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Executive Job Search & Career Transitions

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. 

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. 

As you embark on your executive job search, you will quickly realize the digital age has vastly altered the way in which a successful job search at the executive level is conducted. With the introduction of social media and what appears to be the ease of applying through the vast selection of job boards, you will need to execute a savvy job search to identify and ultimately land the right-fit role.

In 2017, it seems like everything is being measured and quantified. Over time, this trend has spread to people-centric industries like executive search. Like it or not, the use of personality assessments – and other pre-employment testing – is alive and well as companies are hiring employees from the entry level to the executive level. I’m often asked by clients and candidates alike, “what role should personality testing play in the hiring process?” My response usually begins with the words “be careful…”