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August 26, 2010

3 Thoughts on Making Your Executive Career Transition

Even though the unemployment rate continues to stay very high, many executives and business leaders are quietly, confidentially looking for new opportunities. In fact I have long predicted there will be an exodus as the economy and job market eventually, hopefully improves. You watch.

Overworked, overwhelmed but paralyzed by current fears, some won’t move unless timing and opportunity are just right. Rightly they know they should be doing something to land because it just seems to stand to reason that things, somehow, will get better.

When unemployment starts moving down in bunches that’s when more people will be looking. More people looking at all levels will mean more competition. So if you are thinking about making a move from a 100K+ opportunity there is a thought process and small but important actions to take right now. You don’t wait until the coast is clear. You build good habits now.

Here are some of the thoughts you may need to have as you look at making a transition:

1. Prepare For Your Departure By Creating The New You in your current position and perhaps in your industry you have a strong reputation. But if that reputation cannot be clearly communicated in writing than you don’t have the tools necessary to respond to an early request from a recruiter or company. You certainly won’t have the foundational tools to network with online on in person.

2. Assemble Your Transition Board of Directors you cannot trust everyone who knows you now to protect your confidential search so you need to develop relationships with people who you can trust, who will be a reference for you and who are willing to help you gain confidential introductions to people in companies/organizations who might hire you. This means that third-party executive recruiters who serve your industry should be on your list. You also need to do your own homework and find ways to build relationships with key contacts at your target companies through referrals or a proactive marketing strategy. You may need to hire a resume writer and a career services firm that specializes in helping you make your search more productive. A firm like this needs to have a multi-year track record and top industry reputation. They need to serve the six-figure and executive client area.

3. Continue to Perform Excellently do not think that you can let up on your current executive performance. You need to do everything that you can to give your current employer your best. Anything less will hurt you or could potentially hurt your transition. Many clients of ours who are executives see that their performance goes up while they are searching. This is important because you want your confidence and interview power to come out because you know you are performing at your best. Employers get that energy vs. the burnout person who wants to make a move.

Follow this thought process as you begin to think about transitioning and you will have the right foundation.

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