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In the current economy, no one is safe from the axe, not even executives. In fact, companies are quick to pull the trigger on firing the most senior officials if they feel they aren't doing enough to turn the tide during a bad fiscal period. For others, a simple case of economics leads older executives out the door in favor of younger, cheaper talent.
Either way, firing an executive can really damage one's reputation. Just take a look at the situation involving Yahoo CEO Carol Bartz. In her case, the firing was made public and there was no sugar-coating the issues surrounding the termination. For others, it's not as severe, but still a major blow to a professional career. How does a derailed executive get back on track with their career?
Executive recruiter Colleen Aylward may have the answers. The president of recruiting firm Devon James and author of Bedlam to Boardroom: How To Get a Derailed Executive Career Back on Track (www.devonjames.com) looked through the Bureau of Labor Statistics 2010 figures for layoffs in all categories. She cherry-picked the job categories that she knew, as a recruiter, to fit the executive profile. Her top line figure – 2.5 million executives out of work – is both troubling and telling of the depth of the current economic crisis.
“Many of these are not the high-priced CEOs that are being criticized for taking too much money in salary and bonuses,” she explained. “These are the managers in the trenches, who spent decades in the corporate world making the trains run on time, and have since been displaced by younger, cheaper executives who lack the experience and institutional memory of those they replaced.”
Aylward’s specialty as a recruiter is to help those displaced executives find work. She explains that the old ways are not working anymore and haven't for some time. Executives never had to worry about this fact before, but now that more and more of their stature are being let-go, they are learning quick that it's a brand new ballgame. Aylward states that it's no reason to be frigthened.
"They are still vital and have plenty to offer, but they need to find new ways to show it," she explained. "The dream job doesn’t look at all the way it used to look and executives need to change their perspective if they are going to have a shot in the corporate world of today.”
She has figured out a few key tips to help those who were insiders for so long, but now find themselves on the outside looking in. Those ideas include:
--Jon Minners, Vault.com
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