As a successful Executive, it’s likely that you will be approached about new opportunities regularly. Initially this can be flattering, but unless it’s managed carefully it can waste a lot of time for all parties and even end up damaging reputations. Therefore, the challenge lies in deciding which opportunities to explore.
While most opportunities that are brought to your attention will quickly fade into the noise, when one genuinely piques your interest, in general, there is little harm in having an early stage discussion. However, before making the decision either way we advise considering who the search consultant and/or agency are; are they reputable, how long have they been operating, do they specialise in Executive search? It may be that the opportunity itself isn’t right but that the consultant could add further value to your career at another stage.
Whatever the scenario, unless you are genuinely unhappy in your current role, there is one situation when we would recommend not considering other opportunities, and that is when you’ve only been in your current role for a relatively short period of time – read more about this topic here.
Taking the discussion beyond these initial stages is something that requires serious consideration, as from here on out it can become a time-intensive and distracting process. It’s important to look beyond the immediate job description and company pitch. What is the challenge that the role offers? Consider the kind of company and the unique challenges that they might be facing. How large is the organisation? Is it a company that’s going places? Alternatively, are they stale and in need of fresh ideas? This is another area where an experienced search consultant is able to offer value; they maybe see aspects that you may not have considered or be aware of, as they are experienced in managing these kinds of situations.
Lifestyle is also an important consideration. Perhaps the opportunity to turn around a sinking ship isn’t an appealing prospect at this stage in your career. Consider how this role might impact work/life balance and is it exciting enough to warrant extra time and effort? Is it a step up, down, or sideways? There are no wrong answers to any of these questions; it’s just a matter of whether the position aligns with your overall goals.
One thing worth looking for, however, is challenge. If that isn’t there, then you’ll likely find yourself wanting to move on again sooner rather than later. The key to a successful executive move is to move to a new opportunity, rather than to move awayfrom your current role. A good rule of thumb is to only pursue the roles that you could see yourself leaving your current role for. Envisage submitting your resignation. Will you be happy with everything you’ve achieved to date? If the idea of departing feels like it would leave unfinished business behind, then perhaps pursuing another opportunity isn’t currently right.
Nobody wants to be thinking “what if?” upon retirement. Even opportunities that may seem like a sideways step at first glance, can open doors to incredible experiences that might otherwise not have existed. In the end, you’ll always regret the great roles you don’t take over the bad roles you do take.
If you’re looking for further consultation on your executive career, or you have specific talent needs that need to be met, feel free to get in touch with the specialist executive search team at OnTalent to see how we can help you.