Tag: career transitions
The current economy is ripe for executives to transition, and companies are willing to pay for top talent. According to CFO, “In 2018, the average pay hike for job-switching C-suite and VP-level executives was 11.42%, based on compensation data related to several dozen placements in 2019 by executive search firm Salveson Stetson Group. Last year, that figure climbed to 14.64%.” That’s significantly higher than the average yearly raise. Is it time to start looking for a new job? Read on in “To Make More Money, Find a New Job.”
If you need a new or updated resume, we’d love to help. Please schedule a free introductory call.
Many of the clients for whom I design executive resumes also have questions about the job search portion of their transition. They want information on strategies depending on their particular situation. Some clients have been affected by a reorganization or acquisition, have taken a package, and are in between executive positions. The upside is that there is lots of time to focus on what they want next! The other part involves deciding if they want or need to create some form of additional income stream to supplement them and their families during their career transition.
I was just reading this article on part-time jobs that pay really well. What I especially love about this article is the fluidity of the opportunities and the instant income they can bring in! Although a couple of these positions (dog walking) wouldn’t appeal to the C-level executive, the bigger picture is how easy it is to turn a hobby or enjoyable activity that aligns with an executive’s natural capabilities into a verifiable stream of income. For the CEO, COO, CFO, CMO, CTO, CISO and CIO Executive, it also has added benefits:
- Retaining that feeling of leadership and control (so critical in an executive job search)
- The benefit of choosing one’s own hours
- The amount of effort that goes into the part time role
Some of my clients have found their bridge activities so enjoyable, they made them permanent on either a part-time or full-time basis.
Here are some additional suggestions:
Did you know that 6-figure incomes can be made by offering local services, giving you part-time income without a lot of stress? Consider a coffee kiosk by a busy office building or even services for cleaning up dog poop in peoples’ yards. When you are done laughing, consider that others have already proven this is an easy, fast and profitable business to start! I have even heard of people making a lot of money stenciling glow-in-the-dark addresses on curbs so that in an emergency, first responders can easily find your house within your neighborhood.
There are tons of successful online businesses now. Coaching, website development, SEO – and yes, resume writing too – are just a few examples of the hundreds of online businesses that technology makes it possible to offer the world now. There are many good business coaches to get you started doing this. My personal favorite is Ali Brown. You can run these ventures part-time or full-time.
Many of my clients take part-time gigs in management consulting. The ones who are most successful really define their niche so it is crystal clear what problem they solve. For example, they don’t just focus on team building, they focus on teambuilding for technology companies whose sales teams focus on conceptual selling and channel partnerships. This also makes it much easier to market their expertise, since their target market is so well defined.
There are a wide variety of businesses you can start on your own – both online and offline – and you have many choices, from your own back yard to around the world. If you find yourself pressed for inspiration or ideas, check out this article on Daily Finance: 15 Obstacles Keeping You From Starting Your Own Business.
You can find additional stories of inspiration and ideas here:
Embarking on a career transition involves exposing yourself to certain risks, including your activities being discovered by your current employer.
Although there are few ways to completely shield yourself from being found out, there are many ways to protect your privacy and minimize your risk across different platforms. Here are a few tips:
Personally, I don’t recommend uploading your resume to major career boards because I find a more direct and controlled approach brings higher quality opportunities. If you want to learn more about this, I write about job search strategies in my e-books.
Additionally, posting your resume on a job board can bring you less than reputable propositions – including slick and highly convincing marketing companies that some say take advantage of job seekers with bogus job offers. If you do opt for posting to a major job board (and even if you don’t), I generally recommend leaving your street address off of your resume. Your city, state and zip, along with your other contact information, is sufficient.
If your LinkedIn network includes your employer and team, be careful with your activity updates. Requesting lots of recommendations or updating your profile several times in a short period could be a red flag to your employer.
Ask for and give recommendations slowly, over a period of time if possible, instead of all at once. You can adjust your profile settings so your network isn’t alerted when updates to your profile are made.
If you join any job search or recruiting groups, adjust your settings when you join so that the icon doesn’t show up on your groups page.
Opting for a website which is a nice touch because it works for you 24 hours a day. If it includes your photo, an audio clip, or a video, it can create a strong first impression. Most D.I.Y. website and blog platforms allow you to password protect your site if you are worried about overexposure, and you can give out your password at your discretion.
