How to demonstrate your expertise as a CFO. A case study

Landing Executive Connexions

I had successfully worked as CFO and CEO in a small stock listed distribution company (sales: €36M) in Singapore for five years when the main shareholder decided to change the strategic direction, and my term was not renewed.

I was offered another role that was far from the scope, responsibilities and action radius I had before.

Being very frustrated, I entered the job search market. Unfortunately this required a new approach, and my networking skills were very poor.

Internet research found lots of articles. They were useful and interesting, but I still didn’t know what to do.

I was then offered a strategic discussion with Executive Connexions.

This helped me develop a flavour of my future direction and intentions. It 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.

First, we discussed and redrafted my CV and LinkedIn profile. Then we focussed on improving my social media presence through LinkedIn and I started to use Twitter.

My approach to LinkedIn has changed. 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, I was advised to write articles to demonstrate my expertise. With that, recruiters and executive head-hunters 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.

Landing Executive Connexions Howard Goodbourn, CFO

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