Stay the Course … or Pivot?

You thought I was going to talk politics, right? Another day, perhaps. But I am going to borrow from a current political message.

Disregard people’s responses at your own peril. And while that certainly does apply to companies, government, and CXO’s who set strategy, what about on a much more personal level … your job search.

What responses are you getting to …

Your resume? Interest? Inquiries? Interviews? Or, Silence? Unless your answer is one or all of the first three, what can you do differently to move from silence to activity?

Networking? Is your network providing you with introductions to your target market? Or, are people hiding behind closed doors because you asked them for a job and they can’t deliver? Is it time to hone your message?

Search strategy? Sitting in front of a computer and responding to posted positions is easy and it sure can make a person feel productive. But what is the return on your investment of time and energy? If decision-makers are not responding, the search strategy might need an overhaul.

Online Presence? Do you have one? Is it credible? Is it attracting the kind of opportunities you want? If your message is not resonating with your target market, then perhaps the messaging needs to be refined. 

I know you know this. If you keep on doing what you’ve been doing, you’ll continue to get what you’ve been getting. If you’re getting what you want and need, great! If you aren’t, then it’s time to pivot. Unless you embrace change, it’s unlikely anything will change.

Executive finance positions, and particularly CFO roles, are limited. There are only so many available slots at the top. Move away from the masses (competition) and the same ineffective strategies they all use and craft (no pun intended) a strategy that gets you out in the open where you can be seen and found by those who need to know about you, need what you have, and are willing to pay to get it.

What is Different About These CFOs?

Tough economy these days. Why is it my clients keep calling me bursting with good news? Lucky? Maybe.  They are talented and savvy … that’s a given. Something, however, is very different.

One client called to tell me that within a week of setting up his Linked In profile with the documents we created together and following our coaching/strategizing session, he was already one of the top 3 candidates for a CXO position that perfectly matched his expertise, experience, and niche. In fact, the Founder of the company and the recruiter both thought he had tailored his profile and resume to the position.

He had not. What he did do, though, was drill down into his branded marketable value proposition (MVP), and then clearly convey that MVP across all of his marketing collateral to the exact target market who would need what he brings to the table.

When you understand what you have that a company is willing to pay for, and then get your message in front of them … the result is often more perfect matches. Sweet!

Then yesterday I received a message from another client. Less than four weeks after creating his branded digital footprint, he received his first, unsolicited, inquiry.

Neither of these clients is in active job search mode. Rather, they recognized the instability of the current job market and decided to proactively begin positioning themselves for that next opportunity. As passive (employed but open to hearing about new opportunities), they have very strong appeal and the ability to say “no thanks, but keep me in mind for future opportunities.” What a luxury.

The job market is tough today. Competition is stiff. There are too many candidates vying for every position … the last number I heard was four candidates for every available position. However, judging from the turnover rate of CFOs, there is still high demand for top talent. When you are clear about the value you bring to a prospective company and then put that compelling message out to your target market, you ramp up your success rate … often times much more quickly.