What do you want to accomplish professionally in 2014? Have you asked yourself this question recently? Many executives are just too wrapped up in the day-to-day of their jobs to take a pulse reading of where they are in their own career management strategy.  As an executive, you know that being proactive is a must in this fast-paced world.
If you answer yes to the following statements, then you may need a career direction evaluation:

  • Your job lacks challenge and excitement for you.
  • You are feeling unappreciated.
  • Your promotional and/or development opportunities are limited.
  • You are no longer having fun.
  • Learning is replaced with routine.
  • You are not making the money you think you deserve.
  • You sense that your skills and talents are being wasted.
  • You are suffering from stress or depression.

Executives often take on the burden of having to know all and be all and can lose themselves in that thinking. Senior managers are stretched beyond their capabilities at times causing one or more of the statements above to be true.
On the plus side, there is greater satisfaction to be gained if you are making changes for the right reasons. Typically, executives who are happy in their jobs are healthier. Along with that, the positive demeanor has a ripple effect on their personal life, too. How do you get back on track?
Below are 9 strategies that will help you get your career management strategy back on track.
1. Start with a career action plan. Yes, you may already have one, but if it is dated or not working for you, it may need some revisions or a fresh approach in a new direction.

2. Assessments or personality inventory may be useful as tools to help you discover your strengths, preferred way of working, people relations and commonalities, etc. 

3. Look back at your accomplishments for 2013. Tracking your successes recaps what you have done and can give you insight into what you might want to accomplish this year.

4. Update your executive career marketing materials. This includes your executive resume, professional bio, cover letter, references, and portfolio. Be sure these documents showcase your brand with powerful language and a visually appealing presentation.

5. Update your online presence.  A large percentage of executive job search utilizes the Internet and web applications. Optimize your LinkedIn profile with a compelling title, professional picture, and keyword driven content. LinkedIn is the first go-to website for recruiters hunting for executive candidates.

6. Commit to continuing professional development. Executives need to keep learning, too! Expanding your business expertise keeps your knowledge fresh and relevant while potentially positioning you for a promotion or higher-level job outside the company.

7. Work with a career coach who can be extremely helpful in supporting you through this process. Coaches are perfect sounding boards for brainstorming ideas, formulating a strategy, and creating steps to help you implement it. 

8. Join a career management association. BlueSteps is an example of a valuable online resource for executives. It provides visibility to leading executive search firms, access to hundreds of executive jobs, tailor-made services to help executives manage their careers, and so much more.

9. Invest in yourself! Devote the time necessary to put your plan together and organize the steps needed to move forward. Even setting aside 15-30 minutes a day to work on your career action plan can bring you closer to your goals.
An important element of any executive job search or career management plan is to utilize your best project-management skills. Strategic thinking, preparation, planning, and organizational skills will help you be successful. Implement your plan with determination to prepare for any event. An executive in the midst of a job search encounters unreturned phone calls, limited response to emails, or repeated rejection. There can be many reasons for this, so don’t take it personally; it is part of the process. Like any project, managing the interim objectives and measuring success in small stages is the key to maintaining a healthy attitude.
Put your career at the top of your list of New Year resolutions. Don’t wait; get started now!

About Louise Garver
Louise Garver

Louise Garver, coach with BlueSteps Executive Career Services, has guided executives across industries and disciplines to land their ideal position in less time while maximizing their compensation. She would be happy to share this vital information with you! Energize your search and learn how to navigate easily the complex job market with her step-by-step online and offline job search system.

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