Aim, Ready, Set!

Seth Godin’s blog post this morning, Trying to Please, reminded me of several posts I’ve written about this topic regarding the spaghetti strategy, I mean job search strategy. 

Who is your marketing or your product or your effort trying to please?

A clear target audience is so important!

And that’s precisely why the job board game is so ineffective. Job postings are about trying to make (or remake) yourself into something someone else thinks they want or need. It’s why job postings are fiercely competitive and woefully ineffective.

Trying to be all things to all people is akin to a strategy of aim, ready, set. 

Be clear about your strengths, who needs them, and then focus your search. Less is more might seem counterintuitive, but it is more effective.

The High Cost of Taking the Wrong Position

Brad Remillard, a 25-year executive recruiter, authored a blog post about the high cost of making a bad hire. It is definitely expensive.

It also made me wonder if you, Mr. CFO Search Candidate, have given thought to the high cost of accepting the wrong position. 

Failure is an option

Taking the wrong position or taking the right position at the wrong company is a recipe for failure. A sound reason for making sure you are very clear about what you have to offer and to whom!

That is precisely why I am such a fan of branding. When you understand your authentic value (brand) and the market you serve (target), decision-making is much easier. You attract the “right” opportunities and repel those that are not a good fit.

Sadly, failure …

Sticks like glue, 

And, you have to explain it. 

Do you really want that mess as the lead in under Employment History on your resume? This job market is tough enough without adding a conversation around a bad decision that led to 1) no contributions and/or 2) leaving shortly after you’re hired. 

Dissatisfaction leads to job search mode … again

Job searching is not fun. It’s hard work, filled with rejection, undermining confidence, and can even lead to desperation. Desperation can lead to repeating the same cycle of choosing the wrong position and/or the wrong company, again.

Passive candidates who are open to hearing about new opportunities HOLD THE MOST POWER. It may not be right, especially given the current market, but it is true. Making great decisions about where you go and when is a smart, long-term career management strategy.

CFOs – Do You Have a Career Bailout Mentality?

If you answer yes to any of these questions, you might have  a bailout mentality …

–Have you given up control of your career to someone else?

–Job searching is nothing more then the stars aligning and that next position magically appearing at the right time?

–Are you walking around with a sense of entitlement, annoyed or even indignant that no one is noticing how brilliant you are?

–Do you believe you are secure in your position so managing your career isn’t something you think about, ever?

–The investment of a couple hours a week (while I’m unemployed) SHOULD be more then enough time on my search.

Now some of these are obviously said tongue-in-cheek, but the reality is these are some tough times and the squeeze is on for everybody – including the C-suite. Never, seriously, NEVER has it been more important to take back control of your career, rather then leaving it to the whim of others. Those others might be the CEO, shareholders, or board of directors. The moment CFOs don’t deliver on projections, their career is in jeopardy. Maybe not right away, but the foundation has cracked. Better to be prepared and not need to be then to be caught totally unprepared and suddenly find yourself spending 8 hours a day searching for a job.

Your highest value and marketability are while you are still employed. You have the most leverage to get what you want in that next position when you still hold a position of power (employment). You can choose what you want and when you want it, rather then being forced to take what’s offered … if and when it is finally offered. 

You might be the greatest thing since sliced bread (most CFOs don’t get to the top of the ladder if they aren’t) and a company may very well need your help, but without a clear visible presence, a compelling MVP, and positioning as the answer to their problems, they may never see your brilliance. 

Don’t wait to be bailed out … be proactive!