Part of the series “Today’s True Leadership” by Kathy Caprino
By now, most of us have heard the term “The Great Resignation” and many have taken the opportunity and joined this movement, to quit their jobs and pursue new roles or careers that are better for them and more. tailored to their needs, values and desired lifestyle. While lower-level employees and middle managers have left their jobs in greater numbers in this tight labor market, this had not necessarily been the case for CEOs until 2021. But according to a recent Heidrick & Struggles study, In the first half of 2021, there was evidence of an increase in CEO turnover.
In my own career and leadership coaching work with executives around the world, I have observed that as time passed throughout this pandemic, just as we experience it through other times. crisis, people begin to feel the urgency to rebuild their lives. and careers, and don’t waste a single extra minute in roles or organizations that no longer fit.
To learn more about some key predictions and trends for executives looking to embark on a new job search, I recently caught up with Dave Opton, founder of ExecuNet, a network of private executives he started in 1988. Today, ExecuNet is an executive career service. organization where C-Suite executives and their direct reports can get trusted advice and personal support to change jobs within the company, build a portfolio of board seats, start a side business, or do business. career in other rewarding new directions. Opton was President of ExecuNet until his retirement in December 2021.
Here’s what Opton shares about executive job search trends for 2022:
Kathy Caprino: What have you seen to have changed significantly in the executive labor market since the pandemic?
Dave Opton: Whether executives chose to leave or stay, the pandemic has provided high-level professionals with the opportunity to assess their long-term career goals and priorities. At the executive level, it is not so much the story of the Great Resignation as the Great reassessment. Executives assess their professional lives and reflect on their options for the next big chapter in their careers.
They want to be enthusiastic about the job again. Many executives seem willing to change jobs and locations, or even explore different career paths, if that means finding a job that fulfills them. They are reinventing what their professional life could be.
Caprino: Why do you think these specific changes have occurred in a more significant way during this time of pandemic?
Option: Unexpected events or shocks disrupt our normal routines, force us out of our comfort zones, and lead us to ask ourselves big questions about what matters in life and what is worth doing. It’s no wonder, then, that the pandemic has prompted many people to rethink their careers. Many re-examine what work means to them, if and how they are valued, and their quality of life at work. Among other things, they are looking for more freedom, more flexibility and more meaning and happiness.
Caprino: What are your predictions for continuing trends and changes in 2022?
Option: The talent pool will continue to be exceptional and competitive. Surveys of a wide range of executive recruiters show us that demand is strong and will continue to be strong.
The executive recruitment process is settling into a new routine. Video interviews have made it easier to match employers with potential hires, and the new normal will be the hybrid scenario.
However, what businesses are looking for has changed and probably for a long time to come. Companies will prioritize different values in their new leaders. They will continue to seek out what we at ExecuNet call “utility actors” to lead them.: people who can play in several positions because companies do not know where they are going to place the best players in the field.
The pandemic has created all kinds of disruption, from technology to corporate culture and a greater focus on DEI. The next organization that hires you will want to know: do you have the ability to speak to a large stakeholder audience and perform a number of different key functions? It is essential that leaders inspire a culture of belonging to all members of the company and involve them on issues and concerns that affect the long-term value creation of the company.
These difficult times have led to an expansion of empathy, self-discipline, adaptation, communication and innovation among professionals. Your next business will be looking for evidence that you’ve cared for people – including employees, clients, and customers – handled stress and change successfully, decided and communicated correctly and quickly, and embraced uncertainty.
Caprino: Who will be successful in their search and what must executives do to stand out from the competition and thrive?
Opton: If you are an executive entering the hiring circle, you will need to demonstrate a few essentials. First, you are a leader who can quickly identify real issues and take corrective action quickly.
Second, that you have a deep and clear perception of the world in which we currently live and work. Perceptibility far outweighs competence. In 2022, those who succeed in their search will be those with a reputation for creating value for others, which includes sharing not only your expertise, but also your time, connections, kindness and your compassion.
Caprino: In particular, what has changed in job search and what do you think are the top three dos and don’ts?
Option: If you are an executive looking for a job, you need to understand that your ideal job Is it that exist, or, more importantly, you can create it. It is either out there now or it is possible to build it. Your research begins with identifying your ‘next big next’, then taking action to attract that role and connecting with hiring managers who want what you have to offer.
To beat your competition in today’s competitive marketplace, you have to tell your best story of what you can do and how you do it. Many executives feel like the finalist, not the “winner”, as they always come second in interviews. Building a compelling story of your unique worth and learning to talk about yourself with confidence and confidence is essential to your success.
The keys to telling this powerful story of value are:
Clarity: Be clear about what you want and what your highest and best usage is.
Control: Shape the narrative by taking your audience on a journey not through your resume, but rather a journey through the why of what you do. Simon Sinek said it best: “People don’t buy what you do; they buy why you do it. Don’t let your past achievements and titles tell your story.
Emotion: Your new business will want a leader with a vision, purpose, and passion. Tell your story in a concise and emotional way so that your next employer will feel yours and see the meaning you will create for them.
As for the dos and don’ts, well, don’t just point and click on whatever job posting you see. Don’t start your job search with the mindset that the first thing you need to do is grab the attention of recruiters.
Instead, start by reclaiming your own attention – around your worth and gifts, talents, experiences, ideas and other traits that make you special and things you can do for others, as well as where and with. who you want to share those gifts next.
Don’t delay in trying to find your next big neighbor. Start today. It exists in one key form or another, but you have to attract it. And finally, don’t make the mistake of telling yourself that you should do it on your own. It is neither possible nor productive. Most of us have mastered something, but haven’t mastered the art of executive job hunting. To do this, turn to other people who can guide, mentor and support you and start building a strong community of support now.
Caprino: A final word for executives who are ready for their following?
Option: Thinking of my own retirement and all that went into creating ExecuNet, I consider my legacy. I realized about 10 years ago that my legacy would be the set of different people who have made things great for our executive members. I also wish I had decided to start a business earlier. I put it off until a business merger affected my future and found myself outside.
Change is the one thing that always happens, it’s the only constant. The best thing you can do for your career is to become really good at change.
Take a forward-looking vision and build the strategic framework for your next great future today.
For more information, visit ExecuNet.
Kathy caprino is a career and leadership coach, author and speaker helping professional women build rewarding careers of importance.