Report: CFOs Serving Lengthier Terms Than Before

A new study published by The CFO Report reveals a growing trend that CFOs are serving their positions longer than ever before. What makes this report particularly notable is that as the majority of Americans, especially Millennials, spend less time at their jobs, CFOs are staying longer than ever before – a year longer, to be exact.

In 2008, the average CFO for a Fortune 500 company held the post for 4.8 years. Half a decade later, that figure has risen to 5.9 years, according to a sample from a study released by Spencer Stuart. The breakdown is as follows:

  • 15 percent of chief financial officers have held their position for a year or less
  • 42 percent have been at their job anywhere from 2 to 5 years
  • 30 percent have served 6 years to a decade
  • 14 percent have served for over a decade at their current position

Two other interesting findings are that women CFOs have increased by 70 percent and that the number of CFOs with an MBA is down since before the 2008 recession.

One possible explanation toward the growing trend is the parallel growth in responsibilities for the average chief financial officer. As CFOs become more invested in the long-term growth and strategy for a company and fulfill a role larger than their financial obligations, it’s easy to imagine why this trend continues to exaggerate.

But could it be that CFOs are happier at their jobs than ever before? According to their “Happiness Index,” City and Guilds reveals that only 61 percent of the general population enjoys their jobs. The number gets even worse in certain sectors of the finance industry, as only 44 percent of bankers enjoy their current position. While 58 percent of accountants and financial professionals – including CFOs – report high levels of satisfaction at their job, there’s always room for improvement.

Tips for Staying Happy in Your Career

  1. Ask for feedback. CFOs can improve their roles as leaders if they elicit feedback from their team. Improving efficiency not only helps your company, but makes your job easier.
  2. Stick to commitments you know you can handle. CFOs already have a complex job. Adding more responsibilities is only going to add stress and create a heavier work burden.
  3. Be grateful. It’s scientifically proven that in any situation – personal and professional alike – showing gratitude is the number one key to improving happiness. Are you grateful for your career and the incredible team you work with?
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