6). Should I place restrictions on my search?

Search Restrictions

Although we advocate a very specific approach to your search and the marketing plan is a good example of this, it is important that you don’t place unnecessary restrictions on the process. Your plan should have a certain latitude to it---a margin for error. As we have seen from your marketing plan, your are looking at different avenues each with a different degree of possibility and probability. The three greatest areas to maintain flexibility in are your geographics, compensation and titles.

picture yourself as a headhunter. You have candidate #1 who says that he will only look at an assignment in Dallas and he has a six month severance. Four months go by and candidate #1 calls and says that he’ll look at things outside of Dallas (obviously not much has turned up in Dallas). The headhunter is also working with candidate #2 who from day one has said that they will relocate but prefer a major metropolitan area. The headhunter now has the perfect job for both candidates in Chicago. Who will they call first? The concern is obviously that although candidate #1 has said they will now relocate, the interpretation is that when push comes to shove, they won’t. It is worth the headhunter’s time when they aren’t convinced of the candidate’s sincerity? They’re almost certain to call candidate #2.

Actually, this issue of geographics should be approached from a different perspective. "Yes, I am willing to relocate, but would have a difficult time with very small towns". This, of course, is very general and as a result doesn’t rule anything out. Your mandate is to move faster on possibilities that are more geographically palatable while looking at things elsewhere over a more extended time frame.

Senior level marketing assignments throughout the country offer a wide range of compensation possibilities and it is best to look at this issue with a fair degree of flexibility. For instance, many companies offer upfront bonuses or other executive perks (automobile, country club) which may not be discussed initially. A company can’t and won’t get creative in their compensation offer until they fall in love with a candidate. By the same token, when a company paying $70,000. interviews a candidate earning $125,000, you can rest assured that someone is in for a rude awakening.

Titles are very misleading. Don’t get hung up on them. Rather, focus on the job content and, as important, the promotion possibilities involved. Perhaps the key issue to concern yourself with is the latter, the promotion possibilities. Marketing people get promoted as much on hard work as they do by being in the right place at the right time.

When interviewing with a company, get a good feel for the extent of their new products effort. Are they opening up new categories or simply maintaining their position in the marketplace? How acquisition oriented are they? At senior levels, people get promoted as much by the company helping them get promoted (through new products and/or acquisitions) as anything else. For this reason, one should not automatically rule out possibilities which on the surface appear lateral.

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