Before I started to work with Executive Connexions, I successfully worked as CFO and CEO in a small stock listed distribution company (sales: €36M) in Singapore for five years. As the main shareholder decided to change the strategic direction and my term was not renewed, he offered me another role in which I could contribute my financial skills. However, this was far from equivalent to the scope, responsibilities and action radius I had before – so I was very frustrated and decided to look for approaches in the job search I have never used before. Additionally, I was looking for a way to increase my then rather poor networking skills – as before in the pure financial roles I was never interested in it, but I knew this was a weakness.
I undertook internet research and eventually found some articles published by Executive Connexions, which I found very useful and interesting. I took the offer to have a strategic discussion with one of their career coaches and I was impressed by their approach and also their team of dedicated experts. After a while, we started the coaching sessions.
Through coaching, I have developed a flavour of my future direction and intentions which was developed from my skillset and experience. I have become much more focused in what I really want. I learned skills in social networks I will keep momentum in – even in a new secured position.
At first, we discussed and redrafted my CV and LinkedIn profile and then focussed on improving my social media presence through LinkedIn and I started to use Twitter. Though I had used LinkedIn before, my approach to it has changed –as before I had only former colleagues as contacts. I started to find and use valuable information, sharing the most helpful and I gained new contacts, growing my network. I had personal discussions with some of them, which gave me some assistance.
In order to summarize my thoughts and approaches, and upon advice from my coach, I started to write articles to demonstrate my expertise. With that, recruiters and executive headhunters called me and I had some very good meetings. The work on my articles has improved my ability to formulate (which I used as CEO but didn’t want to forget), and I started to use my network.
The biggest surprise I found with my new approach to my job search was that there was a lot of positive and inspiring reaction to my articles. I was also amazed that I had most job discussions without applying for advertised roles (the way I used to land a new role before).
The most challenging aspect of the job search has been finding the time to dedicate to seeking a new role whilst remaining committed to my old company, working as divisional CFO. However, with Executive Connexions support, I now have the network and contacts in place which makes me feel confident about future career moves, and I am currently in discussions with recruitment professionals.
My advice for someone who is seeking their next senior role is this: Be prepared early. Start networking and becoming visible, even while in a secure role, and be open for all options. Having that network in place before you really need it will help you find your next role more quickly.
If you would like to find out how career coaching can help you to get the results you want, please contact us for a complimentary conversation with one of our experienced career coaches on +44 (0) 203 384 4188 or email [email protected]