Most Connected vs. Well Connected
Have you noticed these types of monikers attached to members on Linked In, Facebook, and Twitter? The “most connected” statement always makes me think Rolodex. Is it really possible to have a relationship with 16,000+ people on Linked In? Perhaps I’m a little old-fashioned but it seems to me that building relationships is about quality not quantity. Unless you are building a cold call contact list (like a recruiter), being well-connected to, and engaged with, a few will serve you better than merely collecting a lot of names.
Networking vs. Showing Up
These are very different. Many of my finance executives struggle with the networking concept. And I understand. For many CFOs, their jobs are demanding. Who needs one more thing to take time away from family and other priorities.
However, networking today is defined as raising your visibility among those who need to know about you. That means engaging people. Just having a place holder on the various social networking sites with no picture, no interesting bio, and no conversation is merely showing up. Being a wallflower doesn’t raise visibility, it merely takes up oxygen.
Job Searching vs. Searching Posted Positions
A well-balanced job search strategy includes a variety of activities with searching posted positions as one of the “least” effective. And, the posted position game becomes even more ineffective the more senior your position.
The best of all worlds is to do the things you need to do before you need to do them (managing your career) rather than being forced to give up power and do them because you have to do them (searching for a job). But, if you do fall into the latter category, move away from the job boards and diversify your search strategy.
And while we are speaking of job boards, the CFO recruiter who joined me on the Proformative Insight and Strategies for Seasoned Executives in Transition webinar told me he rarely, if ever, posts positions on public job boards. He’s not alone.
Branding vs. Marketing
This came up on the Proformative discussion boards following the Insights and Strategies webinar. There is an important distinction between authentic branding and marketing. Marketing is the pitch, persona, and perhaps even spin used in selling yourself. Branding, on the other hand, is leveraging the combination of your unique strengths, passions, and values that others … regardless of how they know you … all see in you and which attract “likeness”. This naturally pulls the kinds of opportunities that are a good fit with who you are.
Branding occurs at the intersection of how others see you as it aligns with how you see yourself. It requires honest feedback from people who know you and is why a person just can’t say I’m going to have this brand and then put it out for the world. If it isn’t who you really are, the world won’t buy it, at least not for long.
Think of it this way. If you believe yourself to be a strategic finance leader but when asked, your team and the CEO and Board members all say they view you as a micro-managing bean counter … who are you really?