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Tag: executive career search (page 1 of 2)

U.S. Job Openings at a 16-Year High

The monthly Job Openings and Labor Turnover Survey, or JOLTS, released by the Labor Department on Tuesday shows job openings at a record high.

Read more here!

US Technology & Manufacturing Corporate Expansions – Fish Where the Fish Are

Per the White House:

Today we are excited to announce that Intel has pledged to make a $7 billion investment in Arizona, creating 10,000 jobs!
Companies across America are making the commitment to creating thousands of new jobs everyday:

  • 11/29/2016: Carrier pledges to create 1,000 new jobs
  • 12/28/2016: Sprint and OneWeb announces it’s creating and saving 8,000 jobs
  • 01/17/2017: GM pledges $1 billion in manufacturing to create 1,500 new jobs


Growth Industries USA

whats-driving-job-growth-in-2015Job creation WAY way up in November/Private sector, service industry jobs dominate:


And another:


wind_and_solar_energy   Solar and Wind Energy Industry hopeful under new Trump administration:


Resilience is About How You Recharge Not How You Endure

jun16-24-611469745-1024x576Fantastic article from Harvard Business Review.  I always tell my clients to increase double their play time & get their executive transition search activities down to 2 hours a week.  At first they think I am crazy but it works so well! This article explains why.  Read more here

Executive Career Moves & Appointments in the Global Financial Industry

fffBig moves and senior level / global appointments at Goldman Sachs, UBS, Nasdaq and German financial technologies investor group, Deutsche Börse…to name a few.

Details here:

Connect with Executive Search Firms & Find New Opportunities

bluestepsI’d like to introduce you to BlueSteps, a premier career management service that provides its members with exclusive access to executive search consultants looking for qualified executives at the senior level. As a member of BlueSteps, you’ll have access to numerous tools and services you can use to progress your executive career from one stage to the next, including:

  • Confidential, lifetime career profile searchable by over 8,000 executive search consultants
  • Access to hundreds of executive-level opportunities for which search firms are actively recruiting
  • Helpful podcasts and exclusive articles on a wide range of executive career-level topics
  • Exclusive international directory that allows you to network with a targeted list of search consultants

Become a member today!

Is Your Networking Approach Missing These 3 “Must Haves”?

Networking is a hot topic. It’s common to hear that the majority of jobs are won through some form of networking, so if you plan on getting another job in your lifetime, then learning about networking is a wise choice!

If you are wondering where in the world to start learning how to network, if you are apprehensive to network because it’s new to you, or if you have had a negative networking experience in the past, here are three simple but powerful must-haves to quickly get started.

Must Have #1: Focus on Them

When you are talking with someone, you are meeting for the FIRST time. You must keep your focus on them. In other words, this is not the time to introduce what you need, but rather, ask a few questions about them.

If you are one of those professionals who really get stage fright before a networking opportunity such as a mixer, then a great tip for you is to write down 5 questions you feel comfortable asking. This will boost your confidence and help you avoid that feeling of being tongue tied.

Must Have #2: Reciprocate

Networking is more about what you can do for someone else then what they can do for you. In other words, if you put the focus on helping others, not only does it take the pressure off of you, but it creates a positive exchange between you and your networking contact. Examples include sending a key decision maker of a company you want to work for a positive article about their company, passing on a valuable bit of mentoring to a junior executive, or referring one of your top vendors to another company. The more you get in the habit of helping others in these small ways, the more you will see your network extending their help to you exponentially.

Must Have #3: Don’t Play the End Result

Maybe you are wondering with all this gifting you are doing just when you are going to get to network?! That’s understandable. The answer is, you definitely will have multiple opportunities to network in order to take action towards your goals.

When you approach your network for information, it’s important to be polite, gracious and clear about what you want. But don’t play the end result. That means when you follow up with a key decision maker after sending in your resume, connect with an executive to ask for a short mentoring meeting, or query your friends about who they might know in your industry of interest, it’s critical that your only expectation at that moment is the opportunity to pose the question.

Your success rides more on how many people you network with and how you ask someone for something than the actual response you get. Some contacts will be able to help you and some won’t. Knowing this, you can relax and keep your expectations in check. The person on the receiving end will certainly pick up on this intuitively and respond in kind.

