I am a Business Executive in the financial services sector. I have been operating in this capacity for about 15 years. I manage clients and help to create financial plans for new ones. My work includes creating financial plans for individuals and businesses. One of the biggest misconceptions about business executives is we are all lazy and fly private jets. Most of us are pretty average, hard-working wage earners. On a scale of one to 10, I would rate my job satisfaction as a 10. I enjoy helping others meet their financial goals and working with new clients on a regular basis. I think a less demanding work schedule and a better work/life balance would allow me to unleash my full enthusiasm. I have been in finance for as long as I can remember. I've always been interested in running a business, and I studied all that I could about the world of finance. When I started college, I knew I wanted to be a business executive, and I genuinely feel that it is my sweet spot in life. One of the things that is unique about my situation is that I was not always on the track to working in the corporate arena. I originally wanted to be a small business owner and work in a local community as an insurance agent or . A summer internship was my discovery into the world of corporate finance. I studied finance in college, and dug very deeply into the field of study. I took a summer internship at a large investment bank and learned everything I could about the field. If I could go back and do things differently, I would have taken a second internship and branched out into other areas of business management. In this job, there are many hard lessons to learn. For one thing, nothing is guaranteed. I have found out the hard way that it is not wise to make promises to clients that you can't keep. I lost a major client for the company when an expected transaction didn't turn out the way we had promised. The single most important thing that I have learned outside of school about the working world is that learning doesn't stop when you graduate. You have to keep up with changing technology and new information or you will be left behind. The strangest thing that has happened to me in this job was a prospective client who insisted on meeting me in his home to discuss his portfolio. It was definitely a departure from the norm, but we accommodated him. He turned out to be one of our best clients. I get up and go to work each day to make a difference in other people's lives. I really feel good or proud when I see my account executives working hard to make people's financial goals come to fruition. With the economy's challenges, it's great to be able to help hard-working people get their financial lives back on track. It's also a source of pride to help small businesses flourish and thrive in the community. There are many challenges associated with the job. I have to deal with very high, pressure-cooker situations on a regular basis. Some factors are out of the realm of the company's control, and it makes you want to tear your hair out daily. Market fluctuations, natural disasters, international events---there are many things that can affect your work and make it more difficult. On a scale of one to 10, I would say the stress level of being a business executive is about a 10. There are all sorts of situations that need your attention, fires to put out and problems to solve. During some periods, I work 70-hour weeks. It doesn't allow for a healthy work-life balance. The important thing is to be aware of when your stress levels are high and deal with them before they become a problem. It's a high-stress position, but I enjoy every minute of it. A rough salary range for the position I hold is around $250,000. The position also includes a generous benefit package, commissions and bonuses. The starting salary for my position is around $175,000 and increases with experience. I believe I am paid enough, and I am quite happy living within my means. I will admit it takes a lot of "paying your dues" to work your way up to my position, but our company definitely rewards you for your hard work. Many of our executives started off as interns, assistants and entry-level account executives. I am allowed up to four weeks vacation every year. I usually don't take all of my vacation days, especially during busy periods at the office. I know it is better for me to take my vacation time to recharge, but I find it hard to completely disconnect. Even when I am not in the office, I'm checking e-mail, sending out updates, and delegating tasks. Next year I plan to take a luxury cruise with my wife--and leave my cell phone at home! This is a true story as told to JustJobs.com, where you can find helpful career interviews and job search advice to break into the career field you've been looking at. Visit to find an interview in your desired field today.JustJobs.com is ajob search engine that finds job listings from company career pages, other job boards, newspapers and associations. With one search, they help you find the job with your name on it.Business executive job image from Shutterstock
August 05, 2022
As you can imagine, there are many leadership areas in which CDAOs focus on collaboration with HR, recruiting, and technology. In their role as the leader of the data analytics (DA) practice and as executive general manager for the firm, current concerns for CDAOs revolve around recruiting, management, and retention of DA talent.
With more firms adopting the center of excellence (COE) and practice model (often Agile at Scale practice models) for data analytics (DA), success begins with designing and implementing a world-class talent architecture.
Let's Start At The Beginning: Why Do We Need Talent Architecture?
Just as a building plan defines the elements of a house to be built, a talent architecture (TA) clearly explains the elements of the jobs to be done. TA is leveraged to understand what skills and competencies are to be recruited, how they should be managed, and what expectations new hires (and current team members) should have regarding job performance, competencies, career progress, and compensation. A finely tuned talent architecture will achieve these goals and set the practice up for organizational, business, and team member success.
