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Women Careers

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The notion of moving from a “good�corporate job to “Temporary Help�as a consultant or an interim executive can feel humiliating if you adopt a Free Agency Model of career management.

The career reality we see within elite executives is a constant traversing from full-time assignments or W-2 relationships to project assignments or 1099 relationships. And then back again. Failure to grasp the realities of the marketplace can make life even more painful. Consider the case of Jack:

Jack was CFO of a company in a declining industry. A larger player acquired Jack’s company and he received a one-year severance agreement as part of his exit package.

Jack spent the first nine months aggressively networking for a full-time CFO job in his geographic area, while making it clear that a full-time CFO position requiring relocation would be a second choice. By month ten, Jack became concerned about his family cash flow situation, and began looking for interim CFO assignments or project consulting assignments.

Jack found hi network unresponsive and the reason was obvious. Jack had clearly signaled early in his job search that Project Assignments were not on his original career agenda. Jack’s network reasonably concluded that he had failed to achieve his goals and was now desperate.

Jack is now approaching month 24 without either employment assignments or project assignments.


We work with executives like Jack every day. His story is both unhappy and common. It need not have ended this way. Jack needed to understand and accept that his career may have begun as an employee but it would most certainly end as a consultant. Nor did he understand that a lifetime of work does not involve managing a single career comprised of a series of corporate jobs.

Think of your clients as managing two distinct careers. One career focuses on employment assignments and the other focuses on project assignments.

Our mission as career consultants is to teach leaders what we know about managing these two careers so that they will be successful at both.


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