I am a CFO that is very committed to my employer. Recently, I was approached by someone I know to consider a CFO role with another company.
The new opportunity sounds challenging, and right up my alley. I have been with my current employer for 4 years, and I think I’m ready for a change.
On the downside, the new CFO opportunity pays less than I am currently earning. Also, my current employer is beginning to face some tough times and I don’t want to leave them in a bind.
What should I do?
Torn in Toronto
You are in the ideal situation for a considering a job change. As opposed to being unemployed and looking for a job, here is an opportunity that has found you (you didn’t go looking for it) while you are working and busy. There are people I speak with that would envy your current situation.
That being said, your choice is tough. Giving up the known for the unknown can be a very stressful and difficult choice.
While money is important, you need to look at the situation without the compensation aspect. Once you have all the information you need, then you can add the compensation piece back into the equation to see if it will make a difference.
You need to put your CFO hat on and get as much information you can on the company that is pursuing you. Do your due diligence, as you would for any company you would be considering acquiring for your current employer. Really learn what you could be getting yourself into. True, you will not know everything, but you didn’t get to become CFO by not asking the tough questions and getting the right information you need to make important decisions.
Now that you have all the information, ask yourself the following question:
If I was unemployed, and I had these two opportunities to choose from, which would I choose?
Now that you have this answer, add the compensation piece back into the equation and ask the same question.
If you’ve decided to leave your current employer, you need to prepare yourself for what could be a difficult conversation. As part of your conversation, you should recommend to the CEO that they use a search firm to hire their next CFO, and that you would be happy to speak with the executive recruiter to help them help the company hire a very good replacement CFO.
Good luck with the decision process. If I can help any further, email me and we can talk.
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