Preparing an action plan

How much time should you reserve? In our experience, it should take you no longer than 2-3 weeks to get all documents & your online profiles ready. Everything after that is a matter of being systematic. An excellent tool to track all your activities is a simple Excel spreadsheet. You should ideally reserve 80-100 hours over a period of 3 months and additionally an average of 20 hours per month for the remaining time until you find an offer that you are satisfied with.

The following activities should be included – we have discussed all of them in detail throughout our book:

  • answering key questions about yourself and your path (done above)
  • preparing your documents: CV, Project Portfolio, online presence
  • networking
  • researching & contacting headhunters
  • researching & contacting potential employers
  • monitoring the market
  • keeping an eye on job portals
  • preparing yourself: interview simulations, salary survey, etc.

How quick do the offers come rolling in? That very much depends on:

  1. the market
  2. your level of experience & proven track record
  3. the effort, consistency & regularity you put into the process

In the experience of the interviewed Executive Search Consultants a job hunting Director should reserve on average min. 6 months. If you do not look for “a job out”, but your “dream job”, factor in 12 to 24 months. Some might think, “24 months?!” Yes, if you are e.g. a Regional Managing Director and you relatively actively, but cautiously look for an ideal offer in an ideal company with ideal conditions or if you operate in a niche and cannot or are not particularly interested in changing your branch.

What you should remember at all times: the higher you are up, the lonelier it gets which means that ideal career opportunities are few and do not come along frequently.

Seamus Pentony, MD at Headcount Solutions, summarized the second phase perfectly for us, “If you fail to prepare, you prepare to fail!”