ARGroup Insights

Accounting, Finance & Audit Talent Search for Insurance Companies

Don’t Look for a Job, Network for a Situation.

If you are considering a job transition or if you are in between jobs, the inevitable question becomes: What next? How do you uncover the next role that would represent the logical next step in your career? Yes, you want to increase your scope of responsibility; yes, you want to transition to an environment that meets your needs; yes, you know what you are good at doing; but how do you approach this transition?

Very likely, you’ll go to market and look for a job that will allow you to apply your skills. If you are a CFO, you’ll look for a CFO job. If you are a treasurer, you’ll look for a treasurer’s job. If you are a CAO, you’ll look for a CAO job. But is this the best way? How you approach this target makes all the difference between a transition in another two years versus a longer-term role in a place where you can put down roots. Here’s the difference in the approach: Are you looking for a job, or are you trying to uncover a situation where you can apply what you are really good at accomplishing?

Generalist or Specialist

Every finance executive comes to the table for a potential role in order to address a specific company scenario and should be able to come away from that role with a set of accomplishments, such as driving profits, expanding the company through acquisition, increasing return on equity, etc. So, your job is to uncover situations where you can bring to the table what you are specifically really good at accomplishing. And you should start to network for a situation versus looking for a job.

So how do you approach this? Well, start by positioning yourself in your mind as a specialist. Consider what you are good at, what your specialty is. Once you know this, you can start to have conversations with colleagues and industry contacts in order to share this value proposition. Let them know what you can bring to the table. Your contacts will start to keep you in mind when your value proposition matches up with a company in need.

In a real sense, you are always networking for your next role. This means building relationships with current and new contacts over breakfasts and lunches. It means recognizing that at some point, you will be in the process of identifying your next career move either on a proactive basis or on a reactive basis. Whichever way it goes, however, uncover situations where you can apply your specialized approach.

Remember, every role is temporary. And while your hard skills and soft skills are the necessary foundation of career success, positioning yourself for the next step in your career is essentially a job of branding, a job of marketing, and a job of sharing your value proposition with the right people.

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