re creating that space for employees who aren’t as senior to feel comfortable voicing their thoughts.”
- And, leaders should use check-ins liberally. “You need to ask yourself how you’re supporting your employees. Are you checking in on them as people before you ask about certain tasks? You want to foster a workplace where employees from all walks of life can feel supported,” he says.
- DEIB isn’t just about adding new initiatives — sometimes it’s about removing barriers. “You need to remove unnecessary bias,” explains Joseph. “That can mean making sure you have appropriate policies and practices that don’t hinder people depending on who they are or where they live.”
- Maximizing participation requires planning with a diversity lens. Joseph has helped the Clyde team gather together and bond as a group. Along the way, he’s been careful to consider physical and psychological safety for everyone involved. “For instance, if you’re doing an event, do you have someone who’s not drinking? Have you set up the environment for people who might have a physical disability, or carefully planned the flow of activities for people who might be neurodivergent?”
- Saying you want to be better isn’t enough — articulate actions you will take. “Pride is a great example,” explains Joseph. “Yes, June is a time to celebrate. But it’s also a time to march. And beyond that, how do you show up and celebrate with the LGBTQIA+ community throughout the year?”
Embracing the Unknown
If you visit Joseph’s LinkedIn profile, you’ll see his personal motto: “Without challenge, change, and a bunch of unknowns, it’s no fun.”
That belief has led him to study what he’s passionate about, to take on new and exciting roles at growing startups, and now, at Clyde, to help formalize what world-class people operations looks like at a fast-growing company.
“I view myself as a connector that really empowers people, challenges teams, and helps drive us towards what I consider to be an improved future,” he says. “I feel like it’s my responsibility to be the chief advocate for each of our employees, and remove any barriers in the way of their growth.”
Insight from SoftwareONE’s Jeff Cannon and Chris Lecosia
SoftwareONE’s Jeff Cannon Business Development Executive US) and Christopher Lecosia (Senior Consultant) share a similar adventurous and brave spirit, which has led to a long trajectory of creative experiences for both of them. From taking care of two new puppies to backpacking across Europe — neither of them back down from a challenge.
As members of the LGBTQIA+ community, Jeff and Chris spent a large portion of their careers fighting for inclusive workplaces where they feel a sense of belonging, and opportunities to use their experiences to serve people, no matter what career stage they’re in. And they’ve both recently found that in the global provider of end-to-end software and cloud technology solutions SoftwareONE.
We sat down with Jeff and Chris to hear their stories on how they navigated mid and late career changes and their journey to finding a company where they felt valued. Keep reading to the end for four major tips on how to successfully pivot careers.
The Journey to SoftwareONE
Jeff Cannon was born in Tacoma, Washington, but considers both Texas and Georgeia his home. After graduating from college with a bachelor's degree in English and History, “I wanted to go to graduate school for history,” he explains. But upon arrival, he realized graduate school was not the right path for him, so he packed his backpack and set out for a trip through Europe instead.
This adventurous spirit led him back home to pursue exciting challenges, such as opening a hotel in Austin, working as a flight attendant in New York and Hawaii, and eventually pursuing a sales career at Dell. “I was an account executive for large university systems and large K-12 systems providing information technology to students to be able to further their education. It really fit in with my mantra around how important education is in society,” Jeff explains.”It's kind of my thing.” But after nearly 20 years at the company, he decided to look for new opportunities. “I was tired of doing the same thing all the time.” Enter SoftwareONE.
“This was an opportunity to do something completely different and take the information that I learned and use it to help build a practice that can accomplish some of the same things,” Jeff explains. He joined the company as a Business Development Executive Executive where he works to build the company’s education practice within the public sector in the United States.
SoftwareONE is a company where Jeff can thrive professionally and personally. He specifically cites the company to be people-first, which his coworker Christopher Lecosia agrees with. “SoftwareONE is a place where you can thrive as an employee, and where your creativity can flourish,” says Chris.
SoftwareONE is a leading global provider of end-to-end software and cloud technology solutions, with headquarters in Switzerland. The company itself prioritizes people as their “greatest asset” and advocates for life-work harmony. Their company’s core values are Employee Satisfaction, Customer Focused, Speed, Passionate, Integrity, Humble and Discipline, to name a few, and they ensure that they have “a welcoming – and constantly evolving – work environment for all”, no matter the racial, ethnic, religious, sexual or other preferences.
