5 Steps to Land a Senior Leadership Role (Even if Your Job Has Been Cut... or the Writing Is on the Wall)

If you're smart and ambitious and looking for a leadership role, it can be really tough because so many organizations are cutting their higher-level management. And it can feel so defeating if your job is cut—or you see the writing on the wall.

Maybe you find yourself spending more and more time on LinkedIn or scrolling job boards, but nothing seems to stick.

Or maybe you've even applied to a role but after months of deliberation, you hear that the (8-12 person!) hiring committee is "going in a different direction."

But if you're looking for a senior leadership role, here's a hack I love: Recruit recruiters!

Now we often think of recruiters as the people who hound you on LinkedIn, telling you about jobs that you're utterly not interested in…

But get this: recruiters are also amazing “walking databases” of the opportunities that are out there.

So to be on the fast track when you're looking for a job, especially if you feel like a unicorn or you're worried that you're too qualified or too old:

  1. Gather a list of all the recruiters you know. This could mean going back to your LinkedIn to see who's reached out to you, or asking friends and colleagues, or even doing a quick search online.
  2. Reach out to any recruiters on your list to see if you can schedule a conversation to chat about what job opportunities are out there and what they're seeing in the field.
  3. Schedule conversations with any recruiters for jobs that you were screened for but didn't make it into the final pick. Ask for one or two points of feedback, and then ask about other opportunities.
  4. Ask them what other roles they're looking to fill because you might know someone that could be a good fit… this establishes that you give and take, and this may be a great relationship for them.
  5. Every six weeks or so, follow up with a little note to say hi or something you think could be helpful to them.

I know a woman who didn’t get a senior leadership job she applied for because “the committee was going in a different direction,” but she reached out to the recruiter who lined her up to interview for a leadership role in a major US museum!

Recruiting your recruiters can put you on the fast track for those special job opportunities that feel like they were designed exactly for you. Your dream role is out there!