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058: How to Position Yourself as a Strategic Hire

Posted By Digital Enterprise Society, Wednesday, June 24, 2020
Updated: Tuesday, June 23, 2020

058: How to Position Yourself as a Strategic Hire



On today’s episode, Thom  tackles the topic of navigating career change during a pandemic.  He is joined by Jan-Bart Smits, the Managing Partner of the Stanton Chase Amsterdam office in The Netherlands and Global Leader for the firm’s Technology and Professional Services Practice Groups.  Together they discuss strategic ways to position yourself now for higher-level positions later in your career.  Jan-Bart offers steps that you can take today to make yourself a critical part of your company’s organization, including expanding your t-profile, increasing the visibility of your contributions, and practical tips for improving your digital communication. 

On today’s podcast, you will learn:

What technology firms are looking for in executives

  • Fitting into the culture of the company is essential at every employment level 

  • An ability to adapt to the increasing rate of change within the industry is critical 

  • Hard work and the ability to make decisions quickly are essential skills

Tips for positioning yourself as a strategic hire 

  • Post COVID-19, many companies are only hiring for critical positions

  • Take actions now that prepare you to achieve higher-level positions later in your career 

  • Develop your t-profile — the ability to go wide and deep within your specialty as well as within your organization

  • Increase your communication skills so that you can explain products and services in a way that people can easily understand

  • Make your contributions visible so that you are an obvious choice for a strategic hire

  • Fine-tune your video conference and digital communication skills — don’t waste anyone’s time with technical difficulties 

Career advice at every level 

  • Do what you enjoy because you will spend a lot of time doing it

  • Look ahead to where you want to be in 10 years, then take steps toward it every day

  • Networking is still the number one way to secure a new position 

Do you have an example of extraordinary efforts or innovation during these unprecedented times? We would love to hear your story and possibly interview you for an upcoming episode. Please reach out to us at


Stanton Chase 


Jan-Bart Smits is the Managing Partner of the Stanton Chase Amsterdam office in The Netherlands. He is also the Global Leader for the firm’s Technology and Professional Services Practice Groups. In these leadership roles, he provides guidance and facilitates collaboration among the other specialized consultants at Stanton Chase around the world.

Jan-Bart partners with prestigious clients in the Technology and Professional Services sectors, and he brings particular expertise in high-level search assignments, including CxO and non-executive Board roles. Approximately 70% of Jan-Bart’s searches are international; in some cases, this requires tapping into an international pool of candidates, and other times the candidate can be based in any location. Jan-Bart’s decades of experience, combined with his tireless pursuit to stay abreast of cutting-edge developments in Technology and Professional Services, make him a powerful leader and partner in the global executive search business.

Jan-Bart started his career in executive search in 1990 with Expand, a local search and selection firm based in the south of The Netherlands. After a stint of a little over a year at a reseller of software he returned to search business Nicholson International and, from 1997 onwards, at Korn/Ferry International. Based in Amsterdam, Jan-Bart ran the Technology and Professional Services Practice for The Netherlands, he was a member of the e-Business Practice for two years (running the European e-Business Practice for one), and he managed the European account with several Technology clients. During 2007 Jan-Bart moved to Dubai to join the Korn/Ferry Middle East and Northern Africa office, for which he ran the Technology and Professional Services Practices.



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