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Successful CFO, having trouble finding my next opportunity – what should I do?


Bob Scarborough
Title: CEO
Company: Tensoft, Inc.
(CEO, Tensoft, Inc.) |

Consulting. We have a number of CFOs who are friends of our company - and it is inevitable that some are looking for new roles for a variety of reasons. It can definitely be challenging to find the right opportunity and the right fit at the executive level.

One example that may be helpful - a CFO who left a position two plus years ago in one part of technology (electronic components). He did a bit of no-pay consulting for a software company or two, learning a different industry and adding some activity on his resume. He then landed a couple of part time CFO gigs in that industry - and now has options he can choose from and something to build on.

Helping people out, staying active, and learning the lingo and requirements of a new industry can all help with your networking and to expand your potential opportunities.

Bob Scarborough

Topic Expert
Joan Varrone
Title: CFO
Company: Cloud Cruiser
LinkedIn Profile
(CFO, Cloud Cruiser) |

First, do not be discouraged it is a tough market out there. I agree with Bob's comment to try consulting as it keeps your hand in the game and creates new connections. During the downturn in 2001 the market was dead and I took some consulting assignments and my next full time job came from a Board member of one of the companies where I consulted. Secondly, pick an organization where you think you can make new connections and join a committee or project as this will quickly get you known and creates the willingness of others to refer you. Third volunteer to donate your expertise to a high profile not for profit which again will create new connections and creates good will.

Chris Shumate
Title: Accounting Manager
Company: Dominion Development Group, LLC
LinkedIn Profile
(Accounting Manager, Dominion Development Group, LLC) |

Consider partnering with a CFO recruiter/CFO career coach. There are a few on here that come to mind. To keep from mentioning one over another, do a simple search in the blog area of Proformative. Searching there will lead you to the ones with the most knowledge. Maybe it isn't your experience but your self-advertising that is hindering you. Not sure, but these highly specialized CFO recruiter/coaches can help.

Topic Expert
Regis Quirin
Title: Director of Finance
Company: Gibney Anthony & Flaherty LLP
LinkedIn Profile
(Director of Finance, Gibney Anthony & Flaherty LLP) |

Stay active. Your history matters and will be used to differentiate you from other applicants. But if you have a large hole in your work history, they will stop reading and move on. Everyone offered great ideas - Consult; Community Involvement in your field; become involved with a start-up. Everyone you meet is a potential referral source. Good luck.

Topic Expert
Cindy Kraft
Title: CFO Coach
Company: Executive Essentials
(CFO Coach, Executive Essentials) |

What do you want to be doing next, Mark? And what have you been doing to date that isn't working?

When things aren't going as you'd like, I think it makes sense to step aside and evaluate ...

-- Your messaging. Is it value-oriented?
-- Your target audience. Are you visible to them and do you have something they need and want to buy?
-- Your search strategy. Is it lopsiding into the "posted position" game because that "seems" the easiest method?
-- Your network. Are you talking to the right people? Are you killing your network by asking for something they can't deliver?

The challenge with consulting is that it can be a double-edged sword, so the decision to do so needs to be made carefully. If you are "obligated" or "committed" to some short- or long-term consulting gig when your dream opportunity comes your way, you've got a very tough decision to make.

Also, if you are merely nailing a sign on your door (figuratively, of course) that "says" you're a consultant but you're not really doing anything ... that's a big, red flag to recruiters. And it shows up as the very first thing on your resume.

Volunteering your expertise, gaining new knowledge or skills through training are good things to be doing while you're doing your job of finding your next position.

All the best, Mark.

Mark Matheny
Title: VP - FInancial Planning and Analysis
Company: Novolex (formerly Hilex Poly)
(VP - FInancial Planning and Analysis, Novolex (formerly Hilex Poly)) |

Network, network, network. Find out about needs and how you can meet them.

Maria Marsala
Title: Financial Advisor Coach, Speaker, Author
Company: Elevating Your Business
(Financial Advisor Coach, Speaker, Author, Elevating Your Business) |

Create a next job career plan and target your next company. My client's do this. And I've done that in a horrible economy, many years ago. My job strategies actually got me my first consulting gig. And that turned the job into a really good job :)

The other things that my client's do is really view their careers differently -- more strategically and look to add "their fun" into their jobs and life.

A great opportunity awaits you.


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