Sometimes during a job search interview process, your credit can be looked into as part of the screening. If you want to learn how to protect your credit and financial information, I wrote a detailed blog post about it.
Secret Job Search
My late friend Mark Hovind wrote about the secret job search. I think this is both a safe and smart idea for high profile executives who mustn’t get caught vetting new opportunities. Basically, Mark suggests recruiting the help of a friend (preferably another top executive, mentor, or past boss) to field interested parties for you. Once your friend gives you the basic info, you can decide if you wish to reveal your identity to the potential recruiter, private equity firm, venture capital firm, or company.
You may be working with a firm to send out a mass recruiter distribution for you, or you may be contacting top recruiters one-by-one. Whichever method you use, you can share both in your introductory letter to them and on the phone with a statement like, “I would appreciate you keeping this inquiry confidential.”
If your company has reorganized, been bought by an investment firm, merged or acquired you could add, “I would not want to disturb my company for simply considering alternatives as a result of our merger, acquisition etc…” or, “My current position is secure and I would ask that my inquiry be kept confidential.”
You probably put a lot of time and energy into getting that job you hate. Think about it… submitting your resume to countless places, chasing down leads, the interviews, the follow up… But you don’t have to feel locked into your current job just because you invested all that time and effort. If you are ready to take the first steps towards a job you actually LOVE to go to each day, then here are three simple yet powerful steps you can take right now:
Step #1 – Define and Write Down Your Goals.
Focus on the long term goals first and resist the temptation to worry about how you are going to get there. The “how” is what usually stops us in our tracks. It’s that fear of the unknown – that place you venture out to that creates that uncomfortable feeling. Yes venturing to these places can be uncomfortable, but you will quickly find it also does something else; it gets you moving forward – and that too, is a powerful motivator AND a confidence builder!
Step #2 – Assess Your Surroundings
Notice the people you are working amongst and the product or service you offer. Are you like them or do you feel like a square peg in a round hole? Do you feel like you fit in? What about the product or service you offer – do you believe in it? Does it resonate with you? This is how you can quickly come to terms with what might not be right about your current situation. Maybe it’s your immediate surroundings or maybe it’s the industry itself that is not a match for you. I know for myself, when I was in positions that didn’t “fit” me, not only did I feel like an outsider, I acted like one – because something inside me didn’t “buy in” or “fit in” with everybody else. Not the best circumstances for a promotion is it?
Step #3 – Build Your Job Around Your Life
You can begin to take an honest look at your work/life balance by writing down the lifestyle choices that are most important to you and your family. How many of those choices does your current career support? Another powerful step you can take is to simply write down what your job might look like if it was truly built around you life. This is the first step to initiating change in a positive direction. Even if that change may be in the distant future, you will be amazed how much you can and will accomplish by taking this initial action. Planned relocations, strategic salary increases, consulting, telecommuting, portfolio careers and flexible schedules are all plans that you can put into motion today – and examples of career choices I have seen professionals successfully make to build their job around their life!
Dave was an attorney with a big law firm. His dream was to move into a corporate counsel role with a big corporation. When he first hired me to write his resume he spent a lot of time telling me about how underappreciated he was at his current firm.
When we would brainstorm ideas on how he could transition into his chosen industry he constantly repeated that he “already tried that.” In fact, Dave spent a lot of time shooting down most ideas I knew would help him tremendously.
When we talked about job search strategies he shared with me he didn’t have any time. “Surely you understand,” he would say.” I am an attorney and I work incredibly long hours. Plus I have a family.”
When we discussed his salary goals he said he had to make at least 30% more than what he currently made to “justify the move.”
When I asked him why he had been fired from his last position he said that he and one of the partners could not get along. He refused to elaborate.
Despite the building complexities Dave was creating for himself, he maintained he wanted to be in a new position in less that 60 days. When I attempted share with Dave that it appeared that he was neither ready nor willing to do what it would take to move forward – he simply ignored my comments.
Dave never did make his corporate counsel move. He took a job with another firm…. A job that a recruiter had called to pitch him over the phone. It was the first and only opportunity Dave ever explored.
The story above illustrates how brilliant professionals can undermine their own career progress through not taking responsibility for their job search goals.
And then there was Brian.
Brian hired me as a career coach during a major transition in his life. He drove all the way from Houston to San Antonio to meet with me in person and discuss his situation.
He was a SVP for a mid size company in Houston and he was really ready for a CMO position with a large firm. He had done his research and picked two industries he was interested in exploring further.
