I guess those 3 words are just too harsh to say out loud so these days people are calling a “career ending move” a CEM.
As a headhunter, I have seen a few CEMs in my career but by far the most common CEM that even smart people have made is accepting a counter offer.
Here is just one scenario that happened to a friend of mine that will illustrate how dreadful accepting a counter offer can be.
After giving her notice to her boss, Emily, a Corporate Controller,(no, that is not her real name) was surprised to hear how much she was valued, the plans that they had in place to have her take on more responsibility and about the raise that she was going to hear about “tomorrow.” Oh, please, “tomorrow!?!?” That was too obvious.
Anyway, she fell for it but not just because of the money but I think it was more of the “valued” part that got to her. THAT NEXT DAY, her company called my company to confidentially replace their Controller that was just not working out. They made up some story that I KNOW was not true but my hands were tied. I could not say a word to her. As much as tried to emphasize all the reasons she wanted to take the other job in the first place, she was suffering from a little change anxiety as well. To respect the confidentiality on both sides, there was nothing more I could do.
One of the things that she did like about her job was that they allowed her to get her work done from home at night if she had to leave early for an event with her daughter. Well, the next time she had to do that, she ended up with a warning and on probation. Coincidentally, the Friday before the new Controller was due to start, they let her go.
I wish I could say this only happen once but the bottom line is that I see variations of this all the time. Once the company knows you have the desire to leave, they figure it is only a matter of time before you are going to want to leave again. If you accept a counter offer you will be viewed as a disloyal employee and your future will be limited even if you are not let go soon.
Why? It's a business decision.
It is expensive and inconvenient to find a replacement even within a month. If they can slap a band-aid on it and replace you in their own time it will be much easier not to mention it won’t mess up the vacation schedules.
If your company does value you, they will do the right thing and show you how much while you are there.
When it comes to “career ending moves” there is only one other CEM that I see as frequently by otherwise very intelligent people…
choosing a job just based on the money.
Learn why and what your criteria should be for a career nurturing move by downloading The 3 Guidelines to Avoid Choosing the Job for the Wrong Reason.
Posted by:Saundra LeePresidentDubin & Lee
So you submitted your resume to a job posting, now what? While I try to do the best I can to relay the feedback I get from my clients, sometimes it is best to hear it straight from the source.
Best practices when applying for a job is somewhat subjective but much of the feedback I get from hiring managers and Corporate Recruiters is very consistent.
Take a look at this interview with a Corporate Recruiter from a multi-billion dollar, international, publicly held company explaining what she looks for in a resume and tips on how to follow up.
Just today, I spoke with a CFO that confided with me that he was shocked that he has interviewed a few people lately that did not follow up with a "thank you" note. Needless to say, he did not follow up with those job candidates so don't forget to send the "thank you" note!
To learn how to craft the perfect "thank you" note, view the 6 minute Job Interview "Thank You" Note Tutorial.
Posted by:Saundra LeePresidentDubin & Lee
Guest Blog by Samuel Dergel- The CFO Expert
Just because you have the skills to be a solid Controller, this does not mean you have the right stuff to become a Great CFO....
but it doesn’t mean you can’t become a Great CFO.
To become a Great CFO, one needs to be able to move beyond the technical of accounting and finance. Having great Excel skills, being a GAAP Geek or being able to add 100 numbers in your head within 60 seconds is not what a CFO does. If a CFO needs to these things, there is a good chance a CFO will hire you. That might be why you were hired, but these skills will not get you the CFO job.
So what do you need to work on to become a CFO?
1) Management skills. A Great CFO is a Great Manager. He or she has the ability to manage a team of people to ensure that the detailed work gets done properly and on a timely basis. Work on your management skills if you hope to become a CFO one day.
2) Relationship building. A Great CFO needs to be able to develop relationships based on trust and mutual respect, both inside and outside the company. If you are the kind of person that needs to be in a closed office all day to be happy, give up on becoming the CFO. If you love speaking to people, walking around the company and visiting different locations, speaking with customers and suppliers, and look forward to going to networking events, you might have what it takes to become CFO.
