4 Effective Career Management Strategies for 2018

Have you noticed that the older you get, the faster the years seem to fly by? I sure have! We are sitting on the cusp of yet another new year, and it has never been more important to take control of your career. If you are a CFO who is anticipating a move in the next year or so, here are four strategies to help ensure that you achieve your goal.

Update Your Resume

Yes … it’s painful.
No … it isn’t fun.
Yes … it takes time and effort.

But when a recruiter calls you because he thinks you are a viable candidate, you are in a position to forward him a resume when he asks. Otherwise, you run the risk of sending him something outdated or rushed and incomplete … both at the risk of losing a potentially great opportunity.

Update Linkedin and Leverage Its Power

Linkedin is a tremendous passive strategy for current and future jobseekers, but especially for future jobseekers. There is nothing so appealing to a recruiter than the opportunity to lure away a passive candidate into a new position.

For active jobseekers, it is a passive strategy that works 24/7 in concert with your proactive strategy … enticing recruiters and prospective companies who need the skills you have and are willing to pay, and pay well to get them, to look at your profile.

To believe Linkedin is a non-player in the job search process is to risk missing opportunities you may never otherwise discover.

Network with Intentionality

A common response by my Finance Chiefs to the question, how is your network, is either …

– I don’t have a solid network, or

– I have been so busy working my job that I have not had time to build a network.

Resolve that this will be the year that you commit to building and nurturing your network. It will pay huge rewards when you are ready to make a move.

Raise Your Branded Visibility

This strategy ties into the other three, because without branded positioning there really is no reason to be visible. If you aren’t visible, it is very difficult for the recruiters and companies to find you rather than discover your very visible competition. If recruiters and companies aren’t finding you, you may be missing out on dream opportunities.

Execute the first three strategies, and then work consistently and constantly (whatever that looks like in your busy schedule) to ensure that the people who need to know about you do, in fact, know about you!

Call me if I can help! Please note my NEW phone number … 813-727-3037.


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.

Operational CFOs

For the past couple of years, I’ve suggested that CFOs with a proven track record and deep understanding of operations would be the most in demand and valuable CFO candidates of the future. Is the current financial crisis driving that train … even faster? If so, it is potentially great news for strategic CFOs with a solid business understanding of how operational functions interplay with the numbers. It is also potentially devastating for CFOs who have positioned themselves as primarily numbers guys.

A snippet from a recent article at CFO.com, “Future Tense” …

Some finance departments are beginning to incorporate methods such as scenario modeling, sensitivity analysis, and contingency planning to help CFOs think through a wide-ranging set of potential situations, thus avoiding a monocular view of what's ahead. They are refreshing forecasts more frequently, homing in on a handful of measures that have a financial effect on the company (so-called driver-based forecasting), and doing more to provide synchronous information flow between finance and operations.

Today might be a great day to have lunch with the COO!

More from the Kennedy Conference

Thanksgiving was here and gone and it’s already December. Only 3 weeks & 2 days until Christmas, and then we will speed right into the New Year. Are you already thinking about your New Year’s resolutions? Dreaming about what you would like to be different next year. Thinking and doing are two different things.

As you think, and plan to do, here are a few more gems tweeted from the Kennedy Conference that might help you in your planning.

––36% of CEO's lack confidence in their own company's recruiting department (Steve Lowisz, CEO of Qualigence)

It seems inconceivable that CFO–types would actually want to be going through HR to secure their next position. But, when you play the Internet job search/job posting game, that is exactly what you get … unless it is a specific TPR (third party recruiting) listing, and those are rare.

Sitting in front of a computer searching for posted positions on public job sites is safe, and a HUGE timewaster, because it is ineffective and keeps you from doing the things that are effective and will move you towards that next position. Remember the old cliché, “if it looks too good to be true it probably is.” It’s true.

HR is a screen designed to filter out candidates who do not meet the list of requirements. They have no decision–making authority. Great candidates rarely succeed in this process. Even if they meet all the skill requirements there is still culture fit, work ethic, and track record of bottom line impact to consider. Bypassing HR gives great candidates a fighting chance.

–– Elements of a killer brand: Choice and expectation. Every choice that will be made will be based on expectation. (Steve Bonomo and Steve Fogarty, Adidas)

Expectation – People make decisions in life – and in the hiring process – based on emotion. And decisions about the brands with which we choose to associate are incredibly emotional. An assessment about you is typically made within the first 3-5 minutes of an interview. Think of the power your brand brings into that interview. They probably already like you based on the connection they feel – which is based on who they believe you to already be. Set the expectation.

Choice – The candidate gets to choose where he wants to go rather than accepting whatever is offered. What is different and unique about what you’ve done in your finance career that will position you from a place of power rather than commodity, and shift the paradigm to choice … yours?

Is your Finance Career Recession-proof?

Interesting article in CFO.com today, “Is Your Finance Job Recession–proof?” I’m excerpting the CFO section below, but other finance jobs are covered in the article.

I wonder if a better question would be, “is your finance CAREER recession-proof?”

There is little control over job security, which is always driven by external factors. Conversely, making your career recession-proof … doing the things you need to do on a consistent basis to ensure you do not find yourself on the street for 22.6 weeks (average length of an executive job search) searching for that next job … is all within the control of a passive candidate.


Here’s the excerpt …

<<And what about CFOs themselves? Eldridge says that it’s common for companies to change CFOs during changes in their business cycle — when they go public, for example. Thus, he says, job changes are also common when the larger business cycle turns. For example, a CFO of a smaller growth company may decide to leave if recession forces the company to adopt a defensive economic approach.

But ultimately, CFOs occupy such a volatile position that an economic recession may simply be a moot point. "If the plan is not being met, the CEO is not going to take himself out — the CFO will go first," says Eldridge. And CFOs can’t really win: When CEOs do end up leaving, their successors tend to bring their own CFOs with them. The CFO slot, says Eldridge, "is just a battlezone. You’re going to score a touchdown or get sacked."

That may sound grim, but Eldridge is bullish on finance positions in a recession. One might think, of course, that turnover would benefit an executive recruiter one way or the other. But that’s not so, says Eldridge. Five years ago, he says, financial services hiring "came to a screeching halt. We have not seen that in finance."

He recommends that finance professionals continue to seek ways to balance their skill-set. "Don’t get pigeon-holed. You want to be the value-add person." He says finance professionals can do that by working with senior management on special projects, volunteering for assignments overseas or within operating units and taking other steps that demonstrate that they are more than just a number-cruncher. "You don’t want to be easily disposable," he says.

In the long run, says Eldridge, finance talent is like healthcare: everyone needs it. "I would have to lean towards finance perhaps being recession-proof," he says. "But that doesn’t mean everybody stays in their job.">>