What It Means To Be CxO Of Your Career (And Job Search)

Have you heard that you are CEO of Me, Inc.?

I’ve seen career pros talk about you also being Chief Marketing Officer…. which means you (not someone else) needs to be in charge of your branding, messaging, etc.

Well, let’s take this fun concept out to other CxO positions, and talk about what that means in your job search!

CEO (Chief Executive Officer): You are IN CHARGE. The buck stops with you. You are responsible for your career vision, strategy, and the results. You are in charge of understanding the landscape, competition, opportunities, trends (future), etc. The bottom line, though, is that you are responsible for the bottom line. If your career fails, it all falls back on you and your ability/inability to compete.

CFO (Chief Financial Officer): You are in charge of the finances of your operation. How will you pay your bills? Will you borrow money, increase sales, find alternative/additional revenue streams? Should you negotiate and refinance with your vendors? Do you understand your income, expenses, cashflow, etc.? You must understand, and be able to do, each of these things.

CMO (Chief Marketing Officer): You are in charge of your branding, messaging, and marketing strategy. You need to be intimately familiar with marketing concepts and models, and understand how you should position yourself. Do you understand your product (aka, you)? Do you know how your product compares with others, and how fit it is to compete today, and in the future? Have you been able to look over the horizon and develop a strategy so you are relevant in the future?

CSO (Chief Sales Officer): You are in charge of results. Vision and strategy from the CMO are great, but then you have to execute and get your numbers. What are your financial goals? Or, how much do you need to earn each month/year? Once you have your number, work towards it. Get on the phone, talk with people (yes, really!), and work with an intense focus to get what you need. Heck, if you get excited, exceed your quota 🙂

CHRO (Chief Human Resources Officer): Yes, you are in charge, but you don’t have to go it alone!  As CHRO you need to understand who should be on your team and what roles you should hire for. You might be able to do a lot of this, but let’s not kid ourselves: this is hard work. And, you need to focus on what you are good at, and consider outsourcing the rest. That might mean you hire a coach or resume writer, it might mean you work yourself into a job search team (a brilliant concept), or you enlist family and friends to help you get the word out and find people to have informational interviews. I know the job search feels very, very lonely, but make sure you don’t neglect your role of CHRO to get help.

CIO (Chief Information Officer): You are in charge of information… understanding and managing it. This is really where JibberJobber comes in, to partner with you. You will have a ton of information and data come your way… what are you going to do about it? How are you going to process it, make sense of it, understand it, leverage it, and capitalize on it? The information will be centered around reactions you get from people (is your marketing working?), the jobs you apply to, the target companies you are networking into, the networking you are doing, the conversations you have, and simply keeping track of which version of what resume you sent to who, and when do you need to follow-up with them. As CIO you need to crack that nut. It’s a lot easier to do with JibberJobber, trust me!

CTO (Chief Technology Officer):You are in charge of what technology you use. Smart phone, email system, tracking system (JibberJobber!), storage system, internet connection, auto-responders, computer/laptop, blog platform, password managers, etc. If you don’t know where to start on this, tap into your CHRO and find the right trusted people who can point you in the right direction. Nothing wrong with asking others, even other job seekers, what technology they are using. Some will be too much, some will be overwhelming, but your job as CTO is to figure out what you really need with the right tools.

COO (Chief Operating Officer): You are in charge of getting things done. You take the strategies and visions and ensure they gets implemented and executed. This might mean you ensure that you are networking with X # of people every day or week, or you do Y # of informational interviews each week. You understand and support the vision and create a plan that is workable, with bite-size metrics that are achievable. And you make sure that daily goals (which you have created) are met (or adjusted).

The above list, and responsibilities, looks an awful lot like what a solopreneur would do, also. Note that these roles should be filled for the rest of your career, not just during your job search. This is what we call career management!



3 thoughts on “What It Means To Be CxO Of Your Career (And Job Search)”

  1. Ha ha! Love this thought.

    Great way to help my clients understand the challenges, duties and responsibilities that an intentional job search requires. All too often we fly by the seat of our pants and don’t see the big picture.

    This is very helpful.

  2. Those clients contemplating “hanging out their own shingle” would do well to read this post. Informed decisions come from the best information. Jason, thanks for providing us (and our clients) with food for thought.

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