As I moved from company to company throughout my career, I rarely had a gap in between roles. So when I was recruiting a candidate that had recently been laid off, my internal recruiter had to explain the term “in transition” to me. I was not a big fan of the term. Couldn’t we just say that someone was between jobs? Transitioning has much broader and open-ended connotations.
In my current role as a social media advisor and coach to C-Suite Executives, I work with a few Executives that are between jobs. But most of my clients are fully employed Executives who are constantly looking ahead and thinking about their future. Those in new roles hope to transition from new kid on the block to established rock star. And almost every executive worth their salt is thinking about what’s next, both in their current role and beyond.
C-Suite tenures average around four years, so Executives have to think about their future, whether that be another C-Suite role, a Board position, philanthropic endeavors, etc. Don’t wait until you are between jobs to set yourself up to be considered for desirable future roles. You will have much less leverage and influence than you do now.
Do your own internal assessment. If a merger or reorganization were to eliminate your current role in the next few months, are you ready for the transition to your next role? Are you successful in your current role? Are your skills up to date? Are you perceived as having good executive presence? Are you well networked? These are some of the questions forward thinking executives ask themselves. A good Executive Coach can help. Having an outside perspective can identify blind spots and help you create and execute an action plan to build on strengths and address deficiencies.
Also, take an objective look at your social media presence; your Coach can provide objectivity. A purposeful and active social media presence can help address many of the deficiencies Executives identify in their self-assessment. While elements of executive presence have historically been in the physical world, increasingly elements must carry over into the digital and social space as well. A powerful social presence is often viewed as a proxy for “getting digital.” It also gives you a platform to show off your current success and demonstrate ongoing subject matter expertise and thought leadership. Finally, it strengthens and extends your already strong network.
Supposedly, it is easier to find a job when you have a job. Like job hunting, the time to prepare for your transition and build a strong social presence is now. By virtue of your current C-Suite position, you command attention that translates into building a stronger presence much faster than when you are between jobs.
Now is the time to start thinking about your transition.