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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.

A senior executive on LinkedIn asked whether or not BlueSteps is worth the membership fee. 

It’s a fair question for someone considering their own career strategy. Of course from our perspective, we believe absolutely yes. But thinking from the perspective of an executive-level professional, here’s why we feel strongly that a BlueSteps membership is a sound investment for a nominal fee.

Bluesteps Executive Career Management Service

Every month we send a free newsletter with our choice of executive career management articles from the previous 30 days. See below for our top picks in December and sign up now to receive the newsletter next month.

1. 8 Things to Avoid in Your Executive Job Search

Taking an alternative approach to career management, we asked a number of executive recruiters what are the biggest errors made by candidates during an executive job search. Read on to discover the DO's and DON'Ts when contacting executive recruiters or headhunters.  

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We all know New Year’s resolutions are often just promises to ourselves that will be forgotten after a few weeks, but what about setting career goals? Knowing where you want to go over the next year is essential, and although this can be decided anytime, there is no better time than now to work that out.

To help you along, we have created a list of 15 suggestive goals for the year ahead. Ask yourself which ones appeal to you and begin to work out when and how you will achieve these goals. 

1. Education – While most business and popular publications are likely to be translated into English, journals and books covering specific areas of knowledge are unlikely to withstand the costs of professional translation. Being able to gain knowledge from a larger pool of experts will benefit you hugely – and reading in a new language is often considered the easiest step. In addition, with the current focus of blogging and social media, you will have the opportunity to learn from a wider circle of peers, seeking and discussing information across continents.

Are you hiding your talents?

In a conversation with a senior management client recently it was interesting to observe that even with a list of impressive and significant accomplishments they were very reluctant to talk about them, even admit them and certainly not willing to put them down on paper.

They are currently working for a large Fortune 500 company where a strong internal profile and personal brand is key to getting the next opportunity or promotion, but no-one has even shown them how to do it - authentically.

This was their dilemma. How to brag without appearing brash, arrogant or just plain big headed?

Peter Felix, AESC president, says the high salaries paid in Brazil currently attract foreign executives.

A ranking of wages conducted with senior executives in Sao Paulo, New York, London, Singapore and Hong Kong had a surprising result: Brazilians are the best paid. The survey only covers base salary and therefore does not include bonuses, stocks or the thirteenth salary in Brazil (each year every employee is awarded a thirteenth payment of the monthly salary). Still, the paychecks of a CEO of the industrial sector in Sao Paulo comes at an average of U.S. $ 620,000 a year and a director U.S. $ 243 000 - in New York they receive, respectively, U.S. $ 574,000 and $ 213,000.

Recently I came across a frustrated executive job seeker, who had experienced some hiring brick walls due to lack of industry experience. The job seeker in question wished to switch industry and pointed out the number of transferable skills he had obtained throughout his career – asking why executive recruiters and hiring managers are pre-occupied with experience?

Bloomberg recently highlighted the increased number of social media courses featured in business school programs, including top schools such as Harvard and Columbia. Curriculum includes marketing to consumers through mediums such as twitter and facebook and the impact of social media upon global business.

A recent survey by insurance company MetLife found that 45% of Americans surveyed believed they could not pay their bills for more than one month if they faced redundancy, while 65% said they could not last three months. These results come as no surprise as many of us have become comfortable with living in debt and planning to save tomorrow. Complete job security has always been a myth - only now job insecurity seems to be dominating public mentality.

Executive job search – Prepare for the long-term