How Long Does It Take Executives to Find Their Next Job?

We are often asked, How long does it take executives to find their next job? There are too many individual variables to factor in, but you can be certain of one thing – it takes longer than you might think.

Why is this important? It means a lot actually – emotionally and economically. For someone making $175,000+ per year, a job search that takes one month longer means $15,000 or more in lost salary. So it’s important to keep ahead of the projected landing time because it can save you tens of thousands of dollars.

We routinely survey members about how long they think it would take them to make a job change from start to finish. We just completed a survey, and like in years past, they reported 6.4 months on average – a little shorter this year than during the recession.

We all like to think we are the exception to the norm. We’re effective and good at what we do, so naturally things should fall into place for us. Unfortunately, being a good executive doesn’t make you a good job hunter. Throw in the challenging job market and wishing to avoid relocation, and finding a satisfying, new role becomes a sizable challenge.

The truth is it always seems to take longer than one thinks. Members we talk to say the reasons are:
• “Age is more of an issue than I imagined. Companies seem to want younger, cheaper talent.”
• “Getting interviews. I’m qualified, but I am not getting many chances to sit down for real interviews to tell my story and how I can help solve a company’s problems.”
• “Job-specific criteria. Employers are unwilling to consider my highly transferrable skills.”
• “Networking my way to the decision-makers in companies where I don’t know anyone has been a huge obstacle.”
• “A lack of communication from recruiters and hiring companies. No one feels the need to provide status updates or closure.”
We find from experience that ending- up on the earlier part of the bell-curve is primarily about three things:
• Having an action plan that is more active than waiting for and responding to job postings
• Creating opportunity for yourself by “articulating and getting the word out” about what your value is
• Being well prepared to take advantage of opportunities as they present themselves
Executives like you often ask us why there’s a “no response black hole” in responding to job postings. It is because of tight specs, immediate volume of “equally qualified” competitors and a “value story” that doesn’t stand off the page.

Many executives are still learning to craft an effective “value story about their experience and passion” in terms of their value to their next employer versus their last,” says Don Weintraub, our Managing Director of Career Services, who counsels members every day.

Many executives are not comfortable in their outreach to peers outside their immediate circle and don’t build and maintain those contacts over time.

If you wish you were progressing faster in your search, get help today by sharpening your approach. We have a lot of insight and resources on our “members only” website and through our Member Services Teams to help.
Not a member? Get to more recruiters, hiring managers and jobs

To your next success!

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