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Actively manage your career even when you're not actively looking. Learn about things you can and should doo between job searches to prepare to reach new career targets and build the skills and achievements you need to succeed and move up the career ladder.

Being an expat has taught me to develop an explorer adventurer mindset, but you don’t have to be an expat to develop such a mindset, and use it to your advantage. An explorer adventurer mindset enables you to encounter strangeness, and embrace it. Your subordinate’s behavior can be reacted to at face value, or you can take the time to use this mindset to understand the root cause of their behavior, which may be cultural.

The time where executives could expect to spend their entire career in one company has long since evaporated. In today’s fast-changing executive career landscape, moving to new companies and shifting careers multiple times has become a professional norm, and is one that we all must adjust to.

Regardless of your current job status or whether or not you’re considering new executive opportunities, it is vital to have a well thought-out career management strategy in place. Executive careers can be unpredictable and if you are forced to enter a period of transition, you can reduce the time period with some careful forward planning. 

Being referred to a hiring manager by a trusted person increases an applicant’s odds of being hired 50–100X, according to Lou Adler, author of Performance-Based Hiring.
 
With odds like that, any job seeker would be foolish to ignore the power of networking. In fact, for an effective and efficient search, networking should be your primary strategy.
 
Not all executives believe this, however. I’ve heard lines like these countless times in my many years as a resume writer/career advisor:

With the rise of social media and easy publishing tools, 2015 is going to be the year of self-promotion through thought leadership. What does this mean for your career management strategy? It means that candidates who are looking to stand out will need to go beyond their personal brand to demonstrate their specific industry or functional area expertise.

This post will highlight the emerging trends you can join in on next year to showcase your thought leadership expertise out to your intended audience (executive recruiters and hiring managers). These include writing effective content, keyword optimization, publishing your content and tools to help expand your network.

I am fortunate to speak with hundreds of executives each year, in addition to those that I follow and track. Over the years, I have learned a lot about success, what works and what doesn’t, from these talented leaders.

One area that successful executives have in common is their ability to get the best out of their corporate relationships. No matter the discipline of the C-suite executive, their technical ability is just the base upon which they start having an impact on their organization. The CXO is not an island, but is integrated into an ecosystem that is mutually dependent. The success of any executive relies on others. Those who recognize, nurture and sustain successful corporate relationships are those that accomplish more.

Now that you’ve climbed the ladder, how do you keep moving up?

Even experienced, successful executives need to ensure that they are always looking forward to the future. Being successful in the past is no guarantee of your future success. Effective career management is still necessary even at the top of the ladder.

The general public is led to believe that companies are trying to become more diversified. But as recent as July 2014, surveys revealed that women and ethnic minorities outnumber white males by two to one in the U.S. work environment, but are still grossly under represented in the executive ranks.

Why do more men get promoted than women? Is it because companies frown on men who promote women? Is it because women executives themselves are reluctant to promote other women because it might reflect negatively on them?

Executive Women ImageRealistically, what can be done about a problem this persistent?

When I look back on the hundreds of women I have coached individually and in groups, some key behaviors or workplace issues repeatedly come up for discussion. They are not exclusive to women, men have them too, but issues around these behaviors tend to manifest more strongly in women and can impede career growth or create roadblocks when not acted on. Working on improving behaviors that are holding y back can not only change your outlook on life, but will also accelerate your career management strategy.

Use Money as a Tool for Advancement

executive_career_coachingProfessional athletes have long known the secret to success is hiring a coach. Take any sport—tennis, football, boxing, even the Olympic athletes—and behind every one of them, especially the high achievers, you will find a coach mentoring and supporting that athlete.
 

Life was great, I had a once in a lifetime role, being the first foreigner ever appointed as an executive officer of a Vietnam State Owned Company, with a job charter to build IT from the ground up for a State-Owned Financial Services Conglomerate. I advised Boards, ran more IT related projects than I could count, had a car and driver, maid, cook, great company paid apartment, along with a great compensation plan. What more could a person ask for?