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Grace Under Pressure

By Ginger R. White, CMA, CSCA
October 1, 2018
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I’ve witnessed many people experience career transitions in various stages of their lives. Some manage through these transitions with grace, others pause to gain equilibrium before moving ahead, others plan years in advance to drive the transition forward, and others have a very difficult time adjusting.

 

I’d like to share two stories of friends who have been quite successful in managing their transitions (for confidentiality’s sake, I’ve omitted their names, companies, and genders).

 

One friend worked for a large public company for more than 20 years and made it known that they wanted a separation package—not to be relocated—when the time came to close the current operations. When this eventually happened, my friend managed through this period with calm and exceptional grace. They received their separation package and soon began planning their next move. They knew they wanted to be a CFO for a private company, so this individual started networking with local business leaders, revising their résumé for an external search, and updating their LinkedIn profile. I’m pleased to report that this individual landed their dream job as CFO of a multinational private company. I’m so happy for them!

 

Another friend working in a finance project management role was downsized from a large publicly traded company when the economy took a nosedive. Basically, they were in the wrong seat at the wrong time. This individual took almost nine months to find a new position as CFO of another multinational company. A few years later, something similar occurred: They were downsized shortly after that company was acquired by new owners. Rather than retire (they could have, but they just weren’t ready), this individual applied at a nonprofit organization and made it clear that it wasn’t about making the same salary but about serving the community. I saw this individual soon after they started their new role, and they were happier than I’ve ever seen them. They said their new job was much less stressful, and they especially loved the nonprofit’s mission, as well as taking 30-minute walks every afternoon!

 

IMA® (Institute of Management Accountants) is prepared to help no matter where in transition you find yourself. As a member, you have more than 110,000 colleagues to network and share ideas with; the CMA® (Certified Management Accountant) and CSCA® (Certified in Strategy and Competitive Analysis) credentials, key differentiators as you start your new search; the CareerDriver® tool, which you can use to assess your skills; continuing professional education to keep you current; and leadership opportunities to help you develop the soft skills necessary to manage a team. Please use them!

 

What are some of your transitions? I’d like to hear from you at gwhite@imanet.org.

 

Ginger R. White, CMA, CSCA, is Chair of the IMA Global Board of Directors and corporate purchasing finance director at Cummins Inc. Follow her on Linkedin: http://bit.ly/2JLWSmV.
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