How to face a
At some point in the career of an Executive or a highly qualified Professional, the opportunity or need for a professional change arises. Taking a step in the career is something essential for a person of Talent and with projection. Managing the process and transition properly, is key.
A GOOD PROFESSIONAL HAS THE NEED (AND THE OBLIGATION) TO GROW
Find it normal. Changing jobs for an executive or a professional is not only normal, but also healthy. In general, we can see that the best professionals, the most disruptive and with the greatest drive, have a trajectory rich in experiences, with changes in responsibility and / or professional environment every five to eight years (on average). Your motivation for change is yours. The reasons for changing of each person can be very diverse and very personal. Career opportunities, a more professional environment, learning new things, an international culture, corporate reputation, better products or services, changing bosses, having fun, more stability and certainty, earning more money, having greater responsibility, meeting new people, … these are some of the many reasons to make a change. Only you know it.
Good risk-benefit equation. As in any field, it is difficult to take a leap without taking some risk. Uncertainty and initial effort will soon be more than rewarded. Analyse the pros and cons well and make the decision looking at the balance and aware that to win you have to take risks.
Change, not dance. Headhunters, and of course Employers, like to see rich and diverse trajectories that reflect the professional’s ambition to know, to grow and to take on new challenges. However, this experience must be solid. We negatively value trajectories with frequent changes. For many explanations given, we tend to be suspicious. Build a consistent and experience-rich career.
ALWAYS OPEN TO GOOD OPPORTUNITIES
Changing does not mean not being comfortable today. Change is an opportunity that, in many occasions, arises when you least expected it. You can feel great in your company and in your position but something can appear that can improve it.
CV updated. Because you do not know when the opportunity of your life will come, you should always keep your Curriculum Vitae (CV) updated and ready to present.
Connected. A good professional is well connected. Ensure your presence in the main professional social networks and also -why not- in the forums, communities and sites where interesting opportunities can arise. Periodically review the references about your career and your contact details in the networks and forums where you have an active presence.
MAKE CHANGE HAPPEN
‘Omnichannel’ presence. As much as you read that this or that way of finding a job is better, the reality is that you can find the opportunity through very different routes, and therefore, you must ensure that you are in all those suitable to your profile.
Headhunters. The search for highly qualified managers and professionals generally follows highly planned, rigorous and confidential processes, often involving Executive Search firms (what is commonly known as Headhunters). Tip: submit / register your CV in their professional databases and thus you will always be located whenever an opportunity arise, and, of course, check the offers they publish and apply, but only if they match your profile and expectations. Many people insist on having an interview to make themselves known even if the Headhunter is not managing a search for a profile similar to his/hers at the time. Actually, that rarely works. The Headhunter is a professional -skilled, smart, …- who will call you when there is an opportunity that can match with you. Headhunters move by strictly professional criteria.
If you want to be aware of the opportunities they manage, although many are not published, follow active Headhunters on the main social networks and contact the Recruiters when you see any process of your interest. If you fit, do not hesitate, they will contact you immediately.
Social networks. Nowadays, having a presence on social networks is key to highlight your profile for professional, work, … purposes. In Spain, and in much of the world, the most relevant network is Linkedin. Keeping contact information and data up-to-date, uploading your CV, making your contact phone or email public, is very important. It can help to enhance your profile by maintaining a broad and frequent level of professional interaction with new and old contacts (without falling into obsession) as well as periodically publishing topics of relevant professional interest related to your activity and career. Tip: run away from the self-blast, from the celebration, and of course, from everything that has nothing to do with the professional field (beware of comments about politics, society, sports, … in this network they are extra). We include in this chapter participation in forums, communities or events of your functional discipline or sector. Maintain a frequent level of interaction and participation. The professional network is key to publicize your worth.
Jobsites and Aggregators. Our experience tells us that generalist and top vertical job sites may not be of much help to executive and highly qualified profiles, even if they are intended to be. They might be for other professional profiles. We recommend you to look at offers published at Headhunters sites as well as those of the most prestigious Business Schools (in some you will need to be an alumni and be associated to benefit from their service). Being enrolled in any offer aggregator can be helpful (as they collect job opportunities from multiple channels). In any case, be careful where you register. Make sure it matches with your career expectations, industry and professional level.
Employers’ site. You can register on the Employment page of those companies you like and apply directly to the offers they publish. However, executive positions are never published -with the rare exception- on the companies’ career sites. You can find highly specialized job vacancies.
CARING FOR REPUTATION
Much of the decision to hire an executive or a highly qualified professional is based not only on his/her career, which is essential, but also on his/her skills and abilities and on what he/she has ‘shown’ throughout his career. Nowadays, in such an interrelated world, gathering references on any professional is relatively simple and is very common in the final stages of the selection process. And not only references from third parties, bosses, colleagues or past collaborators count. Also the mark that each person leaves, day by day, in his or her social media interaction counts.
Always take care of your behaviour and your actions throughout your life cycle in each organization you work for and, of course, when you leave it. And watch over your posts and comments on social networks. The fingerprint is analysed by most employers. Also maintain your reputation among employers and Headhunters. An improper relationship management can close an interesting door for you tomorrow.
Whether you are the one who moves or it is others who contact you, be discreet. It does not add value that you spread whether or not you are in a process or if this or that headhunter has called you. In any case, it can turn against you. In due course, if the process progresses on both sides, you may need to ask for advice or share decision-making with your immediate circle. If necessary, manage it with rigor and professionalism.