The Executive Job Search and My Success Rates

I am often asked by potential clients what my success rates are. They usually follow with, “I know it can be hard to say…”

The truth is that with the right planning, marketing collateral, and job search strategies, job searching and career transitioning can be easy. And it is for A LOT of people that hire me to help them. However, for some it is not.

So why is it easy for some but hard for others? Let’s take a look.

Generally speaking, the job seekers who enjoy an easy experience have these things in place:

  1. They know what they want and where they are going. They are focused on a particular industry and title. They align themselves with opportunities: industries that have solid growth and a good long-term economic outlook. They fish where the fish are.
  2. If they are changing industries, they have a game plan and now what they need to do to keep moving forward toward their goal. This could include establishing a stronger foothold with the thought leadership in their industry of choice, or immersing themselves in new associations or additional certifications. In other words, they are on it. They hustle.
  3. They take responsibility for their job search. They are fully aware that they are the ones who are responsible for not only implementing strategies, but keeping a leadership/positive attitude. They realize that they are the only ones who have the power to maintain that.
  4. They are willing to learn and embrace new job search strategies that help them leverage themselves in the market. They hire certified professional help, because they know that help and support accelerates their results.
  5. They understand marketing 101. Much like how businesses spend roughly 10% for their marketing budget, executives should set aside at least 1% to properly market themselves in their job search; and just like a business, they expect a much higher return for their investment.

So who calls and emails me telling me I helped them change industries, get 50k pay increases or triple their salaries? It’s these guys and gals. Is there a guarantee their salary will increase by 5k or 100k? No, but we can minimize the guessing through good strategy and planning, which is why the large majority of my clients land in this category!

For those job seekers who have difficulties, it may be that they are:

  1. Looking in an industry that is in decline or in an economically soft geographical area, and for whatever reason, are unwilling to change or move.
  2. Call it quits too soon. They unfortunately try something once or twice and give up when “it doesn’t work” instead of reaching out for help. They end up trying so many things, they can’t get any traction.
  3. Struggling with maintaining a positive attitude, which has a boomerang effect.
  4. Unwilling to step up and perform the extra effort it takes to move into a new industry.
  5. Expecting to get all of their interviews by submitting to jobs on job boards.

I am sure there are other factors I haven’t covered here, but the main point is that it all comes down to a positive attitude. We have much more control of our destiny – at least when it comes to our career transitions – then perhaps we realize!

Achieving Your Goals: The Secret to Landing the Job of Your Dreams

secretQuestion: I am so burnt out and literally loathe my job. I have been dreaming about changing industries for over 2 years and I know I will just keep getting more of the same the longer I procrastinate, but I just can’t seem to take that step forward. I highly doubt I can get what I want in this economy and I don’t have a clue how to go about getting hired in an industry I am not qualified in. Can you help? – George C., Minnesota

Answer: George, I have helped so many people over the years that shared that same story! It is frustrating to be in a rut, but I commend you for thinking about the future – you have taken the first step. Most often, people who are happy and satisfied in their careers are ones who have done some soul searching, figured out what they really wanted, and then did what it took to get them there. – Mary Elizabeth Bradford

How to Begin Creating Your Plan

When first creating your career plan, allow yourself to brainstorm. You must begin to get what’s in your head out on paper, so you can start to come to terms with what’s important to you, what you need to get rid of, and what might be holding you back.

I should mention that money is often the jailer that holds my clients hostage so many times. “I can’t change careers or positions because I really need the money I am making now.” If this is your position as well, I would challenge you to first come up with a plan and a timeline for changing that situation. Even if the goals you map out are a couple of years away, the power of writing down your goals and working toward them – either solo or as a family – is profound.

Sometimes we think we will have to take a pay cut, but guess what? A focused plan for a career transition and a powerfully written functional resume can do AMAZING things for you in the money department. The better you look on paper and the better you interview, the more your potential companies will want you. Often I help clients change industries and they take NO salary cuts AT ALL! They are always amazed.

Tips for Brainstorming

Write out all of the things you dislike about your current and past positions. This is usually an easy one to start with, as most people are really clear on what they don’t like!

