A few days ago I spoke with an unemployed CFO who was struggling to decide whether he wanted to go back into consulting or the corporate world. He offered a perspective that I think many executives, not just senior finance executives, share …
I have to make a career decision go back into corporate life that may or may not have loyalty –or- go build my own equity and control my destiny.
The two are not mutually exclusive, but it probably feels that way because most people in the corporate world only think about their career when they are facing or enduring unemployment. When you own your business or consulting practice, you are forced to think … every single day … about packaging, positioning, target audience, and reputation. In reality, “every” executive should be thinking about their career in the same way, every day.
This CFO is right in his statement that a company “may or may not have loyalty,” but why give the company (employer) that power? You, as an accomplished professional, could have take back control by ensuring that you have a strong brand, that it is visible to your target audience, that you are networking consistently to build relationships (including recruiter relationships) long before you need them.
Whether you are self-employed or a corporate player, “you” are the only one who is vested in your career. Build your brand equity as a high-value player and then take total control of your destiny. Cliff Hakim wrote a book entitled “We Are All Self-Employed,” … and he’s right. Many corporate executives just haven’t realized that point.