How long is too long for a senior level job search?
October 31,2023 at 11:24PM UTC (Edited)
I'm currently unemployed and coming up to a year looking for the right role, which isn't completely unexpected for someone at a VP/CEO level. My concern is whether I can go much beyond a year without it negatively effecting my search - AKA how picky can I be/when do I need to settle?
Here's my story:
I relocated to a small city for an AVP operations role at a health system in 2019 - this was a promotion from my previous director jobs. I worked there for a year+, then covid hit. I decided I had to take a career pause - my daughter was in elementary school, schools were closed, I'm a single mom, no family in the area, I had financial resources to draw on, so it seemed like the best option during an unprecedented time.
When schools finally re-opened full time, I was recruited to be the CEO of a small nonprofit healthcare provider. They were extremely financially troubled, I tried to turn things around, achieved a great deal, but also knew we had a lot more to do. The board was uncomfortable with the changes that I still felt were necessary, so we parted ways in January of this year. I was there for one year. Which unfortunately means between 2019 to 2023, I have had two one-year jobs and an 18 month gap in the middle.
I considered starting my own business, but after doing my due diligence, decided it wasn't a viable option - that took me through April.
Then I started job searching - I live in a really lovely but fairly small city, with limited options for someone at my level. I focused on remote jobs in the hopes of not having to relocate - where I had the skills, but didn't have enough direct experience - and I got zero response. That took me through August.
I finally bowed to reality in late August and opened myself up to relocation across the country, focusing on my wheelhouse of healthcare provider operations. Things have really heated up in the last few weeks - I have 7 companies I'm talking to, mostly early stage, and one potential offer coming. The offer would be a good position (COO of a small physician practice), nice place to live, but not exactly a challenge - and unlikely that I would advance much from there. Which could be fine, I'm about 5 years from being able to retire. But I also feel like maybe I should hold out for something with a bit more for me to dig into professionally. As I said, I'm early stages for other roles - some over much larger practices (10-20x larger), multiple locations, significantly higher salaries, etc. But no guarantees I'll get any of them.
I have sufficient finances to keep looking until June of 2024. My concern with being too picky is that if I am still job searching come January 2024, do recruiters start to wonder why is it taking me so long to find something?
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