You’ve Got Options! Step Out of the Box.

I want to tell you about James, a product development executive who is very typical of many executives these days. James is 51 and is latching on to stability, trying to hang on until retirement.

man-in-box-42175072Hanging on for a minimum of 16 years is not a healthy mindset!

That’s basically remaining in crisis mode for about 25% of his working life.

No, thank you!

James isn’t even happy with what he’s doing. “It’s fine,” he says.

He got promoted out of doing what he liked best, and now spends most of his days in meetings as part of a group making decisions and solving problems. This is a common situation for executives as they reach a more senior level.

None of this needs to be this way.

Senior executives spend the first quarter of their careers proving themselves, the second and third quarters doing what they love and climbing the ladder…why should they spend the final quarter settling and latching onto stability?

We all go through changes in our life around this time. James is dealing with two big ones: being over 50 and both of his kids are out of the house.

This is actually the perfect time to start a new career chapter!

Why would one stop taking adventures and become risk-adverse just when they have proven themselves, gained the experience, and know what makes them happy? This is when executives like James have the most options. They can make a move to someplace where they are needed and be what they want, where they want…and even spend their days doing what makes them happy.

His career strategist has gotten him to step outside the box he’d placed himself in. A self-imposed career-limiting mindset is an unnecessary way to spend the last 16 years of one’s career!

We’ve been working with James to shape his Value Story so that we can weave it throughout his resume, LinkedIn profile, cover letters, and networking ValuGraphic. Once that’s perfected, he’ll get coached up on how to articulate his Value Story. At that point, he’ll be ready to target specific opportunities…and will be ready to land them.

We’ve seen executives following strategies that are best left at the managerial level and actually hurt their career prospects. We’ve also seen executives, like James, fall into unhealthy mindsets because they’ve become too change-adverse and are limiting themselves. If you’d like to explore how you can have a fulfilling last quarter of your career, reach out to us. We have career experts who help people at the top of the org chart find their paths, brand themselves, and step into new opportunities at companies that deserve their talents.

Mark Anderson

Mark Anderson

Mark Anderson is ExecuNet's president and chief economist. An Arjay Miller Scholar, Mark received his MBA from Stanford University and a BA in economics from Yale University. He joined ExecuNet in 1993, with extensive marketing and new product and business development experience, having served as president and founder of A&M Associates, an investment management firm. Mark's corporate leadership experience includes several senior marketing and financial positions with RCA Global Communications (a GE subsidiary) and American Can Company.

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