He knew he had one chance to make a great first impression and he wanted to do it right. He wanted help researching particular companies, identifying what job search strategies would give him the most leverage and he wanted to make sure his resume was written to best position him for a CMO title.
I will always remember how positive Brian was. He always seemed to see the glass as half full. He took responsibility for his ultimate success and he stayed focused on the strategies I showed him to get quality interviews. He knew the power of a team approach.
Brian was busy and had a family too, but he made his career transition a priority during that window of time.
He landed several high quality interviews and accepted an offer from a company he was truly excited about – at the compensation level that met his goals. It didn’t happen overnight but it did happen within four months of our working together.
One of his goals was to work out of his home one day per week. With the coaching I gave him he successfully negotiated this into his compensation package.
Brian invested in himself and in his career move because as he put it, he knew that “for every $100 he put in he would get $1000 back.”
Brian was willing to listen. That was not true for Dave.
Being “successful” has so much to do with one’s mindset. And coupled with an industry expert’s guidance, moving forward happens much more quickly and easily.
So if you want to get yourself and your job search “unstuck” it’s a wise move to first make sure you are committed to doing what it takes to reach your goals before you hire a career coach or resume writer. However once you are certain about your commitment to your own success, these partnerships can make getting there faster and easier, and your confidence, clarity and motivation will soar.
I didn’t always love my job. In fact I have had jobs I dreaded to go to each day. Although that was so many years ago I still remember the feeling. I certainly was not operating at my best. In fact, the environment I was in felt so constricting I could barely breathe.
OK, enough of that. As my mom says: “erase erase erase!” I would love to tell I got out of that situation really quickly but actually it took me several years to figure out what was wrong and what I had to do to change it (seriously – where was a career coach when I needed one?!)
Why did I struggle so hard? Well on the outside everything looked great. I had what was se en as a great position that paid really well, I was on the fast track to bigger and better positions and I rubbed shoulders with all the top movers and shakers in the business community. Even though I knew I was supposed to want this, deep down, I really didn’t want it at all. That was hard for me to admit.
Eventually I DID get a business coach AND finally that small voice in my heart reached my ears, and I began to look objectively at my situation and map out a plan of escape to greener pastures. Here’s how I did it in three simple steps:
#1. Define and Write Down Your Goals.
Focus on the long term goals first and resist the temptation to worry about how you are going to get there. The “how” is what usually stops us in our tracks. It’s that fear of the unknown – that place you venture out to that creates that uncomfortable feeling. Yes venturing to these places can be uncomfortable but you will quickly find it also does something else. It gets you moving forward and that too, is a powerful motivator AND a confidence builder!
#2. Assess Your Surroundings
Notice the people you are working amongst and the product or service you offer. Are you like them or do you feel like a square peg in a round hole? Do you feel like you fit in? What about the product or service you offer – do you believe in it? Does it resonate with you? This is how you can quickly come to terms with what might not be right about your current situation. Maybe it’s your immediate surroundings or maybe it’s the industry itself that is not a match for you. I know for me, in the positions I had that didn’t “fit” me – not only did I feel like an outsider I acted like one because something inside me didn’t “buy in” or “fit in” with everybody else. Not a good way to get a promotion is it?
#3: Build Your Job Around Your Life
You can begin to take an honest look at your work/life balance by writing down the lifestyle choices that are most important to you and your family. How many points is your current career supporting? Another powerful step you can take is simply to write down what your job might LOOK like if it was truly built around you life. This is the first step to initiating change in a positive direction. Even if that change may be in the distant future, you will be amazed how much you can and will accomplish by taking this initial action. Sometimes professionals feel that taking this step is a waste of time because they don’t believe they can actually find or create a job that truly supports the kind of life they really wish they could have. Avoid this negative pattern of thinking that will most certainly hold you back and give yourself permission to explore the possibilities. Planned relocations, strategic salary increases, consulting, telecommuting, portfo lio careers and flexible schedules are all improvements that you can put into motion today and examples of career choices I have seen professionals successfully make to build their job around their life!
Here’s an additional *FREE* tip:
If you are ready to do some soul searching a nice compliment to the three steps I have shared with you is a great resource for a free personality indicator test at http://www.keirsey.com/. This test, made available online by David Keirsey, is like a short Myers Briggs Test. Simply answer all the questions, and you will get a 4-letter personality indicator as the result along with a short explanatory document.