3) Planning. Being CFO is more than just reacting and fighting fires. A CFO does these things well, but a Great CFO has the ability to plan to ensure that fires don’t start and that the company is managed pro-actively and helping company managers make profitable and informed business decisions.
4) Presence. A Great CFO has presence. When they walk into a room, they get noticed. They dress sharp, shake hands firmly and look people in the eye when they talk to them. If you don’t have presence, start building some.
5) Presents. Not the Birthday kind. A Great CFO needs to be able to present in front of a crowd of 1,000 or a meeting of one. Being able to communicate effectively is what separates a Controller from a CFO.
6) Negotiation skills. If you have never developed your negotiation skills, now is the time to do it. It’s more than just saying “no”. It is about being able to work towards a solution with parties that may not want the same thing that you do, but where everyone walks away a winner.
7) Get a Coach or a Mentor. Or both. It is hard to work towards a CFO role if you have no one helping you along. It is hard for a person to get constructive and impartial feedback – and you will need these things if you want to grow into a Great CFO.
Not everyone can become CFO. If you are motivated to become CFO and think you have what it takes, commit to improving in these areas. Your future CEO will be happy you did.
You can read more from Samuel Dergel on his blog or visit his website or LinkedIn profile
Request a free Coaching Session with the CFO Expert, Samuel Dergel
It’s been over a decade that I have been recruiting for Corporate Accounting & Finance professionals and while it kills me that we spend so much time calling people who have jobs to convince them to interview for a better job, the best I can do for now is educate people in Accounting how to be that person.
Here are the Great 8 Accounting Career Builders
1. Big 4. 99% of the searches that we work on at Dubin & Lee want Big 4 experience. I used to ask why Big 4 all of the time and I have heard a variety of answers including “the way they were trained” to “because the hiring manager is Big 4.” I am certainly open to hear more reasoning.
2. CPA. Even if not from Deloitte, Ernst & Young, KPMG or PWC, a CPA from a public accounting firm where he or she worked on companies larger than the “Mom & Pop” companies is still high on the wish list.
3. Publicly traded company experience. Public accounting experience alone does not rank an Accountant on the list of “Most Desired.” The ideal experience is public & private industry combination. In private industry, the experience you gain from working in a publicly traded company can make you extremely marketable, especially if you get exposure to SEC reporting.
4. IPO experience. When a company is about to do an Initial Public Offering (IPO) the accounting department sees a lot of action in that process. It has been quite some time since we have seen demand for IPO experience and I am happy to report, we are seeing it again.
5. International company experience. As our world becomes more global, so many companies have increased their international presence. Now with the convergence from US GAAP to IFRS (International Financial Reporting Standards) accountants with international experience are in more demand than ever.
6. Finance experience. You will get to certain level where just being able to crunch the numbers is no longer enough, you will need to analyze them as well. When you get into a company, try to get exposure to budgeting, forecasting, modeling and planning. Don’t bother dropping out of work to get a Finance degree as well. Companies want to hire the work experience
7. ERP systems experience. Whether a company is implementing a new system or they have a verbose system like SAP or Oracle, they lean heavily to hire the people that have experience with these systems.
8. Presentation skills. Every time I ask a manager what they mean by “strong communication skills” they say, “well, this person will have to make presentations” to senior management or to the Board of Directors. This can be the most necessary yet hardest to find of all the criteria because so many professionals are brainwashed that the only people who need “presentation skills” or need to improve their communication skills are those in sales. I have not seen many successful, in demand CFOs that have not learned the importance of powerful presentation skills.
There is no such thing as a secure job anymore. Chose your next job based on what it will do for you as a career builder. Once you get in, take all the initiative you can to get any of these “8 Greats” on your resume.
Posted by:Saundra LeePresident, Dubin & Lee