Now, throw that piece of paper away. It’s gone. Time to let those things go and focus on what you do want. If this sounds too “woo woo” for you, just wait… you will be surprised how this process helps you to move forward!

Establish Your Career Parameters

Write down your “driving motivators.” These are the two or three things that MUST happen in your next move – they are essentially fixed, such as geography, industry or financial needs. Be honest with yourself.

Next, brainstorm on your secondary career parameters. These are things you would like to have, but it’s not a deal breaker if you don’t get them.

Finally, it’s time to define your dream job. Picture a blank canvas that you can draw any picture that you like on. Crystallize your vision of your dream job by closing your eyes and thinking about what your dream job means to you. Here are a few questions you can ask yourself:

  • What does it look like?
  • Where are you working? At home, looking out the window at your garden, or looking out at the skyline from your downtown office on the 9th floor?
  • Is the environment cutting edge and fast paced? Highly technical? Is it refined, traditional or academic?
  • What kind of people are you working with?
  • What are you doing?
  • Are you working independently or with a team?

And so on. Treat this as a creative and fun experience. It’s a good idea to send your thought gremlins that tell you all the reasons why you can’t do this on a coffee break so you can have a clear head and an open heart as you begin.


Now identify three things you can do right now to get you moving in the right direction. Do you need to hire a resume writer to help you? Do you need to join an association that will open up a window to the people you need to know in your industry of choice? Do you need to join some groups on LinkedIn that are in your new industry of interest (you can “hide” your groups if you don’t want your current employer to get suspicious)?

Break your goal down into manageable steps. One step builds upon another and small steps lead to change and growth more quickly than we often anticipate!

How to Protect Your Privacy During an Executive Job Search Transition

privacyEmbarking on a career transition involves exposing yourself to certain risks, including your activities being discovered by your current employer.

Although there are few ways to completely shield yourself from being found out, there are many ways to protect your privacy and minimize your risk across different platforms. Here are a few tips:

Your Resume

Personally, I don’t recommend uploading your resume to major career boards because I find a more direct and controlled approach brings higher quality opportunities. If you want to learn more about this, I write about job search strategies in my e-books.

Additionally, posting your resume on a job board can bring you less than reputable propositions – including slick and highly convincing marketing companies that some say take advantage of job seekers with bogus job offers. If you do opt for posting to a major job board (and even if you don’t), I generally recommend leaving your street address off of your resume. Your city, state and zip, along with your other contact information, is sufficient.


If your LinkedIn network includes your employer and team, be careful with your activity updates. Requesting lots of recommendations or updating your profile several times in a short period could be a red flag to your employer.

Ask for and give recommendations slowly, over a period of time if possible, instead of all at once. You can adjust your profile settings so your network isn’t alerted when updates to your profile are made.

If you join any job search or recruiting groups, adjust your settings when you join so that the icon doesn’t show up on your groups page.


Opting for a website which is a nice touch because it works for you 24 hours a day. If it includes your photo, an audio clip, or a video, it can create a strong first impression. Most D.I.Y. website and blog platforms allow you to password protect your site if you are worried about overexposure, and you can give out your password at your discretion.

Your Financials

Sometimes during a job search interview process, your credit can be looked into as part of the screening. If you want to learn how to protect your credit and financial information, I wrote a detailed blog post about it.

Secret Job Search

My late friend Mark Hovind wrote about the secret job search. I think this is both a safe and smart idea for high profile executives who mustn’t get caught vetting new opportunities. Basically, Mark suggests recruiting the help of a friend (preferably another top executive, mentor, or past boss) to field interested parties for you. Once your friend gives you the basic info, you can decide if you wish to reveal your identity to the potential recruiter, private equity firm, venture capital firm, or company.

Executive Recruiters

You may be working with a firm to send out a mass recruiter distribution for you, or you may be contacting top recruiters one-by-one. Whichever method you use, you can share both in your introductory letter to them and on the phone with a statement like, “I would appreciate you keeping this inquiry confidential.”

If your company has reorganized, been bought by an investment firm, merged or acquired you could add, “I would not want to disturb my company for simply considering alternatives as a result of our merger, acquisition etc…” or, “My current position is secure and I would ask that my inquiry be kept confidential.”

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