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.
Howard Goodbourn, CFO