When You Are Least Expecting It — Be Ready For It

As the economy grows, and tens of thousands of baby boomers move into retirement, there will be opportunities for finance and accounting professionals at all levels. Yes, you are content in your job, but how prepared are you if that unexpected call comes to you?

It may come from a former supervisor, a past board member, a parent of one of your children’s friends or someone from a community outreach group you volunteer with — or even a specialized job recruiter, like me. I have seen many people who may not have been thinking about leaving their existing job, but the right opportunity came along that caused them to give serious consideration.

When these situations present themselves, there is often not much time to ponder. By the time the job is out there, someone is likely keen to hire and get that perfect person hired and started. 

We should all be ready for that opportunity or phone call should it come our way, even if we are not conducting a job search. After all, it never hurts to have a discussion about it. 


  1. Always have your resume up to date. This may seem like a no-brainer, but the last thing you want to do is put a resume or portfolio together under a time pressure, as it probably won’t reflect your best effort.

  2. Always have a professional, well-fitting, clean suit ready to put on with short notice. Most people don’t wear a suit to work, and the time to shop for a new one is not the night before an unexpected interview when you realize the one you have is dated or no longer fits well.

  3. Go on an interview with an open mind. Many people are in jobs they never thought about doing until they went on that interview and left thinking, WOW, I am so pleasantly surprised. I actually really want this job.


  1. Be unwilling to have a conversation. The worst that can happen is you meet someone new and learn about a business or industry you have not previously encountered, while expanding your network.

  2. Assume that your professional situation cannot be improved. Be up to date on that one area of opportunity that might just make you happier in your career, even if you are not unhappy where you are.

  3. Get so comfortable where you are that you are not considering what the other possibilities might be out there in your marketplace.You want to be someone who is approached with opportunities, and if you are not interested, you can at least share with your network so someone else can benefit by them.

Kathy DownsKathleen Downs is a recruiting manager with Robert Half Finance & Accounting in Orlando, Fla. She started with the company in 2000. Prior to joining Robert Half, she was CEO of a recreation/retail/education organization in Bonn, Germany. Kathleen is actively involved with a number of professional organizations within the finance and accounting field and sits on several not-for-profit boards.




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