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Executive Job Search & Career Transitions

Life’s all about timing, isn’t it? The number of times my friends have expressed regret over leaving the ship they thought was sinking, only to find that the men standing on board received out-of-turn promotions & huge bonuses, is not funny! At the same time, an equal number of them have poured out their sorrow (over a round of drinks at a bar) on the opportunities they did not capitalize on at the right time! So, the moot point is…when do you move on? I spent time on this topic recently, and here’s a compendium of my findings.

A new year often starts off with major fireworks displays. Your job search might not launch quite that spectacularly. But maybe it doesn’t need to, if you do it right.

Here’s something to think about: “Every man should know how to jump start a dead car battery. You never know when you’ll need this knowledge to...help yourself get out of a jam.” (Brett, ArtOfManliness.com, 2016)

What’s that got to do with jump-starting your job search?

As we enter the holiday season, it is time for the annual ritual of New Year’s Resolutions, more intense for some & less intense for some others. Apart from weight loss, the quest for a new role typically ends up landing in the list of priorities! In this context, while speaking to many people on their goals for a new role in the coming year, I prepared the following outline, based on the advice many sought from me:

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.

So you aced the interview!

It’s no wonder, really. You thoroughly researched the company, its challenges, and its competitors. You anticipated interview questions and tackled them with ease. You knew the core message you wanted to convey and you did so— effectively. You researched your interviewers carefully and were armed with excellent questions to ask. And, let’s be honest, you couldn’t possibly have looked sharper than in that dapper new suit. 

As a new executive, how do you ensure your success and your organization’s success? Don’t rely on the company to do it for you.

Executive job seekers possess a breadth of operational and leadership skills that can be applied to a diversity of industries. Perhaps you are interested in enhancing your skills set or maybe your current industry is one of those dying breeds, affected by the evolution of technology and the ever-evolving business landscape. To maximize your chances for success, you will want to source job opportunities within those industries that are growing and have higher executive growth.

As an executive, your job search strategy is uniquely different. Unlike mid-level or entry level professionals, you cannot easily extract an extensive list of job openings from a simple online search.

Whenever you anticipate launching a high-level job or career transition, you undoubtedly hope it will go smoothly. However, only a “Pollyanna-type” personality would blithely assume that such a result will occur every time. You don’t need to be a hard-core pessimist, of course, but being prepared can save you a lot of grief in the long run.