I received a referral request from one of my clients this morning to offer assistance to a world class CMO looking for his next great opportunity. I provided some counsel and determined that there might be something here for others in the same situation.
Ok, let's assume that you are awesome marketing executive with full skillset and toolkits and your company goes off the rails and you lose your job for no fault of your own. Well it's time to stand back up. From time to time, you will lose your job for situations beyond your control; for example, you company loses its PE funding, your company is acquired by another entity and they don't need two professionals in your position, your company relocates and you choose not to move with them, or you can't stand working for that jerk you call your CEO or immediate supervisor anymore. For those times, you need a strategy, and here is a strategy for a highly talented Chief Marketing Officer (CMO) looking for that next best position for an industry built to last.
First, get connected with your local market. Learn who the players, industries, and growth engines in your community are, and reach out to them.
Network, network, network. Did I say network? Yes, do this with leaders and stakeholders of fast growing companies and emerging growth companies; business owners, investors, financial planners, who might have a handle on job opportunity and needs.
Figure out for yourself if your skill is best used to help many, or to focus deeply on one client. Some CMO's make great soloists and can be a boutique business being a part-time CMO for several other companies, much like part-time CFO's have created this important role in the financial industry. However, if you want to go to work for another company, and you are looking for your next CMO here is my suggestion in view of the growth of the economy for the next decade.
If you have game (i.e., you are world class), have flexibility of timing and geography to be choosey, then here is what I would suggest if you are world class in your capability, position, and skill set in your industry.
If I were guiding you, I would focus on the future growth industries with high potential and need for your services; you could also be a contrarian and focus on fossil industries in great need of modern marketing know-how.
If you are world class and playing at a high level, I would suggest that you link up with top Silicon Valley headhunters listed here.
Prior to contacting them, I would put together an online portfolio of your best work and consider doing a free test drive of something amazing for these talent sourcers; I’m sure there is opportunity there, though likely not as targeted for your future. You should be looking for the right job type, in a growing industry.
My personal preference for new technology companies would be those focusing on AI, robotics, VR, AR, Block Chain, or other new technologies where your knowledge could be traded for equity in these series A and B companies. This might take more targeting on your part. CBI (crunchable) has done some interesting work on AI and the companies in the space and you might find opportunity with a company wanting to top grade their marketing VP or CMO. These companies are likely to be less concerned where you live and more concerned about what you do for them.
Here is an excellent summary of AI Futures and Niches prepared by CBI.