As an executive who has been considering a career change, you are experiencing a mix of emotions – excitement, confusion, frustration, even fear. Making a career change can be difficult for anyone, but it’s particularly complex at the executive level. Understanding what makes an executive career change unique can help you maximize your own career transition.
Here are 3 critical reasons an executive career change differs from a more traditional career change:
1. There are fewer executive-level positions available. As you progress through the ranks, there are simply fewer leadership positions that align with your strengths and expertise. As a result, the competition becomes increasingly fierce. To differentiate yourself from others, you must powerfully and consistently demonstrate your unique value.
One way to set yourself apart is by establishing yourself as a thought leader in your field. Today’s technology and resources make it easy to increase your visibility and influence. If you’re unsure how to do this, find an expert to help you.
2. Most executive-level positions are not posted. If you’re seeking a high-level executive position, you won’t find it on an average job board. Companies go to great lengths to find top talent, but much of it happens behind the scenes. The right executive network can make all the difference.
The best way to find new executive opportunities is through your network. Engage other executives, as well as executive recruiters, to socialize your interests and stay on top of upcoming opportunities. If you’re not an active networker, seek help developing a networking strategy. Networking is a skill that requires a focused approach, strong message, and mutual benefit.
3. Your job search skills are rusty. If you’re like most executives, you haven’t actively searched for a job in years. You’ve been tapped on the shoulder or promoted through the ranks, so you haven’t had to formally interview. As you embark on an executive career change, you’re now faced with a new and daunting job search process. It’s easy to feel overwhelmed.
Before engaging in a job search, do your homework. Talk with others who have recently been through this process to understand their approaches. And, most importantly, leverage your resources. If you want to maximize your search and minimize your stress, hire a career expert to guide you through the transition process.
With the right resources, skills, and approach, you will bypass your competition on the way to ideal executive career opportunities. You must first have a solid understanding of how today’s executive job search works. Knowing why an executive career change is unique and how to effectively navigate this process will differentiate you from others and dramatically shorten your job search.