Focus Your Executive Career Transition Strategy

Focus Your Executive Career Transition Strategy

When you’re focusing on the quotidian details of your job, you hardly have time to think about the larger issues surrounding your executive career trajectory. It might be too overwhelming, too abstract, or simply not relevant to your finishing tasks a, b, and c before deadlines 1, 2, and 3. Here are some tips to help you create simple steps to advancing your career in a way that empowers you, makes you feel successful, and, more importantly, enables to believe in your own success.

Set Manageable Goals Today

The first item on your career change agenda should be to set manageable goals today. This item really has two parts: The goals need to be manageable, and you need to set them today. So stop what you are doing, take a pen and paper, and create a wish list of all the things you wish your current executive role did for you, or all the things that it does do for you that you love. Remember, delaying your decision to make a choice is also a choice, so be sure that if you are putting off making a decision that it’s for the right reasons, not because choosing to act is simply too hard.

Now examine this list:

  • Are all of these rewards possible in your current job? If not, what executive role might you be targeting next?
  • Are all of these ideal factors achievable in a reasonable time frame, assuming you put a reasonable amount of resources toward achieving them?
  • Do you believe that you are empowered on your own to achieve these goals? If not, whom might you call on among your personal board of directors to help you reach these goals?

Devise Several Sets of Plans to Achieve Your Goals

The second item on your executive career change agenda is to look critically at the goals you just established and think, broadly, about how you will layer your plans to accomplish them. For example, if one of your goals for your own executive career satisfaction is to lead a larger team, does that mean your current company needs to hire more people (an internal business decision), or do you need to look outside your company for a role that gives you this opportunity? If the former, with whom do you need to speak to start building a business case to grow your team? If the latter, what executive job offer would be so compelling that you couldn’t ignore it? Could you define this role more clearly? If you can define it, are you ready to set that level of change in motion? Knowing how you will plan for various outcomes of your research can help you establish a series of steps that won’t overwhelm your busy schedule.

Overall, plan for your executive career change in several layers–what you can do today, what you can achieve in the medium term, and what you need to do to ensure that you reach your long-term goals. Also think about what you can do on your own to achieve your goals and what will require you to involve others who can support your goal-achievement strategy.

Find a Sounding Board to Test Your Logic and Help You Move Forward

If you’re working through this exercise, you might be finding that you don’t have answers advance your decision-making process. Don’t be afraid to call on your personal board of directors, including a career coach if necessary, to help you take your questions apart and build a plan that will help you win the executive career that supports your specific aspirations.