The key question, when it comes to finding a job, is how you’re going to approach the job market. You probably have two quite distinct options. Merging these two options into a hybrid is probably where you need to be.
The first area is building your relationship with the executive search profession. The passport to this approach to the market is your CV. And you have to recognise that this passport, which to you is a very valuable document, will be passed around and utilised like confetti by the recruitment industry. If you choose to go for roles that are advertised, you can expect to be one of literally hundreds of people applying (It’s not uncommon for an executive candidate to be one of more than 500 applicants). The biggest challenge for you in this approach is in understanding what your real value is and who is likely to tell you the truth. The vast majority of people will not know you and their primary interest in you is that you may be the winning candidate in a transition that pays them commission. If that sounds like you’re a number in a game, it’s meant to—because that’s what you are.
If you decide to take the second approach, the start point is in understanding what you believe your uniqueness to be. What unique propositions and capabilities do you have that could be used by an organisation you might want to work for? Understanding what you’re best at and targeting where you believe your value would be highest is an early priority.
The biggest challenge that every single senior executive has in a job search is being clear about what it is they want to do, predicated by value. When you can achieve that point of clarity, you can develop a plan and go to market; it is at this stage that you can merge into a hybrid the first and the second of these approaches.
The best advice is to do your thinking about your value and set a clear course before you go into your recruitment market. The danger is going too early, being swallowed up, losing your direction and, more importantly, losing your self-confidence.
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