Most successful executives I know are extremely performance and results-oriented, have solid analytical skills, are process-oriented to be efficient and effective, and HAVE A PLAN.
The job search process is like most processes in business. We have a necessary set of tasks and sequence of those tasks to achieve an objective. In the job search process, our main objective is to land the ideal job in the company and industry that is a perfect fit for the executive.
It’s a goal that typically takes a transitioning executive that is networking and openly looking for a job fulltime on average six to seven months to achieve. For an executive that is employed fulltime and is therefore limited in time, effort, and ability to openly market themselves, expect the process to take up to a year, sometimes longer.
Before I lay out the process with high-level objectives, it’s important to emphasize the job search process for an executive is dynamic and dependent on a motivated executive who can take the ups and downs, wins and failures as necessary to achieve the end goal: the right job with the right company. I’ve known executives that have won every outside job competition and internal promotion for their entire career only to get stuck and frustrated in their job search process when they really need to transition. There can be any number of reasons for the win streak to stop, but when I review what is happening to the executive, I’m almost always struck at the lack of an effective plan to search for a job. So often in an executive’s life, the jobs just find him on the way up the ladder with little or no effort on their part, say through a headhunter or a colleague’s recommendation. They haven’t experienced a well thought-through job search that gives a true understanding of what, when and how things need to be done when the onus is on the executive to make things happen in the job market.
It’s often said success in one’s career breeds more success. And I buy that to a point – that point being careers and companies can and will plateau; we often just don’t know when and exactly for what reason. That rocket to the moon career can change in a heartbeat based on an acquisition, economic downturn, CEO or boss transition, or a hundred other reasons. Having a solid game plan to effectively put you in the position to find and win the right job is fundamental to ensuring your career, compensation level and job satisfaction stays on track.