As the world learns continues to deal with the dynamics of the pandemic and people seek new opportunities to advance their career, one thing has become clear: 2022 is a candidate’s market. The most talented technology leaders can therefore take time to be selective and find an opportunity that aligns with their career and life aspirations.

At the fourth JM Search Diamond CIO Council meeting, co-hosts Ben Millrood and Bill Hogenauer introduced Julia Anderson, CTIO at Campbell Soup Company, to speak about her experience in this market and how she strategically planned her career moves.

Julia addressed the current market and shared the story of her recent career moves to Campbell. With 20 years as a global CIO and tech leader in the CPG space and experience at a variety of reputable CPG organizations such as Smithfield, PepsiCo, and Kraft Heinz, Julia built an impressive resume. However, she knew her next opportunity shouldn’t be based purely on what she had achieved, but instead centered around her passions and ambitions – and aligned with her current life circumstances.

Julia began her search with six key guiding principles in mind:

True North. This is the direction you want to take your career. Is it more of the same or something different? In Julia’s case, she wasn’t attached only to the CPG sector, but rather wanted an opportunity to contribute real value in a fulfilling role regardless of industry vertical.

Time. Julia recommends approaching your search as if it were a project, which includes setting a timeline. Keep market conditions in mind to set realistic dates/deadlines.

Brand. Ask yourself how you want to be perceived in the marketplace and create a personal “brand” accordingly. With this foundation, you may need several different versions of your resume and portfolio. You can also portray this brand via your social media presence and networks.

Passion. Align your search with whatever puts a smile on your face – that’s critical in finding the right opportunity. Consider getting involved on Boards or other professional networks where you can actively participate, showcase your leadership, and highlight your passions.

Family. Family circumstances and geography were key to narrowing down her search. Be realistic about what works for you and if relocation is a possibility.

Network.* Exercise the power of a solid network and believe that people want to help each other. Determine how to articulate your value and passion and reach out to your network (and to executive recruiters) to get feedback on your resume and pitch.

*The JM Search Diamond CIO Council is a good example of such a network. If you’re interested in joining the council alongside a collaborative group of talented IT leaders, please reach out to Ben Millrood or Bill Hogenauer. Special thanks to Julia Anderson for sharing her story and insight. 

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