In a recent discussion about career success, someone described the company in which they work as a “Velvet Coffin” by reputation. 
  • On the one hand, it is a wonderful place to work, with excellent benefits, great brand recognition and truly nice people working on interesting projects (the “velvet” part).  Frankly, you would be lucky to get a job there.
  • On the other hand, opportunities for promotion are few and far between as people rarely leave, electing to stay on in the lovely environment (the “coffin” aspect).   Many move sideways for a long time.
Within the organization, it is widely believed that you have to leave to get promoted and advance in your career, with the possibility of reentering at a more senior level later on. 
In today’s Ivy Exec blog spotlight we look at an article about giving the gift of information in networking and your job search. Phil Rosenberg discusses a key technique in offering valuable information to contacts as a method to bring added value to the recipient and distinguish you from the crowd:

  • Information: In your emails and voice mails, give information that’s valuable to the recipient. Competitive information, leads, names of top recruiters or vendors, industry information.
  • The hint of more information: Gives the recipient even more reason to call you back, other than to just say thanks.
Before making any career changing decisions make sure you are in a healthy mindset – that is the message from Caroline Ceniza-Levine on the Ivy Exec blog.  Ceniza-Levina looks at common problems with rushed or poorly made decisions and offers solutions to these potential issues that might cloud judgment.

Whether you are employed but want to make a move or you have recently left your executive job, knowing how to start an executive job search on the right foot is essential to ensure success. Follow these five steps below and find links to further reading:

The Ivy Exec blog is an excellent resource for executives who wish to actively manage their executive career, featuring regularly updated information for active job seekers and employed professionals alike. Here are three excellent articles from the Ivy Exec blog that every executive must read.

1.       ‘Choose and Use References Proactively’

A senior executive’s network is an essential part of his or her career management plan, and is a very powerful, yet still underestimated, tool for job search
Whether in an active executive job search or developing an ongoing career management plan, senior executives should develop a solid network and build good relationships so they can best communicate their aims and goals to these useful contacts when in transition.

Many executives need a little help when deciding who to approach in networking for executive opportunities and how best to explain their situation, so read on for BlueSteps’ top tips:
Year round, business newspapers and trade organisations publish annual reports of top performers and rising stars, but who gets chosen for such awards? Some nominations come from top performing CEO’s who reach the newspaper headlines, however, many more high-performance executives are featured due to connections with top headhunters and executive recruiters.

Journalists use executive recruiters, the gatekeepers of the top executive positions, to gather recommendations for perhaps less publicly known but equally talented industry-driving executives.

A senior executive in the AESC / BlueSteps LinkedIn group asked us whether or not BlueSteps is worth the value of the one-time membership fee. Working for the Association of Executive Search Consultants (AESC) who owns and operates BlueSteps makes me biased, but nonetheless I believe joining BlueSteps is essential for all senior executives.

Here's my response to explain why: