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The busy Executive at the career change crossroads

29/06/17 Andy Raymond Head of Executive Search

The challenges confronting an Executive or Senior Manager who believes it may be time to consider a career change can be awkward and potentially perilous. These challenges are more pressing if one is thrust into such a situation and requires caution and skill to do the right things and make the best decisions. Also known as a ‘midlife career change’, Executives are often at the midpoint of life, where their initial career has left them bored, empty or worn out.

For Executives, this calls for life-changing decisions and the transformation can either accelerate one’s career or be the worst decision ever. It is a situation which necessitates clarity, foresight, prudence all with good judgement. How can executives assess the options, get advice and determine a new path?

Andrew Raymond, Director of Redline Executive Ltd discusses his experience of working with executive level candidates who are at a crossroads in their career. Andrew discusses how Executives can develop a process which ensures a less traumatic transition:

“Over the course of my executive recruitment career, I have worked with 100s of key Executives at engineering and technology companies including – CEOs, Partners, COOs, Presidents, Senior Vice Presidents, and Directors. These top technology business professionals’ present special challenges to the career change.”

Andrew continues: “Midlife career change is a scary business, fraught with obstacles—a resistant spouse, relocation, financial concerns, fear of failure. Where do you start? What should you consider? Such fears have prevented many high-achievers from reaching beyond their comfort zone, but the biggest rewards come from taking the biggest risks, otherwise you may be filled with regret at the end of your life—and that prospect helps put steel in your spine.” says Andrew.

Here are some guidelines for Executives who believe it is time for a career change:

Understand ‘your own’ priorities, wants and needs

You need to ask yourself, who are you and what do you want? They may be simple questions, but the answers are not always easy to fathom. For those accustomed to achievement, carving out time to do nothing is a challenge. But you need that time to assess what gives you joy, what excites you and fills you with passion.

Be your own story-teller

It is usually human nature to miss things about ourselves that are apparent to others In order to find a road –map to the future, mining one’s past for clues is a time-tested way to determine your midlife career change. Writing an autobiography highlighting critical events, influential relationships and significant achievements often leads to surprising revelations. Ask yourself questions like:

What part of leadership gives you the most happiness? 
What were the high points in your executive career that gave you a jolt of energy and pride?
What do you want more or less of in your next executive role and can this be achieved in your existing role? 

Think long-term

Facing the unknown will always be daunting, but thinking of the short-term move in relation to your long-term career objectives can help make a career transition more appealing. Whether your new role turns out to be a hit or a miss, knowing how it fits into the bigger picture can help ease the stress of creating a new path.

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If you are an Executive considering a career change and would like to seek further advice, please contact Andrew Raymond on 01582 878907 or email ARaymond@RedlineGroup.com