Chief financial officers (CFOs) and other financial executives often find their careers in transition, with little guidance as to how best to navigate the transition into or through an executive career. For most financial professionals, the path up the career ladder in the post-college years is straightforward. It’s when these professionals must make the switch to the executive climb that complications arise.
How can you clarify your career path and prepare yourself to seize the opportunities within your reach? Consider these tips for managing your executive career:
1. Create crisis.
If circumstances in your career haven’t forced you to a point of self-exploration, don’t wait any longer: create this “crisis moment” for yourself. You don’t have to quit your job or risk your own stability, but you should ask yourself some tough questions in order to create a “roadmap” for your executive career.
Step back from the day to day work and ask yourself these questions:
- What do I want to do that I cannot or do not do in my current job?
- What do I have too much of in this job?
- I will consider my career a success if, when I retire, _______.
2. Target Your Weakness
Find the functional areas in which you are weakest and develop a plan to strengthen your skills. This may mean partnering with a colleague, taking a class, or practicing a particular skill or ability to help it develop. By targeting your weaknesses, you’ll improve both your “fit” for executive opportunities and your chances of landing the career change you want.
3. Get involved.
Identify the people you admire most, and connect with them over coffee or lunch in order to learn how their careers developed. If your organization does not have a mentoring program, create one and participate by mentoring new talent. Volunteer for projects, task force work, and research on new business ideas. In addition to expanding your CV, you’ll also deepen your relationships with your colleagues.
4. Talk to a recruiter.
Staffing firms do more than match job-seekers with work. They also partner with established professionals to help them define a career path that fits their goals and talents. Work with a staffing firm that specializes in financial recruiting to learn more about opportunities in your field and your geographic area.
At Daley and Associates, our experienced recruiters help financial professionals find executive positions throughout Boston and the Northeast. If you are looking for executive search firms in Boston, contact us today.