6 Challenges Senior Employees Face When Seeking Jobs and How to Overcome Them

Published April 14th, 2019 - 09:09 GMT
Senior employees can find themselves looking for new positions either because they’re looking for a change, they’ve been let go, or, for other reasons that are out of their control
Senior employees can find themselves looking for new positions either because they’re looking for a change, they’ve been let go, or, for other reasons that are out of their control. (Shutterstock)
Being a manger, it is often hard to find a suitable new position that is close to the one you already have or had

If you look into the near future and find yourself looking for a new job, how do you see yourself going about it? How do you prepare for a fast-paced job market that is consistently changing? And how do you make sure you’re on top of your game, especially if you’re seeking senior positions?

Senior employees can find themselves looking for new positions either because they’re looking for a change, they’ve been let go, or, for other reasons that are out of their control. As senior employees might be doing the hiring and firing at their companies, they might very-well know what they want in an employee. But are they prepared for the tables to be turned? Are they ready to be job seekers again?

Being a manger, it is often hard to find a suitable new position that is close to the one you already have or had. There are a lot of elements that go into being a manager, whether it’s your team, senior management, hiring and firing discretion, and budgeting, to name a few. An attractive job description, a cool title, and a generous compensation package do not cut it anymore.

In this blog, we will be guiding you through some of the challenges that most senior employees face when changing jobs as well as our advice on how to overcome them.

1. Your ego and other people’s perception

The Challenges: You might feel like you’ve lost your self-esteem, identity, self-worth, and self-concept. You may also think that your situation is an embarrassment and that your image is now tarnished. It is hard to go from making big decisions and having major control and impact to a job seekers trying to impress and please.

How to overcome them?  Keep your usual life going, engage in family activities, volunteer, fitness, hobbies, etc. It is important to recognize your worth outside of the job. Now, it is also vital to be open to learning new things and taking small risks and, most importantly, learn the power of taking “baby steps” by doing things right over and over. Don’t forget to ask for support when you need it.

2. Your age and experience

The Challenges: You may feel that employers will perceive you as being too old or “washed-up.” You may fear that you won’t get hired or won’t last for a long time because the company is not willing to invest in you by using terminology that you’re familiar with (i.e. “you’re overqualified). You’ve been an employer before and you know that a cultural mis-match can be disastrous, so you worry that you’re now the one not fitting in.

How to overcome them? Refocus the employer on your exceptional qualifications, proven results, industry contacts, and experience – not age. In addition, know the culture of the company (if no one there is over 35, don’t try to get hired at 64!). Maintain and demonstrate your health, vitality, energy, and enthusiasm and avoid “the R word” (retirement) in conversations. Last but not least, be tech-savvy, up-to-date, and informed about your industry and digital tools that employers and companies use.

3. More competition at the top

The Challenge: High-level job openings often get a lot of exposure within your industry. The more desirable the position, the more people are fighting for it.

How to overcome it? Research a company’s culture and weaknesses; understand both and sell yourself as the person who will turn weaknesses into strengths. When meeting with the decision makers, you must demonstrate your ability to produce tangible business results by sharing your accomplishment stories.

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4. Senior positions are filled internally

The Challenges: Staff members have been working day and night for years at the company and have “paid their dues.” They are already in line to get the top jobs, especially if a big company has clear succession planning. Some companies might not want to take the risk of bringing an outsider into such an important position, so they may favor internal candidates.

How to overcome them? Explain how being from the outside can be a strength; you can diversify the culture and bring a new perspective. But, you must focus your search on companies that have a good track record of bringing-in outside management successfully. Another way to target your search is by seeking out troubled companies that might need your fresh ideas.

5. Finding the right contacts

The Challenges: When it comes to hiring seniors, human resources is of little to no help in this regard, so the barrier of entry might be much higher. Therefore, it is only appropriate to speak and reach out to C-level executives (CEO, COO. CFO, CMO, CTO…etc.), who may feel threatened or look at you as their competition.

How to overcome them? When you manage getting in touch with senior managers, talk to them about ways you can help them reach their business goals; if there isn’t a vacancy at this level, new ones can be created for top talent by people on that level. It is also prudent to join and engage with executive networking programs, boards of directors, and venture capital groups. These relationships can be your leverage with search firms and other professional contacts. Most importantly, focus on the solutions you will be bringing and the added value you offer.

6. Maintaining a high salary

The Challenges: In an unstable economy, you may find it difficult to ask for a large salary. Sometimes, companies look at the big number and become distracted by it so much they might see no value in hiring you. In addition, hiring someone at a high level with a big salary often requires a lot of approvals (i.e. board of directors), so the process can take a while and is not always successful.

How to overcome them? Be sure you talk to the right people, the ultimate decision makers are your go-to people. And when you do talk to them, focus on tangible results that can be measured in financial terms. That way you can demonstrate why your high salary is “worth it.” When a conversation develops into a salary negotiation, be familiar with the market average and obtain information on salaries paid for people in the position you’re seeking to fill. Services like Bayt.com Salaries can do that trick. Moreover, try to negotiate other financial arrangements, such as an equity partnership, revenue-based bonus, or a contract with terms that can compensate for lower pay. You can always find a solution that satisfies both parties. If you fail to do so, then that job is not for you.

Bonus tip: Sometimes, one’s lifestyle can be intimidating, so downplay your designer clothes and watch (if any) and try to show hiring managers that money doesn’t define you.

By Mohannad Aljawamis

This article originally appeared in Bayt.com. This article and all other intellectual property on Bayt.com is the property of Bayt.com. Reproduction of this article in any form is only permissible with written permission from Bayt.com.

This article has been amended from its original source.

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