Conducting an executive job search these days is more than exhausting--it's often a multifaceted challenge to your analytical, managerial, conceptual and operational skills that require constant attention. All of it finds its way into the emotional, because this is about you, how you see yourself in your career and how you think others perceive you because you haven't made rapid headway in accomplishing your goals.
Populist anger is targeting CEOs, and the familiar business heads of financial services and manufacturing organizations who have become metaphors for personal greed belong in the hot seat on Capitol Hill before their questioners. I'm not much for grandstanding and I want to see a logical process instituted to get to the bottom of the tangled web of problems impacting our economy. But, not all CEOs, Board Directors and other senior executive managers have behaved badly. In fact, we don't read or hear about the many CEOs who lead their companies ethically and manage people, products and services with due diligence. There are excellent models in the small and medium enterprise markets that are not on the media radar because the stories don't make for great news. Every day I think of clients in the C-suite who I have worked with over the years and I know their accomplishments well. They have a great deal to offer companies that urgently need a turnaround, financial or operational expert to restore the bottom line. Their tenure in the C-suite is shorter all the time because all stakeholders want results and are growing more impatient with the ROI timeframe.
These CEOS are exploring the hypercompetitive market and are in talks daily with executive recruiters, career coaches, resume writers and private equity firms to develop a fallback action plan. While creation of a solid support system is critical, the only action plan that will work is one that is well-organized and well-managed in real time, and active execution of the plan is key.
Action Plan Tips for Executive Job Search:
Find the money. Learn to track deals that are still being made, and identify who or what is providing the funding. Conduct your research and move from the general to the specific. Start with sites like ipocentral.com, a feature of Hoover's and use the free options before selecting companies that are of interest to you or
where you see potential opportunity and good fit.
Design a research funnel of market intelligence. Conduct your research with the idea that the most useful information is the most niched. Make sense of the vast amount of information you can collect from online resources that are plentiful and often with no fees involved, but make sure that you pursue specific information and continually refine the search. Make it narrow and niched as it relates to industry sector, geographic target and mission information. I tried ventureloop.com and captured highly actionable information about venture-backed companies that are in growth mode. Refining my search, I located job opportunities, funding data, hard street addresses, mission information and contact information with email. In my evaluation, that's a rich motherlode of information that I can place in my job search action plan.
Learn to slay one dragon at a time. Feeling like a hero after becoming a research expert? That's wonderful, but unlike the quests of medieval literature, it won't help if you think you are required to slay many dragons concurrently. One at a time, please. And do develop a relationship with the dragon before winning.