Over the past few weeks, as everyone was winding down during the holidays, we had some interesting discussions with senior leaders across the world. Many of them were introspecting on their careers and trying to chart their future paths.

Here are some of the key themes that emerged:

For Senior Leaders in Corporates

  • A desire to spend the next and perhaps final stage of their careers doing something that really excited them rather than continue running on the same treadmill which they had been on for the past few years.
  • To stop answering to someone else and become their own boss, and start on their own.
  • To accept lower earnings and the uncertainty of running their own business so that they could take control over their destiny.

For Owners of Businesses

  • A desire to prepare their organisations for the next generation and take a step back from their responsibilities.
  • The realisation that they had not been able to develop a succession plan within their organisations and that there was a real shortage of senior management who could mentor the youngsters to take over the reins in the future.
  • Being trapped in their current roles and unable to relinquish the responsibilities they were bearing.
  • A conscious recognition that they wanted to get out of the way of the next batch of leaders and that by staying on they risked getting in the way of progress.

Challenges of Change

Whilst many of the individuals we spoke to knew that they wanted to make a change, most of them were struggling to work out how to make the change. Having been consumed by the demands of their jobs, they had been unable to explore how to shift gears and start working on their new projects. The few who had successfully made the transition had all taken deliberate steps to set aside time and leverage their networks to help with the change.

We found that many organisations were reluctant to let their senior leaders move on, even though there was a desire on both sides for a change. This often led to a lose-lose situation where neither party were happy with the status quo, but somehow there was not sufficient impetus to force the change.

Push through to Prosper

It was encouraging to hear that the leaders who had persevered and been able to make the transition were generally happier and more enthusiastic than they had been before. One of the most common comments was that they wished they had taken the plunge much earlier in their lives! They found that they were able to leverage their skills in exciting new sectors and work with very different challenges. Just the change of environment itself was rejuvenating and reinvigorating.

We have been working with a number of senior leaders who are looking to make a change in their careers. If you would like to explore some options, please feel free to reach out and we can help you start the ball rolling!

Select Global Solutions provide Executive Search and Recruitment services to clients across Africa, India and the Middle East. Over the last 10 years we have developed an expertise in multi-cultural recruitment of senior talent across multiple industries. We specialise in sourcing both expatriates and nationals. To find out more about our talent acquisition solutions, get in touch with us at [email protected]