Executive Job Search & Career Transitions

Throughout January, we will be focusing on career transitions. BlueSteps members have access this month to exclusive new content regarding career transitions, and the January BlueSteps webinar, "Stay or Go? Transitioning out of Finance" on Wednesday, January 25th at 12:00 noon EST will offer valuable insight and tips for executives seeking to transition out of the financial sector.

I speak heresy here as "transferable skills" have been the mantra of career changers since Dick Bolles wrote What Color is You Parachute in 1972. But they just don't completely work anymore.

They are supposed to convince an employer that you can do his job though you have experience in a different function or a different industry or both. This has worked through at least three decades and three recessions up to the dot.com bust and 2001 recession. Then the game started changing.

The holiday season is probably one of the hardest times of the year for an unemployed job seeker.  Not only is it frustrating and depressing when you can’t find a job, but the feelings become magnified when you become unable to participate in the Christmas festivities the way you once did.

Rather than be depressed over what you can’t have today, career expert Elena Bajic, founder and CEO of Ivy Exec, is telling job seekers to think of the jobs they can have tomorrow. Bajic is offering eight tips on how to become smarter job seekers and be better equipped for the future job market. Here are her suggestions:

As recruiting season gears up, I’ve heard from consulting hounds the following question: “What makes a resume get into the “pass” pile versus the ding pile?” I’ll try to flesh it out in the following set of posts. I start here with some guiding principles…

Principle 1: Know Your Audience

We’re all familiar with the saying “It’s better to give than to receive.” A recent study has given scientific proof that providing support to others provides health benefits to the giver, in addition to the one receiving the support. While I appreciate the science, I’ve known the benefits of giving for a long time, and in my experience, there’s an incredible correlation between giving and receiving when it comes to career support.

Brad Attig, Ivy Exec’s Director of Talent Development demonstrates how some seemingly good ideas can be exactly the opposite when you’re engaged in a job search. From “Blasting your resume to 100′s of perspective employers” to “Creating your resume in under 10 minutes” learn why these ideas and other can hurt your employment chances. Download the complete PDF

10 Smart Things A Job Seeker Can Do
  1. Prepare yourself mentally
  2. Take a hard look at your finances
  3. Take inventory & do a full, honest SWAT analysis
Leading healthcare executive search consultants J. Larry Tyler (Chairman and CEO of Tyler & Company) and Dennis J. Kain (President of Tyler & Company) offered valuable insight on managing careers in the healthcare industry during an AESC/BlueSteps seminar. Tyler and Cain discussed industry trends, cross-functional experience, retained search, and career management. The panel was moderated by Peter M. Felix (President of the AESC).

What are the current trends in the healthcare industry affecting executive leadership and hiring and where do you see opportunities emerging?

Career transition, whether it is a positive or negative change, can present a series of potential obstacles that must be navigated in order to be successful in your new role. Michael Watkins, co-founder of Genesis Advisers, looks at ways in which you can keep this transition as smooth as possible in his book ‘Your Next Move’, exerts of which he discusses in a video discussion with Harvard Business Review.

This is part 4 of a series covering basic things employers look for in applicants. While every job, hiring manager, employer and situation is unique, there are usually common traits that employers look for, in almost every position.

A fourth thing that nearly every employer looks for is … What makes you special?

When employers see hundreds or thousands of applicants for each position, they are no longer satisfied with candidates who are qualified. Qualified isn’t enough any longer – When so many applicants are available to choose from, employers seek candidates who offer more than just being qualified.

However, most of you haven’t been taught how to write a resume that portrays you as special.


There are still many challenges that female executives face, different from the past but just as compelling. We are in a sandwich generation where the home dynamic has got a lot more complex. On the one hand there are parents that are ageing and becoming a responsibility, and on the other, young children at home or at college that are coming back home, a complex dynamic that usually falls to women to handle.