July 12, 2010
How to find a job as an executive - part 2
In my most recent post, Mark Tranter, partner with CFO Selections in Bellevue, differentiated between well-networked executives and executives who didn't pay attention to building relationships. Here are some more in-depth strategies you can use today to make your transition more successful.
Articulate what you can do for others when networking. Go back to your 60 - 80 hour workweeks as an executive. Would you take the time to cancel something important and meet with an unemployed job seeker? Chances are very slim unless you would directly benefit from meeting this person (i.e. they had an expertise you were after, they could offer referrals or other connections you were interested in, etc.). Executives will not meet with you unless it comes from a strong introduction or the "What's in it for me" factor is clearly defined. Make sure to articulate this well in your e-mail or phone call before requesting meetings.
Never eat alone. Keith Ferrazzi wrote an entire book about this and the book title holds very true when you're an executive in transition. Try to schedule breakfast meetings with busy executives before they head out to work. Chances for lunch meetings are very slim as they often have other arrangements.
Do your homework. If you're trying to set up an informational meeting or have an interview coming up, make sure you research the company and tap into sites such as LinkedIn to see if you know anyone who can help you with introductions, understanding corporate culture, and top challenges the organization might be facing that you can address.
Seek out professional help. Just as a fitness coach keeps you on track with your fitness goals, a career coach who specializes in working with executives can tell you what to focus on and things to avoid. Because the numbers of executive openings are slim, you want to make sure you put your best foot forward and these coaches can help increase your odds with these opportunities. Before hiring a professional, check for references and make sure the person understands your unique circumstances.
Use your transition time for self reflection. When you work full time, it's hard to think about your long- term career goals, interests and passions. Use this time wisely to make sure the next career move serves you in the long run. Job seeking full- time can be daunting so make sure to have some fun and take some time off.
Karen Burns is the author of The Amazing Adventures of Working Girl, a career guide based on her 59 jobs over 40 years in 22 cities.
Lisa Quast is a certified career coach, mentor, business consultant, former corporate executive and author based in the Seattle area.
Randy Woods writes about job-search tools, networking techniques and other tips to help you land your dream job.
Matt Youngquist is the president of Career Horizons, a career counseling firm.
Natalie Singer is a Seattle writer, editor and small-business owner.
Michelle Goodman is the author of "My So-Called Freelance Life" and "The Anti 9-to-5 Guide."
Paul Anderson helps professionals in transition find their desired employment.
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