[PERSONAL BRAND CAREER] The INED who lives at the intersection of Stability & Growth
Updated: May 13
Following is an excerpt of a conversation I had with a Financial Services Professional at a very clear and present cross roads. Chances are, his question is one you're considering too...
Should I stay or should I go?
I have worked in the FS space for a very long time now. I have a good reputation. I am liked. I am well networked. I also have a family, a mortgage and while I am happy to take calculated risks, I am very practical. I have left my last role to take stock. I wasn't happy and Covid made it possible for me to duck out easily enough, so I did. I'm now contemplating my options.
I see three options for myself and I can't decide which is right for me yet!
Go get a job
Set up my own business and consult
Move into the INED space
I guess my questions are:
1. How do I best transition from employee of a reasonably large FS firm, to in-demand INED?
2. Do I want to set up my own business? I was going to do it with a couple of guys I know - they got things underway, but their business went bust because after a row one day, they determined they couldn't even speak to the other, let alone work together. I was going to join them, but as that's no longer the case... I'm not sure I am up for going it alone.
3. Go get another job - but how do I ensure its got a far better culture and vision fit for me, than the last one I ran from?
This was a 90-minute Personal Brand Workshop
that sought to bring clarity and resolve to what this FS professional actually wanted, and how they could confidently pursue what they wanted.
As I listened for the first 45minutes to an hour, I could see a striking pattern in the likes, dislikes, inspired work, grunt work, happy roles, tedious roles and the underlying prayer for a role that fed this person's soul, not just paid the bills.
As I listened to this professional describe themselves as an oxymoron, and go on to suggest they are just talking in paradoxes - I saw magic. The magic. The essence of their most valued selling point.
"The INED that lives at the intersection of stability and growth."
My counsel was simple: I could hear clearly under the words being said, that this person wanted a creative way to solve their question. That a black and white answer just wouldn't work here. That's because this person was a square peg being forced into a round hole and it had just got to a point where it was not worth the effort.
My counsel was as follows:
It's clear you want a job. But you want a job where you flourish in the exact areas you love to work in; Stability and Growth. The CFO/CRO hybrid. So your application and approach to the job is going to take that hybrid model and showcase its value to the right kind of FS firm. You don't want to work for an old school, institutionalised company - you want to work for an FS firm that is pioneering, innovative and embraces paradoxical employees because in their world they are not paradoxes at all - they are freaking Intrapreneurs. You live at the intersection of stability and growth and there is a firm out there gagging for an Intrapreneur that can bridge both worlds effortlessly.
You want to invest the next 3 to 5 years building your Personal Brand up in such a way that you slide into an INED role by 2024/2025. That work starts now.
You want to do your homework now on what success looks like 5 years from now and then reverse engineer it into today - revealing a trajectory, and a blue print with which all career-related decision making will be based.
Show up, be seen, and declare your unique selling points so the part of the world that is seeking just that, can find you.
Get the basics of a personal brand set up now.
Calmly and effortlessly add to that each quarter for the next 3ish years. When the time to INED yourself out comes - it will be a slide over, not a blank canvas staring you down from the top of a mountain.
Shannon Eastman, Growth Consultant
Inside Growth Podcast
Shannon Eastman is a growth consultant, human behaviour expert, communications adviser, management consultant, mentor and business coach. Shannon is the Host of inside GROWTH, Founder of Funds Ireland MiniCon and an Advisor to starts ups in the Middle East.