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Do I decrease my personal brand (MVP) if I make public on LinkedIn that my current contract term is coming to an end?

I am currently expatriated on a 2 year term contract. My company is obliged to find me a position in my home country after the expatriation has ended however it would be beneficial for me if I could proactively find my next position being it inside or outside the company.

I am under the assumption that headhunters etc like passive candidates more than active candidates, but since LinkedIn is a good tool to show your network that you are open to new opportunities I was thinking to market myself publicly once I am approaching the end of my contract.

Would that reduce the value of my brand or will it increase my chances of finding a great next position instead of just having to make do with what they can find me at the time in my home country? I guess it's the difference between active and passive job seekers.

Answers

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

Based on your question I assume you are an Independent Contractor. As an Independent Contractor you are expected/required to market your services to other prospective clients, or risk being considered an employee. You have a nice safety net. Market your services and take an active role in controlling your future employment, but if unsuccessful you can " make do with what they can find" you.

Anonymous
(Regional Finance Business Partner) |

Hi Regis,

Thank you for your comment. I have in fact been employed with this company for more than 5 years and it is not necessarily my first priority to leave the company. I do see a need however to improve my position in the market and not only being dependant on a good position being available in the company at the time where my contract runs out.

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

The days of looking for a job, finding a job, getting a job, working a job, and then losing a job, and starting that vicious cycle all over again are gone. Linkedin makes it easy to be visible as a compelling candidate regardless of whether you just landed or see yourself moving within the next year.

And you're right, passive candidates ARE the candidates of choice among recruiters and the companies who hire them.

Topic Expert
Wayne Spivak
Title: President & CFO
Company: SBAConsulting.com
LinkedIn Profile
(President & CFO, SBAConsulting.com) |

Cindy -

Can you explain the reasoning behind your statement "And you're right, passive candidates ARE the candidates of choice among recruiters and the companies who hire them."?

Thanks

Anonymous
(Regional Finance Business Partner) |

Hi Cindy,

Thank you for your comment. I guess what I am uncertain about is when I go from being passive to active. Is that when I start market myself or when I find myself without a job or a contract that has run out?

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

Anonymous, I think I answered your question below ... but basically, you are raising your visibility IMMEDIATELY and ALWAYS without turning "on" the hints that you are in job search mode. Unless you are unemployed, I don't think those "hints" should ever be on a profile.

In this world perception is everything. So it isn't about whether you are going from passive to active in your mind / activities, but whether it is perceived by recruiters that you are now active.

And I'd take it one step further and say that it is almost as if there are "classes" or "levels" to this game.

-Passive - Happy as a clam and not looking.

-Passive but looking - more interest than unemployed, but less than true passive. A solid value proposition (VP) can swing a more favorable glance.

-Unemployed - unless you have a compelling VP, you won't be able to compete to get on the slate of candidates the recruiter is presenting. That doesn't mean you can't leverage your network, but for the high-end positions that are being filled by recruiters, you just have an unfair disadvantageous.

I think there must be something in the recruiter DNA that makes them love poaching the true passive candidate. Another feather in their cap or something.

Anyway, you can raise your visibility and still be perceived as passive on Linkedin because LI is a NETWORKING platform. It is when you turn on those obvious buttons that become a neon sign flashing "ACTIVE" job seeker that really hurts your status.

Does that help?

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

Have I answered your question, Wayne?

Kathleen Reardon
Title: Controller
Company: South Shore YMCA
(Controller, South Shore YMCA) |

I would love to find out more about working outside the country? Could you tell me who you work for? (I live in the NE) Is housing provided for ex?

thanks!
Kathleen

Anonymous
(Regional Finance Business Partner) |

Hi Kathleen,

I cant tell you which company I work for, but only that it is a major global company. I think it always depends on which country you want to go to. I am in US now so that is easy to adapt to. In any case I am quite enjoying myself and have not had any major challenges in terms of settling in.

In terms of what is provided for it is most things. Housing, car, medical, utilities and so on. Living as an expat definitely has its advantages. Was there any other aspects you were interested in?

