Being an ageing executive is not always easy, but it can also be a blessing in disguise. Senior executives often end up getting tired of their positions and ready to take on new challenges. Others are silently pushed out of their positions and even forced to quit.
But what senior executives should know is that their expertise will always be valued in the marketplace. Knowing that you still have plenty of options is very important at this stage of your life, and you have to know how to capitalize on them. Let’s take a look at a few great alternative career options for senior executives.
One of the best positions for senior executives looking for something new is executive consultant. Executive consultants are hired by companies who want to guide, support, and advise their management teams. They have to be able to solve complex issues companies or departments may have and come up with viable and feasible solutions.
You can get a job as an executive consultant with a master’s degree, but it’s those with a DBA that tend to stand out. Having a doctorate will make it much easier to get hired by major consulting firms like PwC, Deloitte, or KPMG.
These companies have a very strenuous recruiting process and only pick the candidates with the best credentials, expertise, and experience. Having a DBA will give you a significant edge and will make you better at solving a wide variety of problems. Having a DBA will also help if you want to work independently or run your own firm.
If you’re currently working and want to continue working while you get your credentials, we would strongly suggest that you get your doctor of business administration online from Aston University. Their program is one of the highest-ranked in the country and you’ll gain all the research and analytical skills needed to be a top consultant.
It can be tough to accept a less significant role when you’ve been working as a top executive for many years, but you may have no choice. You have to accept that there are newer executives with skill sets that are more current than yours. So, unless you are ready to go back to school to integrate these new skills, you might want to start looking at lesser roles.
For instance, CFOs can always work as financial analysts or business managers. These positions might not be as glamorous, but you may end up liking the change of pace with fewer responsibilities. Your years of experience will allow you to cherry-pick positions too and have your resume moved to the top of the list wherever you apply.
Joining a corporate board could be another interesting option for older executives. One of the best parts of becoming a board member is that you won’t have to worry that much about staying on top of recent trends since your role will be advisory most of the time. Another benefit is that many boards will only require that you serve part-time.
One thing you should know, however, is that you’ll probably need to have prior board experience if you want to become a board member for another company. So, your best bet would be to let your interest be known where you are as soon as possible and try to network as hard as you can. You should also know that consulting and mentoring could open doors for you. Or you could try getting a leadership role in a non-profit organization and join their board later.
Senior executives are also highly sought after by faculties, not only in the UK and the US but everywhere around the world as well. You could become a professor, a dean, or head of a department if you get the right credentials.
Now would be a great time to become a professor because business faculties are experiencing big shortages at the moment. Someone with experience and something like a Ph.D. in their back pocket will see doors open wide for them.
There’s also nothing stopping you from starting a venture. You had all those years to enjoy the stability of a steady job, so now could be a good time to make a bet on yourself.
You could decide to go into the same field you are currently in or try something completely new. Going into an industry you’re familiar with will increase your chances of success but could also feel like you’ll be doing more of the same. Going in another direction could be a great way to give your career a second life, overcome new challenges, and be exposed to new realities.
Another thing you could do would be to go into philanthropy. If there is one of a few causes that were always close to your heart, you could use your experience to run a non-profit organization.
You’ll at least know how to manage a budget properly and make your operation as efficient as possible. Those who have marketing expertise will also be much better at creating exposure for certain causes as well. This could eventually help you find your purpose and put a nice bow on your career.
If you always had a highly empathetic nature and you love working with people, then you could also reinvent yourself as a coach or a mentor. Mentors are there to guide new professionals towards the proper career path and help them tell if certain options would be the right choice for them. They also have to act as counselors and listen to the personal, professional, emotional, or mental issues they may have.
Coaches have more of a hands-on approach and do everything from helping their clients acquire soft skills, prepare for interviews, and help with things like time management and discipline. They are also there to keep their clients committed to their goals while keeping them accountable. If you feel like mentoring or coaching is for you, we suggest that you look at what credentials you’ll need and how to get started.
As you can see, there are plenty of career opportunities for senior executives. All you need to do is look at where you want to be in the next few years and if you have the skills and aptitudes needed for these roles.