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Executive Career Management

In matters of the heart, logic seldom rules. If you were asked to explain why you loved your spouse or partner, you might be able to list traits and qualities that you admire, but you wouldn’t be able to give a factual, logical explanation of the attraction. You just “clicked.”

In our careers, that “click” is also extremely important. As you consider staying in your current job or making a transition, two points are worth considering.

The number of qualified executive candidates searching for new positions creates a highly competitive job market. Employers are more selective with their executive hires today than ever before.

How can you present yourself to be more hireable and beat your competition? The following four strategies are key.
 

1: Stand out with your resume.

Career gaps are a reality for many of us. Taking time to raise children, care for an ailing relative, manage our own health, study, travel and of course search for a job ... Whatever the reason, the resulting gap can cause challenges during the job search, especially if the time away from work is lengthy.
 
executive_career_managment_career_gapsExecutives often worry about how to address the gap on their resumes and LinkedIn profiles and what to say when networking and interviewing. Here are some strategies for dealing with gaps, with an eye toward minimizing the negative impact and managing any anxiety you may be feeling.

To help you achieve a productive and satisfying new chapter in your professional life, here are six tips on effective career management:
 
1. Set Goals: Your role might have changed or you might be re-examining your current job with a new perspective. Start by determining what's expected of you and set goals on how to meet those expectations. Do your homework. What priorities do you need to focus on in the next 30, 60, and 90 days? What resources need to be put into place for your success? What results will you deliver, and how will those be evaluated? Document this goal-setting plan to follow throughout the year.
 

As your career has advanced, so has your skill set and confidence. You now execute countless activities with precision. Create a five year business plan to grow revenue? No problem! Tabulate and document a financial plan to present to investors and the board? Done in 48 hours! Form the marketing plan to launch a new product in a new channel? Piece of cake! Envision and map a career plan for yourself supported with targeted marketing material? That might take a while.

There are endless reasons why executives turn to a career management service such as BlueSteps.

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While the jury is still out on whether marriages are really made in heaven, as far as corporate marriages go, the moot question is whether has one has really tied the knot or tied oneself up in knots! In this context, the quest to find the right company is the one which comes closest to the eternal quest for many folks in the corporate world today, given the sheer number of companies one works for over one’s career span, answering that most innocuous of questions, “Why did you leave your last company and why do you want to work for us?” several times over. Here’s a selection of variables that invariably go into this decision-making process, based on my own experience and those of many others.

In the 1980s, business publications took note that employers were making a fundamental mindset change as to how their employees are viewed due the shift from defined benefit to defined contribution pension plans. Employers who offered defined benefit pension plans encouraged and rewarded long-term career employment. In essence, the longer you remained with an organization, the greater your personal long-term benefits. In contrast, when employers shifted to defined contribution pension plans, this represented one of the greatest mindset shifts of employers in recent decades. Born was the age of employees as objectified commodities and employee free agency.

As the job market fluctuates, more executives are venturing out of the safe harbor of their current companies to look for new opportunities. Many have been biding their time for months, if not years. During an economic crisis, many are willing to tolerate negative, demoralizing or unchallenging situations at their employment for financial security.

In this current economic environment, finding a job is a challenge – and even more so for 50+ executives, who are dealing both with the “pyramid effect” (fewer jobs toward the top) and a youth-oriented culture. Yet giving up should never be an option. If you’re savvy and persistent, you can increase your odds of landing a good position. Here are some tips to keep in mind.
 

In tough economic times, the need for executives to effectively manage their careers—whether actively seeking employment or not—becomes critical for weathering the storm.

As an executive resume writer, a story I hear again and again from my clients is that they’ve never had to look for a job in their life; opportunities have just come their way…until now.