December 31, 2009. The end of a decade. The last two years alone may have seemed like a decade to many who find themselves among the unemployed.
Tomorrow heralds a new decade and the opportunity to do something new and different. If the last few years have taught us anything, it’s this …
–corporate loyalty is gone;
–you are only as valuable as your latest contribution;
–networking is no longer about who you know but about who knows you; and
–if the Board isn’t happy, the CFO’s neck is on the chopping block.
The beginning of the decade arrived as a seller’s market. If you were walking, talking, and breathing, you were a candidate for almost any position. Companies were that desperate. Seems like just a distant, vague memory doesn’t it?
The end of the decade paints a much different story. Today, companies take their time hiring … willing to wait for the right and best hire, not just any hire. The market is flooded and competition is stiff. Responsibilities are out, value rules. Culture fit is key. Personal branding facilitates a company’s ability to hire the finance leader with the greatest chance of fitting within its corporate environment.
Many finance executives have either been caught completely by surprise or knowingly took a severance package along with some time off to rejuvenate … only to jump back in and hit a big wall of reality. Finding that next position just wasn’t going to be so easy. And despite the wealth of unemployed talent, recruiters and companies still covet the “passive candidate.”
Gone, probably forever, are the days of yore. Reality says you can either drive your career or you can be driven. Respond or react. Be hunted or be forced to hunt. Seth Godin’s blog post today posed this question … “Seven years from now, what will you have to show for what you are doing right now?” I’d like to pose my own question from a career management perspective …
Where do want to be 3-5 years and what do you need to be doing in your career today in order to ensure you get there?
Failing to plan is, by omission, planning to fail.
Happy New Year … may 2010 be filled with much joy, hope, happiness, and health!