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.

Most executives line up their top references with such confidence that they just assume that those recommendations will be sterling. That may well be the case, but why risk a slip of someone else’s tongue? The use of online recommendations on sites such as LinkedIn makes the importance of soliciting, influencing and managing your references all the more critical.

If you’re a department head, vice president or director, now is a great time to start planning a move up to the C-suite in the coming year. Because you will need to reach out to your network, polish your resume, talk with executive recruiters and begin the extended interview process, making a change won’t happen overnight.

Here are seven steps that can help set you apart from the competition.

c_suite_executive_job_search1. Leverage social media.

With every new year comes new opportunities. Now is an excellent time to reflect on the past 12 months and how you envision your career for 2016.

Whether you want to change jobs — or careers, or simply get more out of your current job, use the next few weeks wisely and figure out what you need to do to lift your career to the next level. Perhaps it’s telling your network you’re looking to make a move. Or, perhaps it’s getting a promotion and a raise. Whatever it is, figure out how you’re going to make it happen.

manage_your_executive_career_new_yearHere are some clues to get started:

Career fulfilment is everyone’s responsibility. To fulfill your career, you should periodically align the value that you bring to the table to the value the role (or company) requires you to deliver. That’s easy to say, but hard to do.

In this respect, I will provide you three keys:
1) to qualify the contexts of your future leadership role,
2) to qualify the value the role needs to contribute and
3) to qualify yourself for that leadership role.

1. Which contexts to take into account?

“We don’t get a chance to do that many things, and everyone should be really excellent.” — Steve Jobs

Research surrounding the executive career management industry is extensive and the statistics available provide a resource paramount to the success of any senior executive career. These numbers warrant your attention.  You do not need to be a chief financial officer, mathematician or statistician to establish the relevance of results obtained from a wide range of resources - most importantly from decision makers - so do the math because your career depends on it.

At the end of the year, we often reflect on our goals for the New Year and beyond. As you think about your career goals, you may consider focusing on incorporating something you're passionate about.

Know Your Passion
It probably will not surprise you to know that the majority of people are not passionate about their work. In the United States, 77% have no job passion (Deloitte LLP, 2010); in Japan the number is 60% (The CONNECTYOU Report, 2009).

As the world increasingly becomes digitized, a lot of professionals suddenly find themselves short on relevance in various areas of work and life. While a natural reaction is to think that one has missed the bus, nothing could be farther from the truth. Here are eight ways to get out of the rut, based on actual feedback from surveys and consensus amongst industry observers:

Someone once said it was great to talk about maintaining work-life balance but you had to create that balance before you could maintain it. The same holds true for career management strategy and your executive career. You need to develop a strategy before you can execute it, and you can’t re-think it if you don’t have one to start with.
Interestingly, the concept of work-life balance shows up in Wikipedia’s definition of career management: “The outcome of successful career management should include personal fulfillment, work/life balance, goal achievement and financial security.”

Developing a strong personal brand is vital for your executive career trajectory.

An effective and unique professional profile will help to define yourself as a leader, increase your visibility to search consultants, and attract new executive opportunities.  

Portuguese language webinar for our members in Brazil:

Durante este webinar, o nosso painel de especialistas, das principais consultorias de busca, irá discutir a forma de gerenciar com eficácia a sua carreira durante um momento de mercado atribulado, as perspectivas e tendências na contratação no Brasil atual, e outros assuntos para ajudá-lo com sua estratégia de gestão de carreira.