Executive Job Search & Career Transitions

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.

Knowing how to Evaulate Executive Job Opportunities is an Essential Component to any Successful Career Management Strategy
Contrary to what many would like to believe, size can matter…and for those senior level executives with “big fish” status within a small company, it may be tough to downsize that standing if moving to a larger organization. But in order to honestly evaluate offers, you need to decide what’s more important to you – maintaining C-level status or joining a company that has less to offer in way of title, but more in other areas.

Relocating to another country for career progression can be an excellent addition to your resume/CV, and will likely enhance your future executive job opportunities. However, working internationally not only brings many concerns to those involved (in a 2010 survey of BlueSteps members, relocating family was the number 1 concern), but the prospect of returning home after the assignment has been completed can be even more daunting. Of course for some the worry is having to return home, while for others, a fear of being displaced or becoming less employable in their native country overwhelms.

Executive Job Search Advice
Whether you are voluntarily looking for a new job or find yourself an unfortunate victim of today's economic decline, you will be unsuccessful, frustrated and discouraged unless you have a clear, concise job target.

In Guerilla Marketing for Job Hunters, the authors suggest from the beginning that "starting a job search before you know the job you want and what you have to offer will end in frustration". Simply saying that "I am looking for a new job" says nothing to potential employers and confuses anyone who is trying to support you in the job search process.

Can you recession-proof your career? The ubiquitous advice always boils down to doing whatever it takes to keep your job. You are admonished to work harder, curry the boss’s favor, or take a class to build skills. With a focus on survival rather than success, recession-proofing doesn’t apply at the executive level.

Ask The Expert

September: Expert Career Transistion
This Month's Career Expert: Liz Rubin

Liz Rubin - Executive Search Expert
Elizabeth Rubin,
Career Advisor

Liz Rubin has 20 years of professional experience in the areas of