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Tips for making an executive career change.

What are your career goals for the future? If you’re looking to move on from your current executive appointment to something different next year, now is the time to start planning.

Here, Executive Interview Coaching founder Richard Elstone provides some tips for those looking to seize opportunities for the new year. The key is to start preparing sooner rather than later.

Define your career goals

One of the most common interview questions people often encounter is, ‘where do you see yourself in 3 to 5 years’ time?’ If you have haven’t a clue, you’re not going to get very far unless you create some career goals.

Think about where you see yourself in the short (12 months), medium (3 years) and long-term (5 years).

Do you want to progress sideways or vertically within your current organisation? Or would you prefer the challenge of moving on to another organisation?

“It’s only after asking yourself these kinds of questions that you can create a strategic career plan and make next year the first year to implement that plan,” says Richard.

Once you’ve defined your career goals, ask yourself whether your current role will allow you to get there?

“If the answer is ‘no’, you need to start figuring out what sort of role you would need as an interim step to get you to this next role,” says Richard.

Upskill as required

Now that you have an idea of where you want to be in the long-term, consider the types of skills you’ll need to reach your goal.

Tip: If you start looking at the job specifications now for roles you’d ultimately like to work towards, it will help you plan for any skills shortfalls you may have.

Do you need to upskill in certain areas? Maybe you want to be CFO one day and need to develop your commercial skills or financial acumen.

Perhaps you need to work on making big presentations to shareholders, investors and analysts.

“If your current role gives you the opportunity to hone your skills and develop professionally, fantastic,” says Richard. “However, if not, it may be time to look for something else that allows you to broaden your skillset and work towards the end goal.”

Be prepared

If you’re planning to move on to a new executive appointment, now is the time to start preparing.

First, manage your online footprint and optimise your digital profiles. Your digital presence can be just as important as your resume or interview skills in landing you a role. In fact, it can be the deciding factor as to whether you get an interview at all.

Google yourself and make sure there’s nothing online that could jeopardise your employability. Check your privacy settings and lock down your social channels, so that head-hunters or search consultants can’t see your private life. Next, ensure your LinkedIn profile makes the right impression. You can find more tips for optimising your online presence here.

The second piece of the puzzle is your resume. It needs to be relevant, cut through the competition and really showcases your achievements. You can find tips for being resume-ready here.

Lastly, make sure you are ready for the interview process. It can sometimes take months to fine-tune your skills in this area.

Our previous blogs contain a wealth of information about interview preparation. Alternatively, get in touch to find out about our coaching services.

Start activating your network

Now that you’ve dotted your i’s and crossed your t’s with your digital profiles, resume and interview preparations, it’s time to activate your network.

The reality is that nowadays most executive appointments come from a referral to a head-hunter or search partner. That’s why it’s so important to leverage your network when searching for a new executive appointment.

You may even tap into upcoming opportunities for next year before they are advertised.

Learn how to effectively leverage your network here.

Don’t necessarily take the first offer

Our final tip is simple. If you’ve been in the same role for a while and you haven’t dived into the interview process for some time, you may be tempted to take the first role that’s offered to you. Don’t. Unless of course it’s your dream role.

Instead, ask yourself whether the role aligns with your strategic career plan. If it’s not going to help you reach your long-term goals, hold out for something better.

“A recent client of mine was a CFO looking to move into a CEO role,” says Richard. “We got him four job offers with different organisations. He ended up turning down the first three and only took the last one when he asked directly whether he would be considered as a succession to the CEO (which was his long-term goal). They said yes. He took the appointment.”

Like to know more?

If you’re serious about moving on from your current executive appointment to something different next year, we can help you get there.

Find out how ready you are by taking this checklist.

At Executive Interview Coaching, we offer a range of services to ensure your digital profiles, resume and interview skills stand out. Changing roles can be highly stressful, with the right support there’s no reason why you can’t land the role of your dreams.

Get in touch today to find out more!

Book a Zoom call with Richard Here.


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