Why The Hell Is Finding An Executive Role So Damn Hard

Feb 06, 2019

Why The Hell Is Finding An Executive Role So Damn Hard? 

Have you ever noticed how many people say it’s so damn hard to find a role at executive level? Perhaps you’ve said it yourself as you struggle to move from feeling unhappy in your current position to secure a role that will bring you more challenge, joy, and fulfillment? Or perhaps you’ve listened and empathised with friends or your partner as they bemoan the challenges they face in finding a role at executive level. If you’ve been out of work for more than six months or more, I can really empathise with how you’re feeling and how frustrating it is.

There Aren't Many Jobs At Senior Level

During my career as an executive head hunter and now as a career strategist, I hear this ALL the time. “There aren’t many jobs at my level Michelle, they don’t come up that often”. And it fills me with despair. Because if we adopt this type of thinking before we start on our path to a more fulfilling career, we are doomed to failure. Think of it like this: I want to improve my physical body and get fit and strong and feel energised again. Great. But if I don't really believe it & I’m negative before I even start then guess what result I’ll get? 

You Need Three Things

So what do you need to achieve any major change or improvement? From personal experience, I've found there are three things.

1. Without question, the MOST important thing you need to have is the ability to picture your ideal outcome so strongly & clearly that you can feel it in your bones. You need to SEE IT so clearly and have the deep sense that you KNOW it's possible that nothing will stop you achieving that ambition.  I should add that you may decide to keep this dream to yourself as others may think you're crazy. 

2. You must hold onto the BELIEF that it's possible. You must have the thoughts in your mind that enables you to see your goal.

3. This leads you to TAKE ACTION to pursue your goal on a consistent basis with passion and determination. Plan and have someone to be accountable to.

If you want to improve your body and get fit and healthy again, you need to see yourself as fit & health and identify with that person. You need a fitness plan and someone to help keep you on track.  If you want to sort out your finances what do you need? A vision of a wealthy & financially savvy person. A financial plan and someone to help you keep to the plan.

All success comes from collaborating with others. It’s quite simple really but like most things in our lives, we over complicate things, don’t we?

My perspective on finding an executive role is also quite simple: work with someone to help you.  It’s the most effective and fastest way to achieve your goals. And if I can share with you from both my professional and personal experience, it works.

We need someone in our life who believes that our goal is achievable and that will also help us to keep focused, positive and excited in the pursuit of that goal. Believing it’s possible is essential. If you do not believe it’s possible to find an executive role due to your belief around scarcity, then that’s what you will experience: frustration, pain, and suffering.

In the wise words of Henry Ford: ‘Whether you think you can, or you think you can’t – you’re right.

I’ve been approached by many executives who had ‘given up’ subconsciously without even realising it. The struggle to find a new role was too hard and too frustrating so they stayed in a role, or in an organisation, for too long. 

You’ve got to remember that at executive level it’s very, very competitive. And it has to be. If you’re going to be tasked with leading a global team and running a multi-million business you will need to be a first-class contender who is prepared to show your true character – grit, determination, passion, energy, focus and strategy. And you’ve got to realise that this is the race you’re in. 

You’re competing at Usain Bolt level, not at high school track level!

You’re being paid a six-figure salary to deliver results and you’re competing with the very best.  You may have been lucky and found yourself at this level without consciously planning to get here. But I’ve got to remind you, that this is the level you’re at now, and you’ve got to show up with your ‘A’ game. 

Does Usain Bolt take a half-hearted approach to his training before a race? You know the answer to that question.  He has a plan. He engages the very best coaches. He sees himself winning before he even gets onto the track. He gets up every day and trains. He works damn hard daily and more than anyone at his level to ensure he’s the best. He’s clear in his mind what he wants to achieve and he’s created the daily habits to succeed. So here’s my question to you: what’s your vision, beliefs, and plan for your next level of success? 

I don’t believe in luck but I do believe luck favours the prepared. In the words of Usain Bolt: ‘I know what to do and I go and execute.

 About Michelle

Michelle O’Connor inspires executives to do more inspiring work and transform their future. An executive level career strategist, Michelle is a qualified coach & has more than 20 years of corporate executive recruitment experience. She enables her executive clients to fulfill their true potential and flourish in their careers & businesses.

Please get in touch if you would like her professional help fulfilling your professional (or your teams) leadership or career potential.

For a free download of her Career Decision Canvas, as well as articles & information, we invite you to visit www.michelle.ie

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