7 Steps to Finding Your Next Executive Contract
Companies are looking for executives who add value to the organization. Analyze the hiring company’s situation and find ways to achieve their objectives. Be creative with how you can help them during this executive contract.
Growing your independent executive business at any level is a complicated and difficult process. It’s not just applying for roles or projects you’re qualified for, but rather searching for places where your experience and values ‘fit’ with that of the organization.
At Cerius Executives, we have advised hundreds of executives through career, assignment and position transitions. A smooth transition between organizations requires extensive planning and consideration to detail.
We recommend 7 basic steps that can help you find your next executive contract.
Finding Your Next Executive Contract – Step 1: Identify what you want
First, purposefully determine what you want to do next in your career. With time priorities change and your interest moves towards other things. So take some time to figure out what exactly do you want to do in the next phase of your work life.
You need to know what path best suits your interests and experiences, towards maintaining a successful career. Are you ready to start up another company, step into a CEO role, gain some work-life balance, become an interim executive or a management consultant, or quite possibly focus on board work?
Finding Your Next Executive Contract – Step 2: Put everything down in writing
Start with your past. Get your entire history on paper so you can easily pull what you need as you need it. Jot down all of your work experiences, skills and achievements in a single document. You can then easily pull from that into your CV, resume and online profiles. Keeping your profiles up-to-date is crucial in any job search strategy and should be maintained on all platforms like LinkedIn and your professional website.
Finding Your Next Executive Contract – Step 3: Determine what you can bring to the company
Reflect on your past work history and make a list of the results you have and can deliver to your future customers. By determining what value you can you bring to a company, you can better market and sell yourself. Having a record of working in certain kinds of situations helps you narrow down your specialty, and narrows down your search for positions which you are experienced in.
Finding Your Next Executive Contract – Step 4: Broadcast yourself
Get it out there – everyone you speak to should be clear on what you do best and what opportunities you are looking for. With the current business and talent environment it is rare for anyone to not come across an open opportunity or position here and there. Companies and recruiters are looking for talent referrals more than ever. Make sure everyone you come across knows what you are looking for and when to keep you in mind. You are more likely to find your next opportunity through someone you know than through a posting.
Finding Your Next Executive Contract – Step 5: Keep your information consistent
Don’t tell a networking group you are looking for your next CEO role, when the last 4 positions on your LinkedIn profile are all board roles. It’s understandable to want to look for roles in an entirely different direction, but hiring companies want executives bringing years of relevant experience to the table. So make your information consistent with your history and what you want. It is also confusing and frustration for someone you meet to have nothing from the dialogue you two had reflected on your LinkedIn profile. Keep it consistent across all channels.
Finding Your Next Executive Contract – Step 6: Get creative in creating solutions
Companies are looking for executives who add value to the organization. Analyze the hiring company’s situation and find ways to achieve their objectives. Be creative with how you can help them as an executive. Stay focused on where the company wants to arrive and how you can get them there. It may not be obvious right from the start. Help provide the solutions including a creative incentivized comp plan tied to goal achievement rather than the usual job description. It should coincide with the direction the company is headed in and helping to get them there. Whether it is a full time, interim or project role, there are endless possibilities for structuring the contract.
Finding Your Next Executive Contract – Step 7: Don’t be short sighted in the negotiations
Keep in mind the end goal for both you and the company. At the executive level there are too many ways to count to accommodate your bottom line and that of the company. Ask questions to make sure you understand what their parameters are and be clear on yours from the start. Once you have an initial agreement, don’t get greedy. Too often in the current economy we have seen executives try to negotiate up after an initial agreement and lose the job or the contract. Going back to an earlier suggestion – remain consistent with your communications and keep the curve balls to a minimum. As much as a company will appreciate your negotiations skills once it is on their behalf, now may not the time to fully demonstrate them.