IMD News · Coaching

Career crisis? What you need now is a plan

A clear USP and knowledge about your relevant target industry are essential to finding a job in the post-pandemic world, says Tobias Tafel (MBA 1983).
September 2020

From lockdowns to layoffs, the COVID-19 crisis has deeply impacted the professional lives of many alumni around the world. Here are five simple proactive steps to succeed – whether that’s securing well-paid, stable employment or your dream job. 

1. Define clear objectives based on your motivations, aptitudes and qualifications 

You should take time to reflect on past experiences, your current situation and where you see yourself in the future. To ensure the realization of your objectivesmake them transparent and be sure to take the viewpoint of potential decisionmakers into account. Learn about the dynamics in the hidden job market, the rules in the world of executive search and what triggers a successful change, then develop a coherent overall concept that is tailored to meet your objectives.  

2. Pursue these clearly defined objectives  

Keeping your objectives at the forefront of pursuit of a new job is vital. The key to success is having proper, clear and visible positioning in the job market, so you’ll need a convincing presentation of yourself, an effective story to tell, a clear USP and knowledge about your relevant target industry.  

 3. Develop your professional network 

It is important to stay in close contact with your professional network and to enlarge it systematically. You will need sustainable contact with multipliers and decision-makers. Multipliers are leaders who attract and optimize talent, and often include executive search professionals, while decision-makers are those people who can make you a job offer. 

4. Prepare yourself thoroughly for interviews 

Do your homework and research the company and position in detail well before your interview. Will whomever interviewing you really understand what you are trying to say? Are you convincing? Develop a good sense of self-awareness, the situation and your discussion partners. By doing so, you’re decrease the likelihood of being taken by surprise by a question.  

 5. Ask for help if you need it 

No one has all the answers, so it’s understandable you might not either. Consider reaching out to IMD Career Services – woffer assistance given by experienced fellow MBA alumni and can provide tailored help in your job search.  


Tobias Tafel (MBA 1983), Managing Partner, KONITZER & TAFEL Managementberatung, Düsseldorf, Germany is an IMD MBA Career Mentor who has been instrumental in defining the career coaching program and is its driving force.  

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