In transition coaching, we start with the overarching key question: “What is going to make you totally energized, challenged and engaged every day?”  This is not only a description of what that job looks and feels like – the parameters of size and scope of the roles and responsibilities, the management span of control, magnitude of the decision-making and organization structure – but the quality, capabilities and potential of the company, culture and people. 

The framework I find most helpful to transitioning executives in determining what this should look and feel like is based on six factors.  It’s a quick and simple way for you to define the “ideal job” in today’s terms.  We’re looking for a two-sentence description for each factor that describes the perfect scenario for you in today’s reality. 

Take a few minutes and write just two sentences for each factor at a high level, describing what is most important to you for each.  Be honest with yourself in describing what really gets you jazzed, totally engaged about your job situation.  It won’t be perfect, but it will be authentic and directionally correct for you that you can build on throughout the job search process. 


What industry(ies) would be exciting to work in and make the most sense for you based on your experience, interests, career goals, etc.? 

What size of company, type of ownership, target markets, products, services, business challenges would be most appealing to you? 

Business Leadership Challenges 

What type of business and personal leadership challenges gets you all in?  Business challenges like kick-starting growth, turnarounds, change in management opportunities, cost-reduction targets, etc. And then leadership challenges like upgrading talent and organizational competitiveness, setting new directions, improving productivity and performance, step change, culture shift, etc. 

Future Career Opportunities 

What type of career and personal growth opportunities in a new situation are important to keep you motivated and challenged to achieve? 


What’s most important in a company’s culture for you to thrive and flourish?  To be your genuine self? 

Job Role and Responsibilities 

What’s the perfect set of accountabilities in your next career step to get you jazzed, excited, challenged and anything else important to you? 

Boss’ Leadership Style 

What is the best leadership style from your boss to enable your best, most committed, performance? 

This framework will give a strong sense of what a bullseye looks like for your ideal job.  My experience tells me most job opportunities have clear tradeoffs for candidates.  So in clearly articulating the ideal job, the candidate has a framework to consciously make the best decisions on where to make those tradeoffs.  The probability goes way up that the job opportunity that you select is the right one for you.  You’re not just accepting an offer based on impulse, convenience, emotion, or money.  Having that decision framework gives you an opportunity to have an objective and rational self-discussion of what’s best for you in accepting or rejecting a job offer. 



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