|From left to right, our speakers were Barbara Crawford Nobles, PhD, (formerly) Secretariat, Chief Human Resource Officer, Commonwealth of Massachusetts; Karen Cambray, CFO, Cartera Commerce; Rebecca Chasen, Partner, Deloitte Financial Advisory Services; and Michele Tilghman, Talent Representative, Kforce (Moderator).
This is a common question: should I stay with my current company to advance, or move on to where the grass may
be greener? Boston Women in Finance convened a panel of executives who provided their insights on the topic, including stretching to a new role, aligning skills to market demands and ensuring ongoing growth – be it at one company or many.
The panelists represented a wide range of career approaches. For Rebecca Chasen, Partner, Deloitte Financial Advisory Services, remaining at one company for 20 years has provided the path to gain different responsibilities to become a Partner. “Working within one company has allowed me to progress through different roles, with different teams, including special projects and other learning opportunities.”
A different route was chosen by Karen Cambray, CFO, Cartera Commerce. Her career path has included “short shelf-life companies, typically VC-backed, where they are looking for an exit sooner rather than later.” The panelists agreed with her that there is no one recipe for success. Some companies may offer opportunities to keep your skills growing, whereas others may have more limited paths to develop your career.
Barbara Crawford Nobles, PhD, (formerly) Secretariat, Chief Human Resource Officer, Commonwealth of Massachusetts, explained her position “ended the day Governor Patrick’s term ended.” As she looks forward, “I consider the experiences I bring and what are my current requirements.” There may be times when a candidate might want international experience and other times when flexibility may be key, she noted.
Michele Tilghman, Talent Representative, Kforce, advised the audience to ensure their skills are applicable to the new job for which they are applying. “You have to set yourself apart. What are the quantifiable results you can point to?” Michele transitioned from one industry, public accounting, to another, recruiting, utilizing overlapping skills.
To ensure your talents are aligned to current market demands, the panel recommended using your network to understand different roles, responsibilities and requirements. You may also want to take a recruiter’s call, whether or not you are actively looking, as this will provide insight into what the market is demanding. “It is important to make sure you have the right tools in your toolbox,” said Tilghman.
How will you know when it’s time to move on to a new role? Ask yourself if you’re ready for change. “For me, the impetus has typically been when I felt I was not growing any more, that I’ve ‘been there, done that,’” said Nobles. This may not necessarily mean moving to a new company. Rather, a career path can transpire at almost any time and anywhere if you keep your skills current and your connections intact, while knowing what it is you want for yourself.
Boston Women in Finance would like to extend a special thanks to our friends at Deloitte for generously hosting our January program!
*Be sure to register for our next program, Watch Football Like a Pro, generously hosted by our friends at Wells Fargo. This program is complimentary for BWF members! To learn more, or to register, please click here.*