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Senior Executive Career Management

It is often the case that those who seek out executive career guidance do so because of a significant or imminent event in their career, such as an unexpected period of transition or an upcoming interview. But in reality, no matter where you are in your career, executive career guidance can have a dramatic impact on your career trajectory.

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.

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. 

The challenges facing an executive who believes the time is approaching to consider a career change can be both awkward and potentially risky. How much/how little one should say - when and to whom? These challenges are more pressing if one is thrust into such a situation – and require care and skill to do the right things and make the best decisions. 

Job security is something everyone wants, but few do anything about achieving it. Perhaps it is because the first step is the hardest step. Following a pattern or proven strategy can be helpful in getting that first movement towards an objective. Start here and discover the eight steps that will help you manage your career and gain the job security that you desire.

The head of a major multi-national, multi-business firm had a very simple but effective strategy. Whenever he returned to the US from a major international trip, he began at work thinking it is his first day and outlined areas for change and focus to his team. He had put in all the hard yards regarding strategy rethink during his flight back in his private jet. When I heard about this, it immediately led me to think about how often we refresh our own career strategy!

Here are a few tips for when to develop or refresh your career strategy based on my experience in this area:

Perfect timing! Here I was thinking about the topic of ageism in the workplace, when my wife suggested that we watch “The Intern.” I was not familiar with the story, but I quickly noted the relevance. The movie is about a 70-year-old (Robert De Niro) intern working at a start-up clothing retailer in Brooklyn. Assigned to a role under the friendly, but overly-busy CEO (Anne Hathaway), De Niro played a highly professional intern with 40-years of executive experience. Due to his noticeably calm and thoughtful demeanor compared to many others in the business, Anne Hathaway’s character eventually decides to reassign her intern because he is too “observant.”

As an executive, retained recruiter, I commonly get calls and LinkedIn messages from people on the job market asking if I have a job for which they could be considered. For the few I’m able to give time to speak with, I ask “What do you want to do next?” and “What industry sector and function is the best fit for you?” The responses are often purposefully vague in an effort to keep options open. Since candidates don’t know what I am working on, they understandably do not want to be eliminated unknowingly. Without a clear target neither of us will hit the bullseye. Keeping your options open can mean no options at all.

I hear it all the time. “Nobody is calling me for interviews because of my age”.

Ageism is alive and kicking at all hiring levels, even at the senior-executive level. Many senior executives go from feeling that they’ve finally reached the pinnacle of achievement and experience in their career to seemingly overnight being concerned about being “too old”.  In fact, senior executives are often caught in the worst Catch-22 of all: their calm maturity, experience, and 360-degree view of operations gained through decades of overcoming business challenges are precisely where their unique value resides.

BlueSteps.com, the executive career management service by the Association of Executive Search and Leadership Consultants (AESC) announces MyGoals. The new feature available to the more than 100,000 BlueSteps members worldwide allows executives to set career goals and track their progress toward achieving those goals. A series of new career management steps are displayed to BlueSteps members each time they log into their BlueSteps account.