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Position crisis
Question :

Dear Doctor,

I am holding an Executive Director position at an industry association, however feel disgusted at playing politics between the Board of Directors.  Serious politics have a negative impact so much so that staff have a very very low morale and are unproductive.  I have tried my very best to motivate staff and lead them to generate more income to support the organization, however due to jealousy, some Board members have played politics on me and they have tried every method to weaken my leadership.  In this case, I decide to have a move.  I have lots of interview opportunities, but all interviews were unsuccessful after the 1st meeting with interviewers.  Am I  too old or too high paid?  (I am 51 years old currently with 35K).  Am I asking too much salary for a manager post/CEO post? (around 37K-40K)? I perceive myself as an experienced administrator and my performance is always satisfactory. At the last interview for a CEO post with an NGO it was a happy meeting that I thought I would get the position. Unfortunately I received an email to inform me that I was unsuccessful again.  This has made me so frustrated and depressed.  What's wrong on me? And how I can improve myself so as to get the way out? FYI, I have a bachelor's degree and a master's degree with 25 years of working experience.

Posted by Nil on Friday, 21 Jan 2011

Comments :

Louisa Yeung - Career Doctor

Posted Thursday 26th July 2012 10:54:00 PM


Hi, It sounds like you are experiencing quite a stressful situation, however it is good that you are trying to stay focused and motivate staff to generate more income to support the association. Well done also for conducting a job search to find other opportunities to suit your career prospects. The numerous years of experience that you have, the bachelor and masters qualifications behind you and your consistent job performance puts you in a good position to secure another job at your level. I do not think that your age or your salary expectations are the reason why you are not progressing beyond the first interview. In fact, it is good to be upfront about your salary expectations so that employers are aware of this in the first interview. Considering this, I don’t find any fault with you or your professional capabilities. In my opinion, a possible reason for why you are not progressing beyond the first interview could be because you are disheartened by the experiences in your current role and this has become apparent to the hiring employer. Some interviewers are very adept at seeing through candidate responses to uncover strong, negative emotions that may exist. To improve on your interview delivery, the key is to be positive when you answer questions about your present role, think and talk proactively during the interview and be honest about your reasons for wanting to leave the association. This will indicate to the employer that while you may not be entirely happy in your current position, you are looking to take the next step in your profession and are positive about working in a role and company that better suits your career goals. As well as this improved attitude, you can better your chances of progressing through the interview stages by preparing your answers to some commonly asked questions. Good luck with your job search and if you have any other queries, please leave a comment below. All the best, Louisa.


Posted Wednesday 2nd February 2011 07:30:00 PM


Thanks for encouragement and advices. I do not mind downgrade my title, to perform in quality in a managerial position and then strive to have a promotion internally.


Posted Monday 31st January 2011 12:23:00 AM


Since you have been unsuccessful many times, what do you have to lose to call them and ask why you weren't hired? you aren't hired anyway, right? Perhaps this will show them you are aggressive enough and that aspect will help you get the job, because its part of you to be aggressive to generate profit for the NGO?

mid 40

Posted Friday 28th January 2011 09:44:00 PM


As a CEO, I think your salary is a bit low. I have been a department head of Finance Department in a Medium size company , reported to a group of CEO. I got $50K in my last job. Whether you should try to upgrade your salary or downgrade your title is up to you. May be you should better talk with a personal agent, learn more about the current market trend. Position of CEO may be sometimes rare, most company are also prefer to promote internally. Suggest you to downgrade your expected title, try to find some title as operation manager, project manager, and wait for another opportunity.