Friday, June 21, 2013
By Peter Engler
The new reality of an executive career is that you should always be taking the necessary steps to advance your career. This dedication to doing the “career homework” applies to clients who are employed, but seeking better or alternative careers, as well as for clients who are out of work and seeking new employment.
As a Career Coach and Strategist, I work with executives at all stages of their careers. My clients are terrific when it comes to engaging themselves in the personal assessments I conduct to help them know themselves and their ideal career profile more deeply and intimately. And, they are equally adept and motivated to work on improving their resumes, creating interesting bios that tell their stories in a compelling fashion, and tightening up their 60-second elevator speeches. They get their Linked In profiles updated, join Linked In groups, begin to identify networking contacts and join useful job boards.
But, when I ask them what are they DOING about the challenging part of a career program which is taking ACTION by making new contacts, making calls and setting meetings to explore new horizons, they often have made very little progress.
So, as we approach summer, I ask What are you DOING about:
• Reaching out to people with whom you have worked for leads and new ideas?
• Pulling together some people you admire for bi-weekly breakfast networking and career growth support sessions?
• Identifying ten companies where you “deserve to work” within thirty miles of your home and contacting key executives (from LinkedIn or their website) for exploratory talks?
• Reaching out to target company board members who are very influential and open to being contacted, especially if you share something in common?
• In the same vein, re-contacting influential teachers with whom you got along and who might know of corporate or consulting opportunities in industries of interest to you?
• Contacting carefully-selected retained search partners whose backgrounds and search focus mirror yours?
• Suggesting to those key recruiters that they can contact you if they feel you can HELP them with any of their searches in your area of expertise (and tell them again what that is)?
• Keeping your family and friends who are concerned for you well-informed of your progress?
• Carefully tracking your activities with CRM software to ensure nothing drops through the cracks?
• Updating your references to ensure they are current and supportive of your candidacy should you identify an exciting new opportunity?
In short, doing your homework (better resume, powerful bio, target company list, etc.) is important, but success will be achieved through WHAT YOU ARE DOING each and every day to support your career objectives.