BlueSteps Career Management and Executive Search Blog
The BlueSteps Career Management Blog is written with a C-level audience in mind on career management topics ranging from executive compensation, executive resumes, and interview tips to networking, executive job search, and gaining visibility as a professional in one’s industry.
The BlueSteps Executive Search Blog links senior executive candidates to actual retained search recruitment insights from AESC member executive recruiters, BlueSteps career advisors and other guest writers.
BlueSteps is an exclusive service of the Association of Executive Search and Leadership Consultants, the voice of excellence for executive search and leadership consultants worldwide. Confidentiality is a cornerstone of AESC's mission, and only AESC member firms and consultants have access to BlueSteps members resume info. Click here to learn more about the additional benefits of becoming a BlueSteps member.
Years ago, I was waiting in the queue at the airport lounge reception to get my card swiped for entry. The gentleman in front of me forgot his PIN and had to call up his bank. They promised him a quick dispatch of the replacement PIN within seven working days via post (not very quick these days). The exasperated customer wondered why they could not send to him in a digital form via phone or email – after all, he just needed information, not a physical product. It is precisely moments like these that set the context for leading in the digital world of today.
Many executives think the professional promotion they put online will jeopardize their employment with their current company. They don’t want their employer to think they are actively looking for a job. Thus, they deliberately withhold information on LinkedIn (and other social sites), refuse to get recommendations and expand their social networks with new contacts.
Any career transition requires making your professional competencies visible online, as that’s where search firms and employers look. Though there is no avoiding visibility, you can approach it without risk by blogging in any language. Making a career transition can take the most advantage of a blog with least risk of your employer’s retribution.
Landing the perfect-fit C-suite position is hardly as formulaic as polishing up your resume and shooting it out into the universe in response to job ads—hoping that the perfect hiring agent takes the bait. If that were the case, a well-crafted resume (and perhaps an equally brilliant cover letter) would be the only components of your job-search arsenal needed to secure your next position.
But the reality is that the vast majority of executive-level jobs never make their way into an advertisement—meaning that your chance to be privy to such opportunities requires you to rely heavily on your network of contacts for introductions and hints regarding such undisclosed opportunities.
In any communication medium, the #1 rule is: Know your audience! If you know little or nothing about the people who will be receiving your message, you are, in all likelihood, wasting your time by trying to deliver it. What is known as the shotgun approach does not work. At best, it means your unfocused or misdirected message might reach a few of the people you wanted to reach; at worst, it makes you look like a poor communicator.
While no easy answers or miracle solutions exist for tough economic times, a recession economy creates a "networking" job market and certainly empowers individuals to take hold of their own career management. Employment opportunities arise out of our network of relationships, not from plentiful job postings and hiring-hungry corporations.
For many executives, running into age discrimination is a unfortunate reality, especially since it’s partly about health and money. How do you turn your years of experience into an advantage?
Be prepared for those inappropriate questions. There’s nothing that exudes confidence and professionalism better than being prepared for those awkward and sometimes illegal questions that come out in an interview.
Don’t…be defensive. Recruiters and hiring managers look at a defensive behavior and try to read between the lines.
Have you considered that one of the major success factors for organizations are the people who work there? It is crucial to have the right people in the right place at the right time. But how do companies identify and develop these skilled people and leaders? Leading organizations recruit superior people, develop their knowledge, skills and abilities, and prepare them for advancement or promotion.
During my everyday conversations with clients and candidates, one topic often tops the discussion agenda: The progression of a career and how it can evolve. At times, when you critically analyze your career, you find that your career just happened. My experience as a search consultant has shown me that many people don’t plan their career progression because they believe there are too many factors that will make it too hard to plan their career paths.
But, this is not actually the case for successful people. Many successful people identify their core goals and plan the actionable steps to help them achieve those goals.