“We’re in New York and are having a meeting with Susan Chadick at her Park Avenue office. Susan is Co-CEO of Chadick Ellig, a boutique executive search firm.
Susan: “Throughout my long career, I have worked with people who have been candidates and later become clients. Or clients who have left companies and became candidates. Our deep relationships are multi-faceted, based on trust and understanding and built over time.”
Often in the course of our work, there are opportunities for us to engage in conversations beyond the search, for example workforce trends, market data, and career issues for which we can provide an objective view.
Through our long lasting relationships, we are able to play the role of advisor, sounding board, or reality check, as the situation requires.
I love engaging with younger professionals. We have several in our firm, and I personally enjoy helping them navigate their career. I do this within our firm and more broadly in my community at large.
To share a nice story, recently, a graduate student who interned in our company joined one of our clients. It was a happy situation for them both. During her first week with us, our intern learned about our engagement with a nonprofit organization. Coincidentally, this was an organization for which she had volunteered during college and for whom she had always wanted to work. She was so excited to learn that we had been awarded a search for their CHRO. (Since then, we have completed a number of additional searches for this organization and have developed a very successful relationship with them.) When the time came for our intern to graduate and embark on her career, I was happy to get her an interview with this client. I was thrilled that she was offered a position and accepted it!
I find it rewarding to support the millennial workforce by helping them ask the right questions of themselves, and develop a plan that allows them to combine who they are, and what they love to do. They have long careers ahead of them and anything I can do to make them satisfying and fruitful is a joy.
What about people who are ready to leave the workforce?
At the other end of the spectrum, there is a growing group of people who are considering exiting the workforce. They too seek my advice. They may be clients or candidates at the juncture of change. They are concerned with: ‘What should I do? Keep working? Step out? Consider consulting so as not to let all my experience go to waste? Retire? Travel? Go on boards?’ They have many questions and concerns.
I try to help them find or rediscover their personal drive and passion. Because of my experience and the trust I have gained, I am in an excellent position to help people navigate the next phase of their life. This is a wonderful way for me to leverage the wisdom I have gained from my 30 years in executive search, and it is a rewarding experience.
Recently, a senior executive met with me to ‘pick my brain’. We talked about the changing political landscape at his company and whether it might be the right time for him to step out. After talking for an hour, he expressed that our time together was extremely helpful and wished we could continue our discussion. We created an ‘as-needed’ hourly contract to meet and explore a course of action. During our year of conversations, I helped him develop an exit strategy that worked within the context of his environment and a plan for how to enter the post-corporate phase of his career. I encouraged him to take the time he needed, both to relax and carefully consider what was important to him. He is in the next phase of his journey and is enjoying every step.
Many people in the baby boom generation are in the process of redefining who we are and what we value about ourselves beyond the work we do. If I can be helpful during this process, I am happy to engage with people seeking the perspective and experience I bring. Having a guide to help navigate a new chapter is helpful and I find it to be an interesting new facet of my work.
To contact Susan: www.chadickellig.com
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