An Impactful DA Talent Architecture Has Two Prime Elements With Multiple Powerful Benefits
- Fit for Purpose Job Descriptions: To provide robust, well-defined job descriptions that clearly define role profiles within your organization. These profiles describe the boundaries of the role, years of experience required, and technical/business qualifications. This is important for honing your recruiting strategy and spelling out the expectations for the existing team of each role—what the role is, what it does, and what spells success.
- Career Path and Salary Range: The talent architecture creates spans and layers within each job function that makes it clear to existing staff what it takes to get to the next level, the expectations of those occupying each role, and the salary band for that particular job. When you design the spans and layers, HR will coach the CDAO to be people agnostic and not to think about the existing team but rather what roles are needed for the function and how they will calibrate to the market and best practices and the desired end state organization.
- Credibility and Professionalism: Ensures DA roles are filled with actual data analytics professionals. The talent architecture helps create credibility for the organization's role and the team, with all stakeholders aware that the position is part of an endorsed competency center of excellence. Historically, there were issues with hiring managers slamming people with connected skills (but not the required ones) into a job, only to have them leave or to create sub-optimal results for that particular role. [We all know folks in roles where we scratch our heads wondering how they got there based on required qualifications. Talent architecture helps avoid this syndrome.]
- Business Competitiveness: Roles are clearly defined and are priced to the market via regular surveys. Calibrating to the market allows adjustment within your compensation strategy to attract and retain talent. The salary banding should be reasonably broad to allow for flexibility for advanced, hard-to-find talent/skill sets in data science, engineering, and AI.
- Career Path: Team members know where they stand with a defined career path—'I know who I am, where I am, and where I can go.' Everything is published and why people hold their roles becomes less of a mystery.
- Organizational Transparency: Clarity of job functions and associated levels creates and builds trust with the professionals on the team and rational thinking and understanding of the function by management. I find the higher the trust amongst the team, the lower the turnover!
- Teamwork and Collaboration: Workflows and handoffs are known with understood roles and responsibilities. Very often, there is confusion between data scientists and data engineering regarding the handoffs and who is building what aspects of the tooling. TA brings that clarity and helps engender collaboration with clearer handoffs and job scopes.
An Example Of A Talent Architecture
A talent architecture is a living, breathing system of job families and functions calibrated in content and compensation with a market study. This architecture defines all subject areas, job functions, and categories within an overarching job family. There can be many job functions within this architecture, each with a role profile having the following essentials:
- Role Title
- Role Description and Key Responsibilities: The essence of what the role does. These activities should be stated if the role leads people, uses platforms, and supports the business.
- Competency Level: The level of knowledge that the holder of the role should possess, for example, from Knowledge ofto Competent to Expert level capabilities. These levels often help by translating to salary bands, and specific skill sets help define a role profile. For example, the number of years of experience in machine learning in data science can be a differentiator between the salary paid for the role and the level.
Illustrative: (There are more jobs than these two)
Executive Data Scientist
Data Science Manager
(Including COE/Practice skills, Organization and Leadership skills, and Technical skills)
Rated by knowledge level. For example:
Rated by knowledge level. For example:
Tips On Designing A Talent Architecture Governance And Management
- In alignment with CDAOs and their Drs, HR owns and governs the talent architecture.
- Hiring managers can customize business focus but not competencies. In other words, hiring managers don't get to change the job family at will. They must leverage the governance model to update the roles based on the desired end state and market calibration.
- The dedicated technology team works with HR to make the role profiles and full TA available to enterprise recruiting and LOB teams.
- People analytics teams should be formulated to understand the key insights that can benefit talent planning from the talent architecture.
- LOB leaders/clients are sponsors of data analytics projects. They can be part of the hiring process and give input into the business scope of the role.
- Third-party consultants and best-practice firms should be leveraged to guide any necessary calibrations to the talent architecture. Get in touch with me if anyone wants recommendations for these providers based on my experience.
I hope this paints a picture of some of the critical elements of talent architecture and how CDAOs help with its design. This post should also paint a picture of some of the future of work (FOW) leadership dimensions CDAOs are involved in. As always, the devil is in the details, but I believe I've left much here for you to ponder. Please send your thoughts, comments, and suggestions.
Stay tuned for future posts on What it means to be a CDAO, the critical elements of the job, and the success factors.
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