CFOs and Corporate Loyalty

A friend of mine (I’ll call him Bob) landed a job after a very proactive, and anxiety-ridden, search, and just completed 5 weeks of very intensive training. As I was congratulating him on completing that training, he told me that his boss in this new company was just fired.

Uh oh … the voices in my head became almost audible. As we talked about what his steps might be in executing a solid career management plan, Bob said you know Cindy, “once I start with a company, I am loyal to a fault. I don’t want to be looking for a job; I want to give the company 150%.” It is definitely a character value I hear often from my Finance Chiefs.

Well he shouldn’t be “looking for a job.” But he (and you) should …

Continue to network. It’s pretty easy to get so wrapped up in a new job that networking falls off the calendar and radar. Too busy, too tired, too many priorities and the next thing you know, weeks, maybe even months, pass with no communication with your network.

Maintain visibility. Again, the subtle deception of “security” now that you’ve landed can, and often does, push the importance of staying visible to those people who need to know about you far into the background. Far, far into the background. Your Linked In profile gets stale, status updates are non-existent, and Google relegates you to page 50-something.

Why is this important you might ask, particularly if this “feels” like disloyalty to you?

For starters, here’s a quote from a contributor to a recent FENG newsletter …

I was fired without warning or reason from a job that I really loved (company named a new president).”

There is no one … absolutely no one … who is vested in your career more than you. There is no … none … corporate loyalty today. The moment you are not living up to investors’ or shareholders’ expectations, butting heads with the CEO, navigating a contentious board, or facing acquisition … you, like the CFO above, can be gone without warning or reason.

It is in your best interests to be proactive in placing your career and your ability to provide for your family above any sense of disloyalty to your company. You can execute a solid career survival plan while delivering great value to a company. Those two are not mutually exclusive. In fact, I would argue that the more credible visibility you, as a member of the Senior Executive team has, the more overall credibility your company has.

And remember, this most desired candidate is the one who is currently employed, holds a clear and compelling value proposition, and while not looking … is clearly visible among his target audience!

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3 thoughts on “CFOs and Corporate Loyalty”

  1. Cindy:

    Your advice is spot on. A senior financial, or other, execitive should always be fully branded and up to date. Changes can occur without notice, and with or without apparent reason. A new CEO, particularly an outside hire, can have the same effect as an acquisition for senior financial people. Each of us has to always own management of our career and livelihood.


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