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Best Practices to Ensure Success When Switching Leadership Roles: Part IV – Finding Your Next Opportunity
Part IV – Finding Your Next Opportunity is part of a five-part series
By Nick Burns, Talent Solutions Director
In Part III of this series, I examined the hiring cycle and provided insights into the estimated lengths of time associated with finding your next position. Now that you know factors that can impact your compensation and some hiring cycle estimates, let’s explore how to find your next leadership role.
Be Clear on What’s Important to You
Pursuing a new role allows you to re-evaluate what’s most important to you. So, before you begin your search, I recommend you take the time to ask yourself a few questions that will help you hone in on what’s most important. There are no right or wrong answers.
1. Appraise your Current and Previous Roles
- What are your core reasons for wanting to switch leadership roles?
- What are the things about your previous positions that you’ve enjoyed?
- What are the things about your previous positions that you’ve disliked?
- Will you want to stay in the same industry (e.g., what aspects of the industry have you enjoyed and what elements have you not enjoyed?)
- What skills and experiences have you gained that you’ll want to continue to hone in your next role?
2. Consider the “Long Game”
What impact does switching leadership roles have on you, and your family (beyond compensation)? Here are a few examples of items to think through:
- Are you looking for a lateral move or a ‘next step’ move?
- Are your kids at ages where you want to be home more or that you now can be home less often?
- Are you willing to locate in a different geographic area?
- Are your parents getting older?
- How much time do you want to spend with family, and may that require a geographic move?
- Do you want to travel more or less professionally?
- Will this be a stepping stone or your last leadership role?
- How long do you see yourself in your next role?
Elevate Your Personal Brand & Thought Leadership
In today’s world and at your level, thought leaders reign supreme. But, perhaps you have been so busy working in your career showcasing a company brand that you’ve forgotten to build your brand.
I advocate that you create a positive, deliberate plan for how you want people to recognize you in your professional career before finding your next opportunity. Building a strong personal brand is a great way to set yourself apart from other leaders in the space and showcase your personality, expertise, and specialized skills.
There are so many ways to build a personal brand – I’ll lay out a few thought starters here:
- Establish who you are and what’s essential to your brand.
- Stay active with content shared via personal posts social networking on platforms such as LinkedIn.
- Share industry or relevant updates and insights from reputable sources with sources, with those in your network, and within your industry regularly.
- Share your expertise through speaking opportunities or in written content shared via industry publications and blogs.
- Join a board of directors for a local industry organization or non-profit.
- Utilize public relations tactics to get your name in the press.
Develop a Targeted Company List
Build a targeted company list to help you identify timely leads on new roles to support finding your next opportunity. Having a targeted company list will also help you build your branding materials/profiles and determine your fit within potential organizations.
Here are some examples of how you can utilize your targeted company list:
- Tap your network and search for connections within the targeted organizations.
- Share your targeted list with a recruiter who has insights on positions not currently available to the general public.
- Set-up Google, Indeed, or LinkedIn alerts for your targeted companies and their position openings.
Use Job Boards for Research – Then, Tap Your Network
The likelihood of landing a new leadership role through a job board is relatively low. I know this through personal experience as a recruiter, but I’ve also read statistics that show companies only hire about 10% of leaders via job boards.
With that said, this doesn’t make job boards entirely obsolete. For executives, job boards can assist in uncovering where opportunities may be. Position ads can help you identify where to direct your networking attention.
Ask yourself questions such as; What do I know about the company? Whom do you know at the company? What mutual connections do I share with key decision-makers?
Set Goals + Measure Your Progress
Set daily, weekly, and monthly search goals to help keep yourself accountable. In addition to accountability, goal setting will help you stay motivated through progress measurement.
Remember, searching for a new role can be a full-time job within itself. Following are examples metrics that you may want to consider measuring to track your progress:
- How many people did I reach out to in my network per position I’ve applied to?
- Who did I reconnect with within my network last week?
- How many positions am I applying to (does it seem like I’m focusing on quality over quantity)?
- How many phone screens or initial interviews have I had due to applying to or having been submitted for a position?
- Which sources provide the best leadership position leads (which platforms/tactics are leading to responses and interviews)?
Enlist an Expert
If you need support in finding your next ideal leadership opportunity, it may be time to call in an expert. Expert recruiters that specialize in your type of roles can help you in many ways, such as:
- Helping you tweak your resume.
- Giving you access to position listings that are not posted to the public.
- Giving you insider information about the company, position, and key decision-makers.
- Submitting you directly for a position with the decision-makers.
- Prepping you for interviews.
If you decide that using a recruiter is the right choice for you, ensure that you seek out an expert with strong recommendations and reviews along with a person who has a specialized background in working with executives in your field of expertise.
Are you ready to begin the search for your next leadership challenge? There’s one more topic I want to cover before you start making that targeted list. Please stick with me for Part V where we’ll review one more way to ensure your success when switching leadership roles: the ever-important art of negotiation.
Looking to connect regarding new opportunities or a hiring need? Contact me today!
Nick Burns has been working within the staffing & recruiting industry for 10 years. Nick is currently the Talent Solutions Director at Celarity, an award-winning Marketing, Creative, & Digital Staffing & Recruiting agency in MN with a mission of Creating happy careers with meaningful connections. He specializes in helping new clients find the best talent fit for their organization both locally and nationally. Nick’s colleagues and clients love working with him because of the high importance he places on every single professional relationship he encounters.