Executives in Transition: How to Plan for Your Next Career

Jean Orrison

The end of the year is usually a time for reflection of what you experienced in the past year and what you hope to accomplish in the new year. For many employees, this often includes time spent contemplating or even seeking a new career path. However, when you have decades of experience and you are at the C-level, your next transition can satisfy more than an income. When C-suite executives are heading toward retirement but aren’t quite ready to retire, they have more choices than they realize when it comes to next career steps. Oftentimes an interim executive position is a perfect fit.

What is an Interim Executive Position?
An interim executive position is temporary. They usually fill the gap for a company while leadership and/or the board seek a full-time person. This role helps them breathe easier so they don’t have to rush or make a hasty decision. This role may also help them clarify the skills they want in the full-time position. Sometimes an interim executive is needed when a leader in the C-suite needs a few months off due to a  family or health-related change but plans on returning.

Why choose an Interim Position?
This position is great for both the company and the candidate. It allows a “rent before you buy” experience. Often, the interim position allows the company to see the candidate in a role that they may want to offer full time – either because they haven’t had successful interviews with other candidates or they haven’t decided whether they are going to hire a full-time person. It also allows the candidate an opportunity to see the inner workings of the company before committing full-time.

Working with Your Passion
The best part of being an experienced C-level executive is that you have the opportunity to work in any number of industries that needs your skillsets and can satisfy a passion. For example, woom bikes was named #259 on Inc.’s 5000 Fastest Growing Companies in America this past year. When HireBetter mentioned to several candidates that woom was looking for an interim COO, three different candidates raised their hands stating that cycling had always been a passion of theirs. They hadn’t thought of using their C-level skills to work in an industry that was a lifelong hobby.

Relocating On Your Terms
Often at this stage in people’s careers, spouses are relocated or aging parents require their children to move closer to home. With life changes such as these, interim positions provide an income and the opportunity to test the waters of a new career before jumping in headfirst. It’s also a time when many candidates are empty nesters and now have the freedom to live someplace that has always been a dream for them. An interim position allows for flexibility in trying different types of positions and industries before committing to a new career path as you settle into a new city.

Although you may have the funds to retire when you reach your 50’s, for many executives, they simply aren’t ready to completely leave the workforce. With interim executive positions available and the flexibility to relocate or pursue a passion industry, there are a lot of great opportunities for your next career step. You’ve put in years of hard work; now it’s time to reap the benefits.

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