Marked cards

After pulling out a chest of drawers in my spare room/home office in order to vacuum behind (this is not a regular activity as you will see) I found a tub of business cards that had fallen down the back. Looking at the first few fanned out on the floor like playing cards they were clearly quite an old collection. I returned to them a few days later (after the dust had settled) to have a nose through, curious as to how much the downturn had reshuffled the pack of cards and, well, to write a blog about it if it seemed interesting.

It would not exactly be a surprise that many people had changed jobs or that certain companies no longer existed, but I thought it might be revealing to actually look at the detail behind assumptions about the recession's upheaval. Using the familiar tools of LinkedIn, Experian Corpfin, Google and also my knowledge of the people themselves, I went through the cards and jotted down their movement or otherwise. Helpfully, there was a train ticket in the pack dated 06-SEP-07 to set a boundary on the period covered. NB: Names have been withheld in the spirit of not burning bridges with contacts and also the Data Protection Act; those handing over business cards did not do so for the purpose of having their careers publicly scrutinised like this. Also, critically, Google, LinkedIn, even Companies House records are not always 100% accurate and up-to-date and I'm not about to spend days ringing around making checks for the sake of a whimsical blog. So here goes…

1. Director – Public sector organisation – Liverpool – Still in post

2. Chief executive – Public sector organisation – Cheshire – Still in post
3. Partner – Law firm – Manchester – Still in post
4. Partner – National surveyors – Manchester – Made redundant, now running own practice
5. Director – Architects – Liverpool – Company dissolved
6. Communications Manager – Housing trust – Liverpool – Still in post
7. Freelance journalist – Manchester – Now editing magazine (no this is not me)
8. Owner manager – Developer – Manchester – Bankrupt
9. Director – Local government – Merseyside – Resigned in 2010, to 'take a break'
10. Associate – Law firm – Liverpool – Went travelling
11. Associate director – National surveyors – Manchester – Moved firms to similar role at another firm
12. Director – National surveyors – Manchester – Made redundant, running own practice
13. PR manager – Regional retailer – Preston – Left in 2011 and set up own PR agency
14. Middle manager – Public sector regeneration agency – Liverpool – Moved to similar role in Manchester
15. Partner – law firm – Manchester – Still in post, firm merged in 2011
16. Managing director – PR – Liverpool – Still in post
17. Managing director – PR – Wirral – Still in post
18. Editorial director – Regeneration magazine – Left in 2010 and set up consultancy
19. Director – International consultancy – Cheshire – Promoted to managing director of subsidiary
20. Managing director – Creative design agency – Liverpool – Moved to Saudi Arabia
21. Director – Public relations – Manchester – Office closed, self-employed
22. Partner – Consulting engineers – Manchester – Business acquired 2008 by larger group, remained as operational director
23. Account director – PR – Liverpool – Made redundant, now self-employed
24. Press officer – PLC – Warrington – Set up own consultancy
25. Regional director – National construction group – Manchester – Operations director of another national consultancy
26. Director – Developer – Cheshire – Still in post
27. Partner – National surveyor – Manchester – Made redundant and hired by investment fund
28. Director – PR – Manchester – Went travelling, returned to same firm
29. Director – County council – Moved councils to similar role in Midlands
30. Head of division – Banking – Manchester – Heads another division of same bank
31. Inward investment officer – Local authority – Still in post
32. Managing director – Estates agents – Liverpool – Still in post
33. Marketing director – National development consortium – Salford – Still in post
34. Chief executive – Housing association – Manchester – Still in post
35. Marketing co-ordinator – National architecture practice – Manchester – Still in post
36. Director – Estate agents – Liverpool – Still in post
37. Director – Developer-investor – Liverpool – Still in post
38. Senior Project Manager – Developer – Liverpool – Made redundant, set up own consultancy
39. Head of property – Law firm – Liverpool – Still in post
40. Managing partner – Architecture practice – Manchester – Still in post
41. Director – Public sector organisation – Liverpool – Organisation dissolved, now in similar post in Greater Manchester organisation
42. Associate director – Independent surveyors – Liverpool – Promoted to partner
43. Surveyor – National surveyors – Manchester – Similar role at another firm

What if anything does the list tell us? Slightly over 50% – my colleague's prediction for the number that had changed jobs – were indeed no longer in the same post. And lawyers seem to be safe. As I say, I didn't promise almighty revelations, just a bit more evidence than a hunch.

Your Comments

Interesting piece.

By Huxley

So what did this reveal? That it’s 4 years since you cleaned behind this piece of furniture!?


On the positive side, at least virtually everyone on your list is still gainfully employed or self-employed. PS I bet the train ticket cost a lot less than it would now!

By Bill Chandler

It would be interesting to compare sectors with your property bias Paul, over the same period for say public sector, IT and manufacturing. Any takers? Nice project for an interim on a database.

By Jane Harrad-Roberts

Jane – Good idea. And looking at the media and creative sector, ie get the intern to look at How Dizzle too.

Bill – the train ticket was pre-commuting to Manchester so much MUCH cheaper. And yeh everyone’s having a go. Didn’t write ‘unemployed’ once. Obviously this shows I only accept business cards from life’s winners.

By Ed

Number ???
Receipted and filed. At least I now know why you never called. And to think, it could all have been so different…

By Anonymous
Error, group does not exist! Check your syntax! (ID: 5)

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