In these difficult times, many Executives are thinking about their next challenge and whether this should be in another company. For some this is a bigger problem than it would seem since for a number of years they have been fully focussed on getting the job done, leading teams to deliver and generally managing people. They won’t have spent much time thinking of a new job but rather have been concentrating on doing a good job in their existing role. They are probably out of practice in seeking a job and their mind set is not focussed on this.
So, what are the things you should do to get back into the job market.
- Your personal branding is important. Think about what skills you possess, what challenges you’ve overcome, the results you’ve delivered. In short, what makes you an attractive hire and different from others. Be honest with yourself. Don’t overplay or underplay your advantages and always remember when you come to talking with people in an interview, over coffee or have to put something in writing these attributes should trip off the tongue as easily as possible.
- Associated with the personal branding is the need to create an achievement summary, your successful personal performance in difficult jobs, any speaking engagements and papers/books written. Again, this is something that needs to be articulated well and easily. It’s also something that needs to shape your CV.
- These points are about the past but equally it’s important to have some idea of what you want to do next. What’s the role you’re looking for and in which type of business. What’s the role likely to require in skills, experience and personal qualities. Evaluate how you match to those requirements. If all is OK you can move on to the next stage but if there are gaps to be filled, try to work out how this would be best be achieved?
- Build a game plan as to how you get to be where you want to be and when. Decide on both preferred role and businesses to join. Research what they would require and make sure they match well with your skills and background. Think about how you can project yourself to these companies without a direct approach. A very good way of doing this is by writing a paper for publication where a future employer will see it or make speeches on your subject at relevant conferences.
- Review and update your LinkedIn profile. This can get a bit rusty over time and if you’re in a demanding Executive role you may not have had the time or inclination to maintain what’s on the site. In our modern world the role of social networking sites like LinkedIn cannot be underestimated. Align your skills and endorsements towards the role you are looking to fulfil. Likewise, as mentioned above review and update your CV.
- Make sure you create the time and space for pursuing this task with the importance it needs. Allocate specific time in your diary on say the weekend or in the evening to do this. In fact, in the present situation, it may be possible to do this at home during the day as a respite from working remotely on the main job. As part of this, re-establish your network of contacts, which can understandably become a little out of date whilst carrying out your current duties.
- Lastly, but not least, talk with someone who can independently help with your process. As a previous executive I found this really helpful. Now as a trained Executive coach and mentor I find Executives find it extremely valuable to have an independent person who has no particular bias to assist and challenge the thinking and planning for the search. It’s a worthwhile investment of time that yields good results in finding that next role.
Whatever you do good luck and hope you have success in finding that important and rewarding new role.