3 Keys for Navigating the Job Search Maze

Have you ever been, or even felt, utterly lost?

A few years ago, 2011 to be exact, I was headed to Phil Campbell, Alabama to help following the E5 tornado that devastated that town. Having never been there before and being incredibly directionally challenged, I was completely dependent on my GPS to get me there. Unbeknownst to me AND apparently my GPS, I was following the path the tornado took and several of the roads I needed to travel were blocked by downed trees. I was horribly lost. A gas tank that seemed to be leaking fuel only enhanced my feelings of panic. I was alone and I was lost and I was panicked – not a good combination when faced with trying to resolve a perceived threatening situation.

I know, because my CFOs tell me, that sometimes the job search can evoke the same sorts of feelings. Maybe not all three and maybe not to the extreme, but especially men who hold the breadwinner perspective and have families to support can and do struggle when it comes to participating in the ugly and confusing world of job searching that is often full of either rejection or silence.

Here are 3 keys for combating those negative feelings should any of them rear their ugly heads.


Navigating the job search maze alone can be overwhelming, especially when there is no objective voice bringing balance to a challenging journey. Even a supportive spouse or family member, when faced with a longer-than-anticipated search, can begin to doubt the wisdom of searching.

The truth is, especially at the C-level, the search is almost always longer than it could/should be. There are only so many Chief Financial Officer positions and companies are terrified of making a costly wrong hire.

Be sure your support system is solidly in place for the long haul.


How to actually conduct an effective job search is often a mystery to my Finance Executives. They have spent years immersed in doing their jobs with great loyalty to the companies and teams they have helped lead, so when it comes to identifying their next opportunity, they can be at a loss.

At the senior level, the job board black hole is not your friend. Despite how easy the boards seem, the posted position game is neither easy nor particularly effective.

Navigating the job search maze requires a balanced plan that is both proactive and passive … networking and creating visibility among your target audience.


My panic was born of having a plan that did not allow for contingencies. A paper map, while maybe not being extremely helpful, would have helped me get my bearings.

Panic (or worry or fear or anxiety) can set in when we don’t have a plan, or a plan that is flexible. If your sole strategy is playing the posted position game or posting something like this on Linkedin …

“looking for my next meaningful CFO role”

… something akin to panic is a likely outcome when weeks turn into months and you find yourself lost in the silence that is too often a big part of the job search process.

Create a balanced, flexible plan that plays to the things you do well and will commit to doing, and then execute that plan consistently and constantly … and start well in advance of when you would like to make a move.

I did, finally, get to Phil Campbell, and it was an experience I am not likely to ever forget! Sometimes the best thing we can say about a difficult journey is … there is often great room for growth in the midst of it.


Copyright CFO-Coach 2017


Cindy Kraft is the CFO-Coach and America’s leading Career & Personal Brand Strategist for Corporate Finance Executives helping clients understand their marketability, articulate their value, and position themselves as the clear and compelling choice. She is a Certified Reach Personal Brand Strategist, Certified Reach Online Identity Strategist, Certified Career Management Coach, Certified Professional Resume Writer, and Job & Career Transition Coach. Cindy can be reached via email Cindy@CFO-Coach.com, by phone 813-727-3037, or through her website at www.CFO-Coach.com.


Share and enjoy

Leave a Comment