Notes from Lucinda

Women & BIPOC Execs: 5 Ways to Make the Most of the Demand for Talent

Lucinda Duncalfe, Founder & CEO of AboveBoard
Lucinda Duncalfe, Founder & CEO of AboveBoard | Apr 13, 2022

Open Book: Issue #6

The “talent war'' is over and the talent won.
The Great Resignation is still going. The executive market is hot, particularly if you’re a historically untapped executive. Here’s how to make the most of this moment:

  1. Remember that you’re operating from a position of strength. If you’re looking for a higher salary, more opportunity, and flexibility, your chances are better than ever that if you ask for it, you’ll get it. This is a time to be aspirational. If possible, try to generate multiple offers, so that you can compare and contrast.
  2. Be realistic. Even though you're in a position of strength, know that some jobs aren’t going to be a fit. For example, if you’ve never been an executive for a public company, it’s unlikely you’ll be asked to be part of a public board. If you’re a big company person, a small company might wonder why you want to join them.
  3. Connect the dots from your past to your future. If you’re pivoting to a new industry or role, don’t assume that your employer can translate your past experience into their needs. Your last position could have been with the biggest library management systems company around, but the learning management system company you're interviewing with today may know nothing about them. Explain the context of your experience and describe how that experience is directly related to their goals.
  4. Do a foundational accounting of your competencies. Look at the job description and assess honestly whether you have those competencies. It’s OK if you don’t have all of them–no one does. When you’re talking with the company or recruiter, position yourself using these competencies. Spell out the places where you’re strong and where you’d like to grow.
  5. Be assertive. Draw on the same tactics you’d use to position a product. Be crisp and clear about what you offer and how it adds value. Once you’ve answered their questions and made a case for why you’re the right person for the position, challenge them to explain what kind of impact you’ll be able to make there. Employers want people who are looking for impact. 


Like all trends, employment demands come in waves. Right now, the talent runs the show. Ride that wave!

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Lucinda Duncalfe, Founder & CEO of AboveBoard
Lucinda Duncalfe, Founder & CEO of AboveBoard

Serial entrepreneur, Founder/CEO of AboveBoard, an inclusive platform for executive search

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