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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.

If you’re like many executives, at some point along your career path, you may find yourself wanting to go in a new direction. Maybe you’ve built a solid career in finance but find you no longer enjoy it and are eager to branch out into another aspect of business. Perhaps you have your eyes set on ultimately reaching a general management role and want to broaden your experience to prepare yourself for that level of oversight.

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.
 

I just don’t have the time.

We all say it, or at least think it, every day. We have to make some hard decisions on how we use our available time. We have to prioritize.

Our jobs and careers demand that we set priorities, too. I hear it every day from friends and colleagues – especially when they try to explain why they aren’t more involved with their industry associations.

The manner in which you join the management team of a new organization results in you being branded. How you’re initially perceived at your organization can have material implications to your short and long term success. A mind set-based metaphoric example could be the first time you taste a new fruit: aroma, texture, size, shape, flavour, and overall desire for further purchase represents the subjectivity of being branded. One either likes or dislikes the fruit based upon these subjective measurements.

Your resume is your professional story. At best, it is easy-to-skim, engaging, and provides the depth of information necessary to understand your value. A well-balanced mixture of contributions, achievements, and responsibilities, presented in the backdrop in which they were performed, can provide that depth of understanding.
 

BlueSteps recently hosted an #ExecCareer Chat on the topic of executive-level productivity, featuring Andrew Kris, from Borderless, and Chris Swan, from TRANSEARCH.

Some of the questions asked included:

In this interview, we talked to Steven B. McKinney, from McKinney Consulting Inc., about the results of the 2016 BlueSteps Executive Job Outlook report and his advice for candidates. Download the full report here.
 

Many executives expect the number of executive jobs to increase in 2016. Is now the time to make a move?

Stress is one of the most pervasive afflictions in the corporate sector today. The harm it can inflict is compounded by the fact that it is amorphous by nature, thereby preventing us from measuring it or even being aware of the extent to which it affects us. While there are reams of advice on the topic, I will attempt to summarize a few approaches for managing stress from my real-life experiences as a senior-level executive.

Will I work again?
Am I too old to be hired?
Will any employer take the time to see—let alone value—what I have to bring to the table?


These questions are all too familiar to millions of older job seekers.

ageism_executive_career_managementSadly, ageism is alive and well. It's not just folks in their 50s who face it; it's happening to folks in their 40s, too. Age discrimination tends to occur more in industries where the work performed is physical in nature, such as construction or manufacturing, but it isn't as widespread in other industries as it once was.