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BlueSteps, the executive career management service by the worldwide Association of Executive Search and Leadership Consultants (AESC), released today their 2017 Executive Career Outlook. The new report collects insights from more than 1,200 management-level professionals around the world, from Director-level through C-suite, on their outlook for executive job opportunities across industries, functions and geographies in the year ahead.

As an executive, it’s easy to focus all of your energy on growing your business and helping your team to evolve and develop. Heading into 2018, there is probably a long list of initiatives you hope to roll out that will deliver business processes improvement, unlock latent potential in your team members, and offer long-lasting benefits for your organization.

But don’t forget about your own personal continuous improvement project: yourself. With 2017 nearly behind us, the time has come— once again— to articulate your New Year’s resolutions and create an actionable strategy for achieving them. 

Over the last five years, I have had the pleasure of working with and career counselling some of New Zealand’s leading lights in terms of Board Members, C-suite executives and IT technicians. This extraordinary experience has helped me garner a greater understanding of my industry and opened my eyes to new perspectives of how people from all corners of the globe operate in a business environment. One point that has always particularly fascinated me however, is how the southern hemisphere measures up to its northern counterpart. In many respects, there is negligible difference in business ideas and performance, but that’s not to say that there doesn’t seem to be some small element of playing catch up when it comes to corporate structure.

The start of a new year can naturally kick-start a period of self-reflection and a new motivation to self-improve. Often the dreaded end of year review can act as a catalyst for executives who feel that they ought to be progressing further in their careers or are not being fairly compensated for their work. For many executives, the final quarter of the year can help provide the clarity and drive needed to begin an executive job search.

Executives face unique challenges and obstacles when attempting to make a career transition to a new role or industry, but there are steps you can take to get your foot in the door. Preparing yourself to change executive jobs requires in-depth research, thoughtful insight into your skills, expertise and value/unique differentiators.

Once the foundation is set, you need to develop a strategic job search plan that combines rebranding yourself with proactive networking in your target market for information, as well as insight that may help you get your foot in the door ultimately leading to opportunities.

The role of the Chief Technology Officer came about in the 1980s, becoming prominent in the 1990s with the conception of the big internet companies. Tom Berray  in The Role of the CTO: Four Models for Success explains that, for businesses, the “CTO role is a low-cost addition to the organization [that] can help reap potentially high pay-offs by identifying and elevating critical opportunities”. Finding a great CTO that meshes with a company’s corporate identity however, can seem more a challenge than discovering a unicorn might.

For managers across the spectrum, the Millennial generation work force is growing in numbers. Forbes suggests that 80% of hiring managers have a view their Millennial employees have narcissistic tendencies, but that this may stem from different generations not understanding each other and their thought place of what a workplace should be. Traditional team based management structures are under threat by an evolution in work environments.

Although there is no exact formula for becoming a “great executive leader”, there are many common traits, strengths, and skills that the majority of great executive leaders possess. Learning how to acquire, develop and utilize these attributes can dramatically improve your career performance and help you to stand out among other executive candidates.

There’s nothing that will derail an otherwise stellar career trajectory than a new job that isn’t the right fit. Suddenly, the choice becomes whether to accept unhappiness and continue down what you know is a dead-end road, or deal with having a short stint to explain to your network, on your resume, and during interviews.

One way to avoid accepting a wrong-fit opportunity is to avoid being offered one to begin with.

That’s right.

It may sound great to have a slew of job offers to turn down, but this amounts to, at best, a waste of time (both yours and the prospective employers) and at worst, extreme temptation to make the wrong move.

Pray, who doesn’t want to be a board director? Images that come to mind include being in the driving seat, excitement at the opportunity to steer direction of the company etc. I did some research on the topic recently and below is a compendium of my findings and thoughts.

 

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