Challenges of changing jobs on an executive level

When you change jobs on a very advanced career level there are a number of specific challenges you have to deal with. You might think you know what’s coming for you but you just might be mistaken. Because a lot of people in these positions have faced challenges changing jobs that they didn’t see coming. Let’s have a look at some of them:

People will look for you

An executive position usually comes with a certain level of excellence and expertise and therefore often boosts the confidence and trust in your own abilities. Be that as justified as it may, it often causes a similar level of confidence when it comes to potential career changes. Don’t get me wrong – confidence is great – but it causes a certain trust in that “the job will find me” or “I’m a great catch for any company”. Since the executive job market is highly competitive today as well, this attitude often ends in disappointment. Because chances are you DO have to look for jobs yourself, you DO have considerable competition and you WILL have to go through a lengthy application and interview process before you can call it a day.

You ace every interview

You might be very experienced with job interviews that you have been in for hiring people for your team or for your company but that doesn’t mean that you know how to ace an interview. Chances are that your interview skills are rather rusty since you haven’t been in one in quite a while. Don’t underestimate the preparation it will take you to get to a convincing performance in a job interview.


The more advanced your career gets, the older you get. Quite a simple equation. But sit back for a minute and think about what that means. It means that age will become a topic more and more throughout your career and you need to find a way to channel concerns in respect to your age. Obviously it’s unfair to consider the age in an application process but don’t underestimate how often it actually happens.

Job vs. career

Has it happened to you that you’ve started to detach your actual jobs from your career? That happens a lot when people establish brands, often in industries where very close personal relationships are necessary and deciding. There it often seems to be more important what the person brings to the table than what the company stands for. To an extent where the company and the actual job are more of an infrastructure for the personal brand to act in. You need to keep your personal brand in mind but for a company job interview you always need to work the context. Don’t forget that!

Mind the gap!

The transition between executive jobs is a very delicate field. These processes take time but until you’ve sealed the deal you don’t want to be unemployed. It’s just that much harder to look and that much more unlikely to be considered the longer you are “between jobs”.

Check the offers thoroughly

Especially in the area of the lucrative executive search field you’ll sooner or later come across a number of offers where people will guarantee you to find you a job within 12 weeks, will send your CV to xx high-profile contacts, etc. Check any of these offers very thoroughly. While it can make a great deal of sense to work with a headhunter that you trust, most of the “we guarantee …” offers are highly suspicious.

Are you working the channels?

When was the last time you did something on LinkedIn, Twitter & Co.? If you want to get out there, you need to put yourself out there. Make sure you know what you’re doing there.

There are many more points to executive career changes and what makes them so special and delicate. What are your experiences?

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