Christopher works as Senior Consultant for SoftwareONE. He entered the field of IT in 1974. “Back then it was called data processing,” he jokes. “But I kind of fell into IT consulting.” He enrolled in college as an accounting major, but quickly realized that was not the path for him. “I drove into the parking lot of this college for the first day and I got very scared,” explains Chris. “I turned around and went home and I found a job.” And he was able to pursue jobs that allowed him room to change and grow with the market. He began as a systems programer and, progressively, he scaled to managerial data processing roles at multiple software companies, including IBM. He played a key role in leading and growing software asset management programs, directing support for configuration and asset management, and serving as a senior project manager for multiple teams in his previous companies.
His successful 40+ year-long career led to the start of a well-deserved retirement. “I turned 65 last October, and I thought, ‘okay, I think I’ve had enough,’ and I decided to retire in full.” But his retirement was short-lived. “A few months before I retired, [my company] had put out an RFP to the street, which SoftwareONE responded to, and I'll never forget,” says Chris. “I was hearing them respond to me and I thought, ‘Wow, these people know what they're talking about. They're really sharp and I really believed in the value that they could bring.’” So when he was offered a position as a Senior Consultant, he didn’t think twice about coming out of retirement. “In November, a recruiter from SoftwareONE called, and I started in January of 2022.”
Changing jobs after working for a company long-term can be risky, especially later in your career. But both Jeff and Chris agree that the benefits of working at a company like SoftwareONE are well worth the risk. And for the first time, they’ve felt like they can show up as their full, authentic selves at work.
Jeff recalls past workplaces that, when push came to shove, “had an undercurrent of non-acceptance.” This undercurrent brought many challenges, but he credits them for his confidence today. “I have no issues whatsoever showing up originally as myself. And at SoftwareONE, everybody's been really lovely.” Even remotely, he finds ways to connect with his coworkers, and he feels like he can do so authentically.
Chris reiterates this in his own trajectory at SoftwareONE. “When I started, my Regional VP asked me for a bio. In my bio, I talked about my husband and my two dogs and how long we've been together. That got sent out to everybody in the organization. So when I onboarded, everybody already knew,” he explains. “It was the first time in 65 years that, right from the get go, there was no pretense at all as to being something different than I am. And that's how I came out at SoftwareONE. It was good to do that. I feel truly authentic.”
Advice for Mid-Career Pivoters
Both Jeff and Chris have successfully pivoted roles and companies later in their careers. They offer four tips to consider before making the jump to a new role or joining a new company.
1. Find a place that values service to the client. “Have the mindset of service,” says Chris. “ I'm a service oriented person and part of being of service is to share my experience, strengths, and hope with other people. Whether that's on a, social, spiritual, mental level, or on a professional technical level, this helps bring growth to you, and to the company you’ll work for.” Jeff shares that, “with this mindset, we see the challenges that customers face, so we're able to better articulate to customers what our value proposition is. We can help clients achieve their goals, and everything comes a lot more easily and naturally.”
2. Believe in what you have to offer. Chris and Jeff share that aligning with the company’s mission is another key aspect to consider before changing companies. “I never thought that anybody would want to hire me at 65 years old,” Chris shares. “I had been in my former job where I saw many opportunities that I thought I was perfect for, in terms of advancement, but I wasn't given those opportunities because of my age. I started to feel dried up a little bit. When I got the offer at SoftwareONE, I felt I really wanted to come back, be of service, keep my brain sharp, and do something. I do believe I have something to offer to many clients, as well as colleagues. And that's what made me make the move.”
3. Think of the experiences you bring to the table. Jeff shares how he transferred his knowledge to his new role. “I was able to take everything that I had learned about building an organization and bring it over to a company that needed that expertise specific to the United States. Being able to have the opportunity to do some of that background work and build on alliances has been, and continues to be, a great opportunity.”
4. Find a workplace that prioritizes diversity. “Each one of us brings a certain set of characteristics with us that sit well with our clients,” explains Chris. “The diversity we bring to the company — whether it be age, gender, color, educational background, intellectual capacity — all of that color makes us more relatable to our clients and our customers.” This leads to the company’s overall success.
SoftwareONE is constantly looking for dynamic employees like Chris and Jeff. Check out their company page to find out more about their roles!