Executive – from the golden handshake to the new position

So far, with a lot of luck and hard work, I have made contacts with a few executive search companies and a few HHs. At least I know who is where.    

My main target group are executives, i.e. the top, C-level. Many people who have received the “golden handshake” end up with me, for whatever reason, usually because they “no longer get on”. So they are in the relatively awkward position of still being financed for a certain period of time, but being cut off from their entire professional environment. 

Unfortunately, many have failed to build up a sustainable professional network during their 20 years of employment, which could help them find a suitable new position. It’s also a very delicate situation, because you don’t want to shout from the rooftops that you’ve lost your job.   

How the news was delivered often also plays a role: the shock is usually deep-seated.   

What do we do then? 

It’s hard work, but so far it has always worked: 

Step 1: Analyse the situation 
Step 2: Boost self-confidence: analyse strengths 
Step 3: Work out transferable skills 
Step 4: Develop a market-orientated, meaningful CV that reflects positioning, strengths and experience, as well as training and further education 
Step 5: Find possible positions in the appropriate market segment and submit customised applications.

With a bit of luck, you will find advertisements from executive search companies who will then “take on” and promote the candidate. I often have to write the applications because the men usually find it extremely difficult. An application with all the trimmings, research, key words and text can take many hours. The aim is always to submit an application that is good enough to be in the top three.     

Step 6: In the field of vision of Exec Searches and HH

Now the candidate comes to the attention of the Exec Searchs and HH and, with a bit of luck, is “passed on”, which speeds up the process. If possible, network well: attend conferences, congresses, trade fairs, give presentations, publish if possible. Establish direct contacts with potential superiors. Difficult, but there are ways. Applying without an application is a big issue.      

Step 7: Applying for job advertisements and unsolicited applications

Continue to submit applications for job advertisements and unsolicited applications for suitable positions. The search for such job advertisements is my daily bread. This requires a good knowledge of the market and a feeling for which position and which company might be suitable. 

Due to my work as a fundraising executive in international major donations marketing and through the management of international collaborations between research and industry (primarily IT, electronics, bio-medicine and robotics, but also many other areas), I know the Swiss and international economic landscape quite well. My pedagogical training and my many years of teaching experience are also helpful here, I have an eye for people’s strengths.     

Step 8: First invitations to job interviews and preparation

After six to eight weeks of intensive preparatory work, the first invitations to interviews should arrive. These usually come in relatively large numbers.  

Step 9: Interview training and assessment training, priming

This is followed by interview training and assessment training, with my extensive collection of material: it’s not about memorising answers. Priming: The candidate should experience themselves in the interview or assessment situation through self-reflection and feel where their strengths and any weaknesses are. We work on this if necessary. If they have already been able to think about how they can answer the various questions and have considered and tried out different answers, they will be very confident in the real interview. Then there is the preparation for the entire interview.   

10th offer 

After several rounds of interviews in which the candidate has to introduce themselves to various committees, give presentations, have a barbecue and be tested, an offer is usually made. If there is interest, further meetings in different formations with the Chairman of the Board of Directors etc. are organised. And if all goes well, the contract is signed after 8 to 10 months. 

11. starting the job. 

If desired, I can accompany the new start. I am available for my clients at any time during the entire period, by phone, in person, by email, on Zoom, and psychological support is often required. Personal and family issues are also usually discussed, because the wife and children naturally also react when the father has lost his job. It’s an exciting job that I really enjoy.

Susanne H. Keller has been a coach since 2012, specializing in systemic coaching, change management and organizational development. She has more than thirty years experience in executive management, project management and managing science and technol”ogy. As a systemic coach she can help executives and teams to manage change, develop their personalities and their companies, create start-ups, work on their projects, discover new perspectives,and reach their goals.
You can contact her at www.susanne-keller.ch



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