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50 Innovators of the Year 2023

Executive Career Upgrades: Showing high achievers how to take their career to the next level

Executive Career Upgrades: Showing high achievers how to take their career to the next level

Looking for a job is always hard, whether it’s writing a good resume, trying to send it to the right people or trying to be seen by employers; it can often be confusing, tiring and frustrating. Changing your career path and, more precisely, finding the right job, with the right compensation and benefits package can be an endlessly strenuous process. However, Tim and Kristina Madden have discovered a way to make it far easier.

Executive Career Upgrades (ECU) is the organization to help you land your next multiple six-figure role quickly.

If you’re a Director, VP, or Executive in need of career transition support, the experts at ECU have got you covered. Maximizing your potential, and guiding you through the entire process of finding your perfect fit through salary negotiations, interview preparation or any other needs, the team at ECU are thoroughly prepared and are ready to go above and beyond.

CIO Bulletin was privileged to interview Co-Founder Kristina Madden as found below

Q. What was the purpose of starting Executive Career Upgrades?

The purpose of starting Executive Career Upgrades is to help high achievers accelerate their career and reach their true potential. Through our services, we provide guidance and tools to help Director, VP, and Executive candidates build a clear, impactful message, target the right opportunities, and improve their mindset and confidence.

We believe that by helping individuals achieve success in their careers, we can make a positive impact on their livesand the companies they work for.

Q. How is the industry you serve currently evolving? And where does Executive Career Upgrades stand at the moment?

The executive career advising industry is currently evolving to meet the changing needs of job seekers and employers in a fast-paced, digital world. Here are some key trends and developments in our industry and how Executive Career Upgrades (ECU) is rising to meet the needs of our clients:

Emphasis on Digital Presence: With the rise of hybrid work situations and virtual networking, ECU, as well as other executive career advising firms, are placing a greater emphasis on building and optimizing clients' digital presence. This includes creating and enhancing LinkedIn profiles, developing personal brands, and leveraging social media to expand professional networks. We consider ourselves an AI-first marketing organization and have leveraged digital technology to better serve our clients land jobs they love with greater ease.

 Personalized Career Coaching: In addition to traditional resume writing and job search services, many executive career advising firms now offer personalized career coaching to help clients identify their strengths, clarify their goals, and navigate career transitions.

Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI): As the focus on DEI initiatives continues to grow, ECU is incorporating strategies to help clients navigate biases, promote inclusivity, and build diverse teams. We offer free online resources and host a weekly podcast to address these topics in a meaningful way.

Holistic Approach: Many firms in our industry are now taking a more holistic approach to career advising. While ECU has always believed in a holistic approach to career advising, in addition to traditional job search strategies, we recognize the importance of mindset, work-life balance, and overall well-being. We understand that the path to career growth is unique for each person and requires a personalized blueprint or roadmap.

Our team is dedicated to supporting our clients by enhancing their beliefs around owning their value and promoting quality health. By taking a holistic approach to career advising, we empower our clients to not only achieve their professional goals but also improve their overall well-being and quality of life.

Technology Integration: ECU is committed to staying at the forefront of industry trends and innovations. We recognize the value of utilizing cutting-edge technologies, such as artificial intelligence and automation to optimize the job search process, including areas where we identify skill gaps, and provide real-time feedback to our clients.

By incorporating these tools into our comprehensive suite of services, we can offer our clients a more personalized and efficient experience, while also helping them stay competitive in a rapidly evolving job market. At ECU, we are always seeking out new ways to help our clients achieve their career goals, and we believe that leveraging technology is the key to doing so.

Q. What is your strategy for innovation? And do your core values support this?

At ECU, we align our innovation strategy with our values of transparency, inspiration, innovation, social responsibility, commitment, and advocacy. We believe innovation is not just about new technologies, but staying true to our principles as we serve clients and make a positive impact. Innovation has played a key role in the growth of ECU over the years, enabling us to better serve our clients and stay ahead of the curve in a rapidly evolving job market.

By combining new methodologies with our values, we've expanded services and improved efficiency. We leverage AI and machine learning to understand clients' needs, identify skill gaps, and provide real-time feedback. Innovation has helped us provide cutting-edge strategies for clients to achieve their career goals, expand our reach through digital platforms, and increase our impact on the job market.

Q. Let’s talk about your offerings. What are your products and services and how are they unique?

At ECU, we offer a comprehensive suite of holistic career advising services that are designed to help high achievers accelerate their career and reach their true potential. These include:

Resume and LinkedIn Profile Optimization: We help our clients craft a compelling personal brand and optimizetheir resumes and LinkedIn profiles to attract the attention of top employers.

Automation Packages: We offer cutting-edge automation packages that leverage the latest technologies to streamline the job search process and help our clients stay ahead of the curve.

Career Advising Packages: We provide personalized group coaching packages that are tailored to the specific needs and goals of our clients, helping them build the skills and confidence they need to succeed in their careers.

Interview Certification: Our interview certification program provides our clients with the skills and strategies they need to ace any interview, helping them stand out from the competition and secure their dream job.

Salary Negotiation Certification: We offer a comprehensive salary negotiation certification program that teaches our clients how to negotiate with confidence and get the compensation they deserve.

Q. What is your final message to CIO Bulletin readers and to your current and future customers and partners?

What sets our products and services apart, is our holistic approach to career advising, which addresses not just job search strategies, but also mindset, work-life balance, and overall well-being. We believe that by focusing on the whole person, we can help our clients achieve not just professional success, but also personal fulfillment and happiness.

Furthermore, our team of experienced headhunters, recruiters, coaches, and mindset experts bring a wealth of industry knowledge and expertise to the table, enabling us to provide our clients with personalized, tailored solutions.

Overall, our products and services are designed to provide our clients with the tools, strategies, and support they need to take their career to the next level.

A brief bio on the Co-Founder

Kristina Madden is the Co-Founder and Chief People Officer at ECU. With a proven track record of working with top executives, Kristina has worked with over 5,000 professionals to create a customized approach to developing the highest and best version of their life and career. As co-owners, Tim Madden and Kristina Madden bring a wealth of experience and expertise to the table, having worked with thousands of professionals and placed over 8,000 people in executive positions.

“We support the evolution of the corporate leader in an ecosystem that makes career expansion easy through collaboration, technology, and pushing for maximum performance.”


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