No, not that. I'm not proposing a standard career assessment that addresses your skills, values, aptitude, interests and behavioral traits. Those types of career assessments are important to establish and quantify personal baseline information and to identify suitable careers and roles. They are often used to begin a career path or make a transition.
For CEOs and later-stage senior executives, another approach to career assessment can be more useful in charting where and how to find the next leadership opportunity. Of course, the key word is leadership. Fundamentally, leadership implies inspiration, followership, influence, innovation, creation, effective decision-making and delivery of ideas, among other things.
My C-Suite clients will pursue and secure next opportunities if they are able to continue in some leadership capacity that's interesting, rewarding and relevant. Even if you step down from a CEO or Chairman role, that doesn't mean your job-search strategy will necessarily diminish your career. Job search for senior executives should be a logical extension of experience and self-awareness. So what do you need to assess?
I'm happy to share some pieces of how I coach executives to develop a smart job-search strategy.
Assess the following:
Identify who is in your network first. Then prioritize the strength of your network, how it can be extended and what result you would like to achieve from each individual in it. Do you have overlapping or distinctly different networks? What do you know about the relationships that your connections have? Do you have a plan to cultivate all networks?
What industry or industries do you have experience in, or well-established expertise? Do you have tenure in one industry that you believe will hurt your ability to transition to another industry? What do you think your learning curve is at this stage of your career? Would you consider a stretch role if your story resonates, or do you prefer the comfort of a similar assignment in the same or related industry?
How do you think you compare to other CEOs who are exploring the market? If you have accrued most of your experience in major-market public companies, what stories will align with middle- or small-market enterprises that have the potential to be a good fit? If you are a successful entrepreneur, what value would you bring to a company role in which you are not a consultant?
There is more to the assessment that I execute with each client. The important takeaway is that you will be able to design a truly smart career strategy that is targeted, and shorten the timeline to a desirable result.