CFOs are Influencers, but NOT when Unemployed

CFO Research released a study showing that CFO influence was on the rise. And by a pretty wide margin with 17% indicating their influence was “greatly” enhanced and 55% weighing in at “somewhat” enhanced. Here’s the quote:

... finance chiefs say their positions were enhanced by the turmoil of the economic downturn, as everyone from the CEO to junior staffers looked to finance for guidance on how to cope with volatility on both the micro and macro levels.

There is no question that CFOs are needed and that great CFOs are in high demand. Top-notch CFOs remain high-value targets for companies and recruiters. And, I’ll really go out on a limb and say that the demand for top-notch CFOs isn’t going to diminish anytime in the foreseeable future.

But then there’s this from a Wall Street Journal article:

… about 4.4 million Americans have been looking for jobs for at least a year—and that doesn’t include the ones who have given up.

The cold, hard facts are truly cold and cruel. But it is a reality in the world today. Here’s another one … all things being equal (your skill set and your contributions), the moment you walk out the door with a big, fat severance package – but unemployed – you just made finding that next CFO role, among the limited opportunities, that much more difficult on yourself.

You can’t be a top-notch influencer when you aren’t in a position to influence. The new year is rapidly approaching and with more economic uncertainly expected, there has never been a better time to make sure you are visibly positioned as a passive, in-demand, A-player.

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2 thoughts on “CFOs are Influencers, but NOT when Unemployed”

  1. Cindy,

    Your assessment is on the money!

    An employed CFO is a CFO in demand. An unemployed CFO isn’t. That is just the way it is.

    What can a CFO do to ensure they stay in demand?

    1) Be visible. An invisible CFO cannot attract opportunities to them.
    2) Be marketable. A CFO has to have the knowledge, skills and abilities other companies want.
    3) Be ready. At all times, the next person you meet might be the one that will refer you to that next great opportunity. Always look the part of being a Great CFO.

    Sounds simple. Yet you and I know MANY CFOs that are not visible, marketable and ready.

    Thankfully, CFOs have people like you to go to for help.

    But then again Cindy, are there other people like you that exist? Not from what I’ve seen so far.

    Samuel Dergel
    Dergel CFO Search & Consulting

  2. Thanks for your kind words, Samuel, and for your support!

    It is definitely a process of education and evangelism. Five years ago when I first became certified as a Personal Brand Strategist, the word “branding” was relatively unknown in the CFO world and CFOs were certainly not interested in hearing/learning about it. And, a job search was something you thought about, and did, when you needed a job … and nothing more.

    Three years later, CFOs were interested in the concept and some even embraced the philosophy and strategy.

    Today, branded visibility is the MOST-ASKED-FOR service when CFOs call me. Most of them get it. Those who do recognize that they have the most power when they are known for something brilliant AND hold passive, visible positioning have a huge advantage over their competition.

    If you’re going to play to win, you have to get in the game and understand the new rules!


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