Topic Expert
Keith Perry
Title: Consulting CFO and Business Operations A..
Company: Growth Accelerator
(Consulting CFO and Business Operations Advisor, Growth Accelerator) |

Wayne,

Backing up Cindy's comment with my experience and feedback from colleagues:
-I've heard first hand from several people "I wouldn't hire someone who is looking for a job; that, in this market, is not necessary. I'd rather poach someone who someone else wants to keep, and to whom I can make a better offer. That way I'm more certain they're vetted and that they're taking my offer because they want it, not need it."
-I've not heard this directly from head-hunters, only indirect, but given the potential for hiring-manager-bias, it does seem to follow that this would be a preference.

Anonymous,

With Cindy's input as an important caveat, yes advertise, but not "I want a new role" but that you're finishing up and looking forward to your next role.
-Turn on "job seeker" and "open to consulting / opportunities" in your contact preferences.
-Contact your network directly.
-Make your profile appear "open to new opportunities".

Cheers,

Keith

Topic Expert
Wayne Spivak
Title: President & CFO
Company: SBAConsulting.com
LinkedIn Profile
(President & CFO, SBAConsulting.com) |

Thank you Keith.

While I can't confirm or deny your reasoning; it just sounds silly that someone would turn down a candidate for that reason.

In other words, IMHO it's just bad business.

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

Actually, Keith is right on. I have MANY recruiter contacts and they are all on the same page on this one ... a company doesn't hire a recruiter (and pay him an incredibly huge sack of money) to find unemployed people. Companies can do that themselves. They are hired to "poach" the best-of-the-best - which is perceived as being employed and happy as a clam (passive, i.e. NOT looking).

Now, "not looking" is all in the perception because theoretically candidates should ALWAYS be looking, albeit indirectly - branded visibility.

So to Keith's next point about turning on the "job seeker, consulting, new opps" I actually disagree. That sends the signal that you have gone from passive (desired) to active (and not as desirable). Trust me when I say that NOT having those turned on does nothing to your "poachable" status except keep it high, which is where you want it.

Topic Expert
Samuel Dergel
Title: Director - Executive Search
Company: Stanton Chase International
LinkedIn Profile
(Director - Executive Search, Stanton Chase International) |

To Anonymous and everyone who commented to this point: Great conversation!

Too many CFOs think that job search has 2 positions, like a light switch: On and Off.

The most successful CFOs are those that never have to look for their next opportunity. The next opportunity finds them. Regularly.

LinkedIn is a great tool, but it is just one tool.

Successful CFOs are Visible CFOs. Online and In Person.

CFOs that hide behind their desks when working for a company have a disadvantage to the CFO that is truly networked.

A CFO that meets people, gives to their local and business community, that attends conferences, that can speak in public, that returns phone calls, that looks to help others without any expectation of return for themselves, that is genuine and caring, and that is willing to invest in the careers of others - this is the truly networked CFO that will be in the drivers seat for career advancement.

Samuel

Topic Expert
Stephen Roulac
Title: CEO
Company: Roulac Global LLC
(CEO, Roulac Global LLC) |

Adding to this most illuminating and stimulating dialogue, Samuel's astute observation re successful CFO = visible CFO can be explicitly operationalized through a proactive, appearing passive, marketing campaign.

To this end, Anonymous ex-pat might prioritize higher visibility through speaking, blog posts, asking questions on this site and others such as Linkedin, answering questions in ways that position Anonymous ex-pat as knowledgeable about, engaged in, and proactive in addressing issues that are/would be of concern to the executive position he/she seeks. By considering the desired internal/external position and the requisite competency to be effective in that position, Anonymous ex-pat can proactively position herself/himself to be a candidate worthy on consideration for that position.

The strategy outlined above is known by marketers as content marketing, inbound marketing, attraction marketing, etc.

Anonymous
(Regional Finance Business Partner) |

Thank you for all the replies!

Stephen what you mention is exactly the strategy I am trying to pursue, but I was in doubt whether or not I should make my availability public or not. From the discussion I take it that I should not.

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