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Is your New Year’s resolution to land your next great executive-level job? Do you have a comprehensive written plan and strategy to ensure your successful results—one that does not rely exclusively on job postings? An effective job search in 2019 requires a nontraditional combination, multi-pronged strategy—proactive outreach both in-person and online.

First, remember connections continue to be the key in how the most sought-after executive positions are filled. The growth of social networking, online dissemination of personal information and increased workforce mobility have made the importance of building and maintaining professional connections critical.

I’m sure you hear about people securing jobs through their networks all the time. In fact, if you look back at your own work history, you’ll probably recall that some of the vacancies you filled in the past were brought to your attention by people you knew. As an executive leader, you may also know that when you are trying to fill positions you first look internally and then as close to internally as possible, drawing on referrals of current employees or maybe people you’ve done business with.

As an executive recruiter, I think about career trajectories a lot. When it comes to pursuing an advanced degree, most professionals wonder-will the output of time and energy be worth it? It’s a big commitment, especially for established professionals who usually have plenty to balance already. Inviting more work can seem daunting.    

The upside of a booming economy means hiring is stronger than ever. The downside? More folks are out there emboldened to test the job search waters. The bottom line? The job market is growing increasingly saturated, and as an executive (whether seeking an executive writer service or not), you must do a lot more in addition to speaking with a handful of recruiters to land interviews that are a good match for your skillset.

To get a foot in the door and boost the number of interviews that come along, executive job seekers must be ready to invest in some upfront sweat equity that, in reality, is not all that different from the strategies they employ to be successful in their roles.

As CEO of AESC, I come face-to-face with business leaders around the world on a regular basis. C-suite leaders regularly share with me common challenges in their industries and organizations, from a lack of diversity to the struggle to innovate in an increasingly complex and ever-shifting business environment. As a result, I recently discussed those top challenges of today.

Not having a job search plan is like trying to reach the North Pole without a compass. You’re likely to wander aimlessly, unable to see your goal and not even sure you’re heading in the right direction. That’s probably a less extreme disaster-in-the-making than exploring the frozen north without a compass, but it’s not a course you want to take if you hope to have a successful job search.

 

Is a Five-Year Job Search Plan Essential?

As a leadership development coach and Executive Director of BlueSteps Executive Career Services, I constantly work with professionals who are seeking coveted positions in the C-suite for the first time. They often have had highly successful careers as Directors and Vice Presidents, but for whatever reason, struggle to attain their next career milestone as a C-level executive. This can be of course frustrating, especially for productive, accomplished individuals, most of whom have been working toward a top leadership position for their entire careers.

Life’s all about timing, isn’t it? The number of times my friends have expressed regret over leaving the ship they thought was sinking, only to find that the men standing on board received out-of-turn promotions & huge bonuses, is not funny! At the same time, an equal number of them have poured out their sorrow (over a round of drinks at a bar) on the opportunities they did not capitalize on at the right time! So, the moot point is…when do you move on? I spent time on this topic recently, and here’s a compendium of my findings.

You probably know your company’s core values well. Maybe you can even recite them. But what about your own values? You know inherently what you value and stand for, but have you ever truly articulated it?

Identifying your values is foundational to exuding your brand. It is the core of who you are and what emanates outward to others. Companies that stick to their core values are more recognizable and more successful in the marketplace. The same holds true to individuals. And not only are they more recognizable, they are also more fulfilled. When work and life are aligned with your values, this is when you are at your best. You are positioned to succeed.

As an executive, it’s easy to focus all of your energy on growing your business and helping your team to evolve and develop. Heading into 2018, there is probably a long list of initiatives you hope to roll out that will deliver business processes improvement, unlock latent potential in your team members, and offer long-lasting benefits for your organization.

But don’t forget about your own personal continuous improvement project: yourself. With 2017 nearly behind us, the time has come— once again— to articulate your New Year’s resolutions and create an actionable strategy for achieving them.