Last week was a busy week. I did two interviews with two different writers at CFO.com and I’ll post those links as soon as the stories go live. And, I had a great conversation with a finance recruiter. The topic, in each case, was social networking and CFOs.
Chief Financial Officers and Senior Finance Executives … the last bastion of invisible people. The holdouts from exposure, risk, penetrability. Put that way, it makes a lot of sense, doesn’t it?
These are the finance leaders who spend their days keeping their companies from risk. In fact, many of them might actually be wired on the high side of risk adverse. It’s what they’re used to. It’s what they know.
Along comes the Internet, personal transparency, and a whole lot of talking, engaging, and networking. Sounds like the makings of a finance leader’s worst nightmare. You want me to be visible AND chit chat with people?
Well, yes and no.
Yes, I do want you to be known. You’re talented and accomplished and those passive finance candidates are in demand. You might love what you’re doing today, but what about in 3 months or a year from now? The more time you have to establish visibility and credibility, the more likely your transition will be easy and relatively painless.
No, I don’t want you to be “chit chatty” or even feel like you need to have useless conversations with 10,000 followers on Twitter. But, it is in your best interests to be networking, to be seen by your target audience, and to establish yourself as a subject matter expert among that target audience. It’s impossible to do that if you refuse to get engaged.
There are several ways you can practice your social networking skills within a private environment and away from the public eye of Google. If you’re on Linked In, I run a CFO Careers group. Additionally, I recommend MyCFONetwork and/or Proformative as two places where you can also network with peers.
Just remember, in this case, network is a verb.