Category Archives: Job Search

Posts particularly helpful to those seeking or changing employment

Three Tips for Early Stage Professionals Seeking Their Next Job

Your first job out of school is NOT a life sentence.  The best move might be to take what you have learned so far and step out to complement it with a whole new set of experiences  before deciding to settle-in somewhere for the long haul.  

While it can seem daunting, if you remember that it is a job to find a job, read all the posts in the Job Search category of this site, and follow these three tips, the results may well be worth it:

  • Put your education at the bottom of your resume once you have any work experience. Education is most important only in getting your first job out of school.  From then on it is about what you have done in previous jobs that support and make a case for what you say you want to do next.

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How services firms should think about what they do to help leaders turn ideas into benefits.

Framework for Service Providers along the Idea-to-Benefit Cycle

There are many ways to provide value to leaders who seek to turn ideas into benefits!  services firms  need to get and stay clear about how they help leaders in order to perform and grow to their full potential.

Click the figure to view a presentation on how to think about helping leaders turn ideas into benefits.

How a new top executive can gain respect and affect change by being a great listener.

Most people cannot listen until they have been heard.  As a consequence, wise leaders who want to affect thinking and behavior learn to first be a great listener to those they aim to impact.

Holding back from jumping-in when a key point comes to mind in the middle of a fast-paced conversation can be a challenge but it is also essential in order to avoid being written-off as one who does not listen or understand, especially if the leader is new to the organization.

The following steps help a leader stay in-tune and attuned and dramatically improve their odds of success:

  • When someone talks, give undivided attention and do not interrupt.  While s/he is talking you may think you know what they are going to say and what you want to say next rushes to mind.  In that instant you experience an irrepressible urge to interrupt and jump-in.  Following the urge causes many bright, successful senior executives to often unintentionally and repeatedly use the power of their position to hijack conversations.  The pattern wears on those in the organization and soon the leader is written-off as one who never listens and who does not get, or care about, those they lead. Continue reading

How to leave a job you love and not get pulled back in.

Leave JobLeaving a long-held, cherished job is not easy. Even with a new dream job in-hand, cutting the cord that connects you to a place you have become part of can be one of the most difficult challenges you ever face in your career. While there is no surefire method, the steps below reflect lessons from the experience of those who have been successful in so doing.

To quit, follow the steps below in order and as precisely as you possibly can. Make sure first, though, that you have really decided to quit and that it is not just a ploy to get your employer to talk you in to staying and giving you a raise. If you want an offer to stay (even though when you announce and then decide to stay it is likely that management will from then on question your loyalty and motives which may be a fatal blow to a thriving upward progression) then this is not the method to follow.

  1. Remember that you need to be loyal first to yourself, not to your employer or your colleagues no matter how much they have done for you up to now. Almost everyone thinks their own departure will be more catastrophic for their organization, its employees, and its customers than it will really be. Any one of us in virtually any position leaves a hole upon departure about the size of the hole left in a pitcher of water when a clenched fist is pulled out from it.
  2. Come up with three iron-clad reasons that explain why you have decided to quit. Any more than three leaves you open to having the weakest refuted allowing your employer to claw their way back to convincing you to stay, and their instinct will be to try to talk you into doing exactly that. Memorize your three reasons and become glib with them.
  3. Say out-loud that you are leaving and why, over and over again, in front of a mirror so you will have heard and felt yourself speak the words in a safe and unemotional setting. The last thing you want at the moment of truth is for a tear to come to your eye or for your lip to quiver. Practice quitting to a few close friends, family, and advisers. Ask them to help you state your points more firmly, with more authority, with less emotion, and to tighten up the message.
  4. A day or so ahead of announcing, do something to manifest your decisionto leave; for example, exercise and sell all of your vested stock options, take your favorite knickknacks out of the office, give up your parking space, or something along these lines to convince yourself and to show colleagues and management that you really have checked out.
  5. Set up a time to speak with your manager; ideally in-person but electronically if it is the only option. Use the departure letter template to draft your resignation letter that says:
    • You resign as of a specific date to pursue a specific other opportunity.
    • You have strong positive feelings for your time at the organization.
    • You are committed to do all you can to orchestrate a smooth transition.
  6. At the start of your meeting, hand over the signed letter and allow time for your manager to read and absorb its contents. Offer to talk through the three reasons why you are quitting and explain what you have already done to mentally and physically check-out. When s/he attacks your reasons for leaving it is important to say exactly this: “I appreciate you helping me to rethink my decision but it is my decision to leave”.
  7. What will follow is a gradual progression through a series of predictable stages of acceptance: shock, denial, pain, anger, bargaining, depression, and finally acceptance. Stay calm and help orchestrate the progression through the stages until acceptance is reached.

Good luck departing!

Related posts:

Tips on how to get all you can from your last job

How to orchestrate the best entry to your new position

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Peter DiGiammarino is a professional CEO, professor, and author with 30+ years of success leading public, private, private-equity-owned, and venture-capital-backed software and services firms. He consistently helps leaders, top teams, and organizations achieve their full potential to perform and grow in the name of IntelliVen..

How to increase the odds of being happy and of leading a fulfilled life.

Most of us seek in our professional affiliation what some call a state of flow or what others call happiness, exhilaration, satisfaction, or fulfillment.  Along these lines see: Flow: The Psychology of Optimal Experience by Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi and The Doom Loop System by my long time personal executive coach Dr. Dory Hollander who passed away last year and who also told me and others that the secret to a fulfilled life could be summarized in just four words (which are shared at the end of this post!).

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An Action Plan for Executive Transition into a new Lead Role

One of the toughest things for a senior executive to do is break in to an existing system of operation.  At first there is an exhilarating air of difference.  Everything is new and there is so much to figure out and to absorb.  The opportunity to have a major impact induces what seems to be an endless rush of euphoric excitement.  All too soon the feelings devolve into isolation and loneliness along with the realization that no matter what good things happen, everyone watching will wonder why there was not more. Continue reading

Tips for Top Performance in an Important Job Interview

Here are some tips to increase the odds that a high-stakes job interview goes well:

  • be yourself: be honest…be genuine…be sincere.  It is not worth being someone other than yourself just to land the job because in the end it will not be possible for you to continue being the person who got the job. Continue reading

Note on Letters of Recommendation

Students, parents, teachers, and those who write letters of recommendation for admission to a high school or college often underestimate how much of a difference the recommendation makes.  Those who take recommendations seriously and who work to make them the best they can, find it a relatively easy way to get an edge on the competition. Continue reading

Why leaders should demand that everyone in their organization never do what they are told to do.

I tell everyone who works with or for me that they are never to do something because I told them to do it.  I do not want or expect people to do what I ask just because I told them something. Instead, I want them to do what they do because they understand what they are doing, they know why it makes sense to do it, they believe that what they are about to do is the wise and right thing to do, and they want to do it. Continue reading