So you’re a Director level professional with a healthy salary, bonus and perks; you’ve some fantastic experience under your belt and a great network of industry contacts. This should stand you in great stead when you’re looking for your next career step, shouldn’t it?
Sadly, though, moving jobs for experienced candidates is often more problematic and stressful than for their more junior colleagues.
If we’re considering things from a purely financial perspective, it’s likely that at this level you’ve got a hefty mortgage, and a partner and/or family relying on your hard-earned cash. Chances are then that your next role will need to pay at least as much as you’re on now in order to maintain your current lifestyle. (Especially if you’re aiming to put a ludicrous portion of your salary into a pension as the government is urging us all to do!)
Finding something at a comfortable salary level will inevitably cut down the choice of roles for you, and scanning the job boards you’re probably feeling distinctly underwhelmed. The trouble is, many of the really juicy jobs are simply not advertised. This is where your network comes in, as well as finding a good recruiter. Spamming your CV out to every company on the planet will not bear fruit, but talking to the right people will.
And talking of CV’s, if you’re now thinking ‘where the hell did I put it?!’, then chances are it’s a fairly ancient document that’ll probably need complete reworking anyway. Better to start from scratch and first of all create yourself a fabulous LinkedIn profile – you can use this as a CV-in-progress while you get the other (concise and punchy) document together. LinkedIn is your job-search friend – get more active on it and increase your presence.
By this stage of your career you will no doubt have an enviable skillset and be highly employable, but what if you’ve not had an interview in 10 years? It can be very daunting putting yourself out there again – a bit like going on a first date after the break-down of a relationship. Ugh – cringe! Use your family or friends, and your recruiter, for interview practice; a good one can give you hints and tips on how to get back in the interview zone.
However brilliant you are, your confidence may be chipped away by the sheer length of time it might take to find that elusive role. This may be further compounded if you’ve been made redundant or have been out of work some time. Some businesses are shamelessly ageist as well – it seems that this ‘ism’, although illegal, is sadly still quite common. To help mitigate this, your personal ‘brand’ – that is, your CV and online presence, should be modern and relevant to the job opportunities and companies to which you aspire.
Sometimes it’s simply down to timing – your dream job may land in your lap tomorrow, but if it doesn’t, then get proactive and use (nicely!) your recruiter and your network to the max. If you’ve got the talent and the skills, then patience, positivity and flexibility will help you reach your next career destination.