“There are two types of CFOs, those that have a network and those that don’t,” says Mark Tranter, partner with CFO Selections in Bellevue. While both executives are competent, the non-networked CFO averages one year of unemployment while the networked CFO gets multiple job offers within weeks of announcing a move.
Good executives tend to have a good brand. They have a great reputation for being results-oriented, are well-known in the community, often speak at industry events or write columns. When these executives decide to transition to a new company, they ping their network – which is high quality, not necessarily high quantity – and start getting interviews from their referrals. These relationships have been built over time with a long-term perspective in mind and are nurtured on a regular basis.
What if, however, you’re one of those executives who worked really hard, and produced great results but failed to focus on building strategic relationships in advance and now you find yourself having a difficult time finding a job?
Tranter predicts that you’ll be a job seeker for at least 12 months. Executive-level openings at most companies are rare. Mark does offer hope with the following advice:
Join a group, board, or organization. “Get involved with a favorite organization that you can be a resource to,” says Tranter. “Don’t join just because you’re looking for a job, as people will pick up on this motive. Join instead to show your qualities, amass a new level of contacts, and build your brand.”
Start with your own network first. Even if you only have three strong contacts, sit down with them and ask them for help and guidance. You’ll need their introductions to organically grow your network.
Create an effective job-search strategy. Target a list of 100 companies you want to work for. Decide who you need to meet at these companies and start setting up informational meetings to learn more about the company. Chances are within six months or one year, there will be an opening with these employers.
Spend time with other successful executives. There are local round tables in the Seattle area – some expensive or by invitation only – which allow you to get inside “the club.” Nancy Truitt Pierce with Woods Creek Consulting is a great example of someone who hosts regular monthly executive groups.
In my next post, I’ll give you some additional effective strategies you can use today to make your job search more successful.
What tips as an executive have you used that have been successful?
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