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Executive Job Search & Career Transitions

Executives, once at that exclusive and illustrious level, no longer have the luxury of applying for a job through the regular means which were available to them during the earlier part of their careers: an ad in the paper, or on an online job board, or just randomly approaching target employers by mailing a CV. At senior and executive levels, individuals seeking a change need to reconsider the usual push strategy and employ a more drawn out, pull strategy and this requires a switch in mindset that they have to get acquainted with.

There are federal employment laws which impact your executive career. When professionals and executives transition in or out of a company, there is a myriad of issues to consider. Compensation, severance, benefits, retirement accounts, non-compete clauses, discrimination, and other legal rights are being negotiated and can dramatically affect your career.

Employment Law

When the job market gets gloomy we ponder about other options to keep ourselves gainfully engaged. To those who have been out-placed (with or without due compensations) one of the thoughts that quickly occur is ‘Why not consult until I find the next right job?’ It is an exciting option provided we are absolutely prepared and clear about what we are getting into. There are always the not-so-obvious points to consider before plunging in. This article will discuss the concept of assignment-based partnering – that is, offering to collaborate and form teams with other consultants or consulting organizations on short and mid term assignments.

1. Know the executive recruitment market – ask search consultants in your network to comment on your industry marketplace and learn from their outlook – which areas are performing well? Can your skills transfer to these areas? All BlueSteps members receive worldwide executive search industry reports from the Association of Executive Search Consultants (AESC), with access to search industry expert speeches and panels.

2. Become a Source - Don't forget to offer yourself as a source to AESC search consultants if they call and offer any contacts you think will be useful to complete their search. This is the best way to provide a two-way networking process with search professionals.
Finding a new executive job at the senior level can be a challenge. Making yourself visible to executive search firms and executive recruiters is a positive way to advance your career to the next level.

GETTING NOTICED

Learning the tricks of searching for an executive job is not difficult; it just takes some common sense, discipline and a positive upbeat attitude. Most people learn the basic techniques as they begin a search but here are some additional tips that will help make a search successful.

Set Daily Goals – One approach that has served me well was to set goals for myself. I try and make at least 10 connections a day. A connection does not mean that someone has to respond but it is a note, phone call or a face to face meeting with someone. There are days when I exceed it and there are days when I don’t hit my goal, but the goal pushes me to find ways to connect with as many people as I can.

Recently a BlueSteps senior executive asked how he could conduct an executive job search in the same way he would execute a successful business plan? The answer is to equip yourself with career management tools such as BlueSteps and Linkedin, and make sure you are documenting and tracking your executive job search like you would a business project.

Most executives like a good challenge, and I am no exception, but the executive job search process has certainly tested my resolve. At the end of last year, I became part of the unemployed population because I successfully helped sell a company to a public strategic buyer that did not need any corporate personnel. I knew at the outset of this transaction that I was putting myself out of a job, but I saw the sale through to closing in hopes that this experience would make me a more well-rounded and attractive senior executive.

We all face some level of anxiety over the difficult US economy; whether it be over the health and vitality of the enterprise we work for, or simply for our own job security. Senior executives probably feel an equal amount of both, trying hard to drive bottom-line profitability without driving themselves out the door in the process.