- Sharfi Farhana changed the course of her career at IAC by pitching a new position for herself to the CEO: head of executive recruitment.
- She’d already been taking on extra responsibilities that proved she could do the job.
- When she talked to IAC’s CEO, she focused on how she would benefit the organization in her new role, not on why she deserved it.
By the time Sharfi Farhana was pitching a brand-new position — head of executive recruitment — to her CEO at IAC, saying yes was essentially a "no-brainer."
That’s because she had already proven that a) this position was necessary within the organization and b) she was the right person for it.
IAC is a $16 billion company whose brands include Match Group, Vimeo, and Daily Beast. Farhana’s then-title was HR business partner, head of HR and recruitment for IAC brand Investopedia. But for a while, she’d been connecting with coworkers in different departments to learn about their projects and the specific challenges they faced. In turn, they’d put her in touch with other people in their network who might be looking for a new role, and she’d help them find one at IAC.
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When she initiated the discussion about the new role, Farhana said, "I tried to keep myself out of the conversation as much as I could," focusing instead on facts and figures. "My business proposal was: Here’s the data behind all of the executive hires we’ve made internally. … Here are the cost savings of having had those roles filled internally versus going externally," i.e. having Farhana fill the roles instead of using a search firm.
"Rather than me having to walk in there and really very directly say, "I deserve this,’" Farhana said, "it was more, ‘I’m here as a colleague solving a business problem. Let’s figure this out.’"
Make it as easy as possible for your boss to say yes by doing all the legwork beforehand
Farhana’s career strategy aligns pretty closely with expert advice on inventing a new position at your company. For example, on The Muse, Anne Niederkorn recommends identifying a current business problem and matching your skills to it. "For your boss and company to consider shifting your role, they’ll want to know what’s in it for them," she writes.
Meanwhile, Firas Kittaneh, CEO of Amerisleep, told The Muse that "as the boss, I don’t want to be responsible for any of the preliminary legwork. If an employee has a clear idea for his next position, then he should have a well-thought-out strategy in terms of execution, responsibilities, and value-added deliverables as well as a reasonable timeline and contingency plans."
And Fast Company’s Gwen Moran spoke to Teri Carstensen, vice chairman of bank solutions at Fiserv, who said developing a solid network is key. "If you put the time and effort into growing a wide range of good relationships in various areas, you’ll likely find yourself with more than one champion," Moran writes.
Once she’d forged relationships with coworkers across the company, Farhana had multiple advocates. "It just became a very natural thing," Farhana said. "This is what Sharfi does." Farhana’s best advice for people aspiring to create their own role is to "think like a CEO."
This month, Farhana is starting a new role, senior vice president of talent acquisition and management at IAC brand Angi Homeservices. Landing that position "would not have been achievable as quickly without having accomplished what I did in the role I created," she said.
Of her last role, she said, "As I started getting more and more wins under my belt, I said, ‘I should be the director of talent at IAC, focused exclusively on this.’ And at that point, it became a no-brainer because the groundwork had already been done. But if I had come out from the gate saying that, people would have looked at me and been like, ‘Who are you?’"
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Source: Business Insider