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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.

Landing a C-Suite role can be the ultimate challenge for many seasoned executives, with the number of potential roles narrowing the further one climbs to the top. While many leadership styles, experience levels, and personal traits vary from one C-Level executive to the next, there are several key characteristics and activities that the majority of successful C-Suite share which their success can be attributed to. If you have C-Suite aspirations, here are our top tips to better position yourself for when your next C-Level opportunity arises.

c-level position

The head of a major multi-national, multi-business firm had a very simple but effective strategy. Whenever he returned to the US from a major international trip, he began at work thinking it is his first day and outlined areas for change and focus to his team. He had put in all the hard yards regarding strategy rethink during his flight back in his private jet. When I heard about this, it immediately led me to think about how often we refresh our own career strategy!

Here are a few tips for when to develop or refresh your career strategy based on my experience in this area:

Perfect timing! Here I was thinking about the topic of ageism in the workplace, when my wife suggested that we watch “The Intern.” I was not familiar with the story, but I quickly noted the relevance. The movie is about a 70-year-old (Robert De Niro) intern working at a start-up clothing retailer in Brooklyn. Assigned to a role under the friendly, but overly-busy CEO (Anne Hathaway), De Niro played a highly professional intern with 40-years of executive experience. Due to his noticeably calm and thoughtful demeanor compared to many others in the business, Anne Hathaway’s character eventually decides to reassign her intern because he is too “observant.”

I hear it all the time. “Nobody is calling me for interviews because of my age”.

Ageism is alive and kicking at all hiring levels, even at the senior-executive level. Many senior executives go from feeling that they’ve finally reached the pinnacle of achievement and experience in their career to seemingly overnight being concerned about being “too old”.  In fact, senior executives are often caught in the worst Catch-22 of all: their calm maturity, experience, and 360-degree view of operations gained through decades of overcoming business challenges are precisely where their unique value resides.

BlueSteps.com, the executive career management service by the Association of Executive Search and Leadership Consultants (AESC) announces MyGoals. The new feature available to the more than 100,000 BlueSteps members worldwide allows executives to set career goals and track their progress toward achieving those goals. A series of new career management steps are displayed to BlueSteps members each time they log into their BlueSteps account.

MyGoals is a simpler way to keep your career strategy on track.

For ambitious executives, the world has never offered more or better opportunities to build exceptional careers. But those opportunities won’t just fall from the sky. The best careers are built by finding not just a good opportunity, but by seeking out the ideal position - and taking the right steps to capture it. The best careers result from the best career planning. 

There is no one magic formula for career planning. But all effective plans are rooted in a few critical component elements. Call it my personal Six-Step Solution.

Step One:  Know what you want.

How can executives and researchers ensure that they’re using social media effectively, efficiently and lawfully?

Social media is a staple in the career marketing mix today. Recent research from the Pew Institute shows that social media usage has risen significantly from adults over the age of 50 over the last decade. But only one-third (35%) of adults over the age of 65 use social media for any purpose. Do executive search firms, whose businesses hinge on long-standing and trusting relationships, really lean on social media as much as higher volume recruiters? How much time should executives looking to establish new relationships with executive search firms spend on social media and which sites should they prioritize?

As an executive, your time is valuable and opportunities to pursue personal goals can be limited. However, in today’s social economy, developing, optimizing, and continuously maintaining your social network is critical to your professional reputation, your brand and building your community. Your social network also plays a key role in positioning you for your next career opportunity and demonstrating your ability to deliver key business results.

Top achievers in all fields rely on coaches to help them achieve maximum levels of performance. As an executive, you can benefit from working with a coach during several critical phases of your career:

The level of responsibility that goes hand in hand with an executive role can leave little time to think about personal career management. And when your greatest career advances have been thanks to your ability to improve performance, drive change, and develop your organization, it may feel like focusing on business results is managing your career. Besides, your current role may be such a great opportunity and challenge that the thought of “what’s next” may not even come to mind yet.