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I have been with my current company for over 2 years as interim CFO, on a number of short term contract positions, which they keep on renewing with the understanding that it will become a full time position with the company, for which I was told I was a strong candidate.  My current contract expires at the end of April and they have informed me that they have decided to hire for a full time position, but that I will not be considered for the position.  While they post for the position and do their hiring process they would like me to stay on for a further 2 months to the end of June.  An internal announcement was made about this change yesterday and now are being treated much differently and people are avoiding me - it is if I am a dead man walking (which I guess I am).  I am hoping to fiind another position prior to the end of June as the summer is a relatively slow hiring period here in Vancouver, and salary continuous is high on my list of things to have.

How do I get though the next 2 1/2 months in an environment where people are avoiding me, and all of the items I have been dealing with for the last 2 years are being questioned and taken over by the COO?  It feels like it would be better if I was not around during the transition.

Thank you in advance for your comments and advice.

Darcy

mpew914's picture

Hi, Darcy,

I am really sorry to hear that you are in such a rough position.  In the end, I think it will come down to your own personal decision:  How much do you need the money vs. peace of mind?  The answer may change based on how much time is left.

I am no expert here but I have been a professional for over 20 years.  Here are some things that I am thinking:

-Perception vs. Reality:  From your OP it sounds like you were really expecting that you were going to be the full-time CFO once the position was hired.  This must have been quite a blow for you and I am sorry to hear that.  Period.  From my experience, I know that I can project my feelings onto others and assume that they are thinking the worst about me.  In the moment it feels very real but in retrospect I realize that I was off-base.  No matter how real it feels for you now, consider the fact that you may not be completely accurate in your assessment.

-Logic:  The company may simply be ensuring continuity on some of your work - if there is a project starting which you would be involved in that will be complete in August, you will be gone and the new person will just be getting his/her feet wet.  It would be easier if the COO managed it instead.  Similar with your coworkers - They want continuity in the decisions being made.  It may not feel good, but it also probably isn't personal.

-Encourage the process:  Step back and try to assess your work dispationately.  For each piece, how can you make the new CFO most successful?  Are the decisions in a particular area routine?  You can keep those.  Longer term impacts on other decisions?  Maybe those should go to the COO - start directing folks there.  Any work that should go to someone else because you would be making decisions that you will not be a part of implementing?  Send those along, too.  Keep in mind three things:  Number one, it is simply the right thing to do.  Number two, it will help you feel more in control of your situation which will give you a bit more confidence.  Number three, it will be helping your company and will show them that you are more interested in doing the right thing than in your own personal interests.  There may be a time in, say, September where you are still looking for a job and the new CFO they hired didn't work out.  It is goodwill like this that would make your phone ring.

-Back to financial:  This one all depends on you and how far you are willing to dip into your savings account  You now have several months being paid to perform your job search.  You will also have a bit more time because you have less responsibilities.  Don't do your job search during work but I doubt they will be upset if you take a few extra days off to interview. There will be fewer expectations on your results.  If you are worried about not having more results in this period, keep in mind the third bullet: If I were a hiring manager looking at someone's resume who had been a contract CFO, I would think positively about seeing an accomplishment stating, "Received commendation for managing a successful transition to the permanent CFO through xyz..."

masterc34's picture

On reading Darcy's story, the first thing that comes to mind is "what the heck, this is rough". However, mpew914's comment shows exactly how you can turn a bad situation into something good, both for you and your current company. So go for it, but i guess it will all hinge on the first point made on peace of mind vs money.

I find it crass for your company to make you feel you had a chance, but came back to say you won't be considered. I would ask for feedback on that.