Executive career coaching is a popular and well-regarded service, which many CXOs know of from a practical perspective, including how best to utilize it in their process of finding their next career step, whether while in employment or already having exited.
However, there can be different perspectives as to what constitutes Executive career coaching. A surprising number of individuals think that their Coach, who sometimes has an executive search practice as well, will ‘automatically’ place them into their next position. (No!).
The Coach may also be surprised because their clients are not always as familiar with the essence of the job-search and interview processes as could be expected, after long careers and considerable experience sitting at the ‘other side of the table’.
Let me summarize perhaps the most important things which can make your CXO job- search that much more effective, starting with the basics.
Executive career coaching is a support service in that it supports Executives’ own efforts. It helps executives in several contexts to:
- see their job search from a ‘helicopter view’
- determine the best way to manage the many important activities in their job-search process
- execute the necessary steps well
- focus highlighted personal attention on their actual job-search questions and – sometimes this is the most important –
- maintain a balanced, harmonic attitude throughout their job-search, providing real feedback on their methods, behavior and emotional state.
The career Coach does not write new CVs, cannot do your proactive job-searches and cannot provide you with a new job!
Of course systematic planning, regular high-intensity & persistent working, and – naturally – strong Coach-Executive interactions, are all key ingredients in bringing positive soon. Using these methods, even at the deepest point of the worldwide economic crisis in 2008 – 2009, I worked with several Executives who found new CXO jobs even in those hard times.
So some of the most important things:
Find a Coach whom you can trust. Trust means that you can believe his / her opinion about yourself, can “use” him / her for an outsider’s viewpoint, seeing you and your project in an objective way, shares his / her opinions constructively with you, and you are able to develop from this honest feedback.
In this search for the right Coach for you, you should take care to find someone who really knows the job market you are targeting. A good business Coach, unfortunately, may not be enough to add necessary value to you in this regard. There are many aspects which could make you successful which can come only from those with first-hand experience of running CXO search assignments as an advisor, seeing many top candidates ́presentations to the hiring Client, and knowing – not thinking – what kind of documents and behavior Clients expect.
Best to find an executive search consultant who has career coaching experience as well!
“Applying for a job could be considered a profession, so it may be best to learn about key market issues & trends from experts who focus on the same every day. Your first and most important step: identifying your targeted position is just the start of a journey with your Coach, towards wider possibilities and precise tools and ideas to support achievement of your goal!”
From this introduction, you can see that job-search is NOT (only) an opportunistic approach but much more like a professionally managed project where you have to invest significant energy to target the best opportunities for you, and to create a plan to achieve that.
That is why one of the first requirements is to draw up a short list of high priority targets for focus. How can you do this efficiently? In my next article, I will cover the high priority targets you need to focus on to increase your hit rate.