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Mar 10 2014
Many senior financial executives spend so many hours on the job that actively managing their own careers takes low priority. This can be a costly mistake if there is a chance you might be at a crossroads within the next year or two. In the current business environment, this is frankly a possibility for just about everyone.
Build and maintain your network. Make sure you build and maintain a strong network of industry and executive recruiter contacts. While joining industry-specific organizations and clubs can be useful, try not to surround yourself with other CFOs. Instead of being one of many in a crowd of financial professionals, try to find places and events where your unique skills and experience can really standout. And of course, make sure your LinkedIn profile is well populated and up to date.Know yourself. When you actually begin your job search, whether it is as a passive or active candidate, it is vital to know yourself. Think carefully about what you do well, what you most enjoy, and the infrastructure and culture you need to perform at your best. Do you wish to focus on finance and accounting or do you prefer to head multiple administrative functions across the organization? Do you enjoy turning around underperforming operations or enhancing existing growth? These questions are particularly relevant for CFOs as the role can vary greatly across firms.
Do your research before the interview. When it is time for the executive interview, it is as important to ask in-depth questions about the organization and the position, as it is to sell yourself and highlight your past achievements. Sometimes the most important queries can be sensitive and require a great deal of tact. For example, many firms expect the CFO to complement the skills of the COO or Controller. To determine whether an opportunity is truly a good fit, you have to find out what the strengths and weaknesses of these individuals are. Examine the financial health of the organization. If it is in financial distress, is there a turnaround plan? Is the CFO expected to lead the charge? While questions like this can be difficult to ask, they are often well received in the interview process. And of course, it is well worth doing your own due diligence externally.
While most CFO positions are challenging in numerous ways, those individuals who have taken the effort to carefully evaluate their own strengths and areas of interest when considering new opportunities are much more likely to find the right fit and be happy in their new positions.
|About Gulnar Mewawala|
Gulnar Mewawala is a triple certified Master Resume Writer (MRW, ACRW, CPRW) with BlueSteps Executive Career Services, Wharton MBA, and TORI Award nominee. In her former professional life, she led senior-level executive searches across the Middle East at Spencer Stuart and developed the private equity and investment banking practice at a start-up search firm in Dubai. Her expertise is in creating powerful executive resumes, cover letters, bios, and LinkedIn profiles for C-level leaders, entrepreneurs, expatriates, and other professionals worldwide.
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