The Path to CFO: 4 More Steps to Boost Your Financial Career
In early 2015, we wrote this post about the steps you can take on the path to a career as a Chief Financial Officer. And while those 4 steps are a great start, they aren’t all that is needed to further your career in finance. As you’re preparing to move forward, here are a few more things to consider as you plan your next moves.
- Learn business strategy and operations. Having knowledge of accounting simply isn’t enough to get you to the next level. A good CFO has knowledge about how business works and how to make important decisions that impact a company on even the smallest level. That doesn’t mean your knowledge has to be expansive before you start on this path, but it is important to recognize learning opportunities along the way.
- Network within the executive level. If you want to position yourself in your current company to eventually take a place with the other C-level executives, it’s time to start now. It is important that the CEO and other high level positions know your name and what you do. You need to start making going impressions so your name will come up when discussing the next steps for the company.
- Think like a marketer rather than a job seeker. When you’re looking for a new position, don’t come at it like a typical job seeker. Don’t just send your resume and hope for the best. Now is the time to market yourself. What do you bring to the table? How can you impact the company in a positive way? You don’t need to automatically aim for the CFO position, but help a company see how you can benefit them now and in the future.
- Know how to ask for what you want. A strong leader, including a CFO, is someone who can articulate what they want. They are also not afraid to ask for it. As you work your way up the ladder, don’t be afraid to tell others what you want and how you want it. Be proactive, but no aggressive. Be confident but not arrogant. These are the traits that people want to see in someone they hire at an executive level.