Answer: We have seen how Vicky, throughout her career, has made risky decisions without doubting her ability to handle the challenges that can and do arise. Another hallmark of her career has been building relationships that extend beyond the workplace. She was able to reach out to her many, many contacts and let them know she was interested in consulting assignments. She was always professional and careful to avoid any conflicts with her former employer.
Unlike the other executives I profiled, Vicky was not ready to fully transition out of a communications role. However, she wanted an opportunity to be in charge and use all her skills to meet the business goals of the organization she would join. After more than a decade with an agency, she wanted to have a discernable impact on an organization — that embraced her values. I think her attitude was, “I’ll know it (the company/culture fit) when I see it.” (I don’t recommend this strategy for most professionals.)
What would make sense for Vicky’s next move? Even though she hadn’t outlined more than an initial approach to job-hunting, she deeply trusted her strategic abilities and instincts. She had reached a very senior level in her career following this path and knew how critical the right corporate culture had to be. She was not looking at a plan for the long term. Her focus was on, “What is next?”
What else mattered? She wanted to be the decision maker for the staff she supervised. She enjoyed consulting with smaller organizations because she could be a member of the leadership team of the organization. She wanted to make a difference in an organization with growth potential. She saw a need to integrate all communications initiatives and her background would allow her to orchestrate a cohesive messaging strategy.
It was also during this transition that the family moved to another state and a smaller community with limited senior corporate roles. One of the challenges would be to work remotely from their new location, if the post were based elsewhere.