Irons in the Fire: the mistake that senior executives make when looking for jobs

Condensing the journeys of many senior executives as they look for jobs, shows that many allow too much time to elapse whilst waiting for opportunities to materialise.  A typical journey following a corporate exit is to gradually network, meet recruiters and then to be reactive to the opportunities these avenues throw up.

The result is a string of ‘irons in the fire’ opportunities, which often cool and disappear.  Any opportunity relating to a corporate sale or investment can often become unstuck at the last minute for a myriad of reasons.  Frequently, the net effect is to use up four or more months and have nothing to show for the time spent.

To avoid this, we suggest you adopt an MO where you take stock after an exit, determine courses of action and alert your whole network.  If a contact you know is aware of an opportunity, this will appear quickly, within a few weeks.  Thereafter, you need to react to recruitment only when there are credible opportunities.  Your time is then best used in seeing two business leaders each week thereafter.

Whilst we appreciate it can seem daunting to hand over a piece of your hard won savings or redundancy especially when you still feel buoyant about your own network delivering, this is really where the old adage of a stitch in time saves nine comes into play. Once you have placed the initial clarion call to your own network allow one or two weeks to see what if anything develops and following this time period take action. Put yourself firmly in the driving seat of your own search.

If you are struggling to identify your next move or a relevant network, you need assistance and you need it as soon as you know you need to move. Do not wait until your savings are running low/the school fees are mounting before investing in your future.

For the intervening time, just enjoy not being in a high-pressure role, because you soon will be!

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