2019 Annual Recap @ AnneMarieSegal.com

2019 Annual Recap @ AnneMarieSegal.com.png

April 2020, a few short months away, will mark my fifth anniversary as an executive coach. It is a similar milestone in my writing career, as my writing interests and output shifted dramatically as I moved from being a practicing lawyer to serving as a partner to attorneys and other professionals.

In honor of the New Year and my upcoming anniversary,

I am raising my game (again).

In 2020, I will continue to offer a thoughtful take on the topics that have generated 1,200+ loyal followers on this site and 900+ monthly newsletter recipients. I will also be launching some new series – on the modern career, executive presence, corporate board service, mindset reframing and other topics – which I am excited to share with you in the coming weeks and months!

 

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My first step in envisioning topics for the upcoming series was to review what I have published to date. As I went through the articles on this site and others, I started to compose a list by topic. Here’s a link to some of my in-depth and most popular articles (click here or on image below):

Areas of Interest @ AnneMarieSegal.com

 



It certainly helps you look at your work in a whole new light when you conduct your own mid-career retrospective. Here are some highlights among that words that have accompanied my professional trajectory to date:

GENERAL COUNSEL / ATTORNEYS

Eight Core Qualities of Successful General Counsel and How to Achieve Them

Young Women Lawyers: Get Respect

CAREER CHANGE / NEW MINDSET

Optimizing Your Transition Into a New Role: The 30/60/90 Day Plan

The Ultimate Holiday Dilemma (Or, Practical Strategies for Better Decisionmaking)

Successful Career Transition, Stage 1: Start with a Creative Mindset

RESUMES / LINKEDIN

Three Types of Resumes that People Don’t Want to Read

Avoiding Resume Failure: Four Things Resumes Need to Do

“Good” LinkedIn Profile Pictures: What Do They Actually Look Like?

JOB SEARCH / INTERVIEW PREP

Getting It Together: Organizing Your Job Search Leads

What Your Interviewer Really Wants to Know

Interview Prep: Finding an Authentic Answer to the Weaknesses Question

For more articles, click here!

Looking back over what you have accomplished over a period of years, and what is yet undone, is both rewarding and humbling. It also helps you chart your course, as you see what you can build upon and what was simply an interesting experiment.

 



What about you?

What interesting experiments have you made in your career?

What can you build upon?

Feel free to leave a question or comment below.



Segal Coaching LLC will be closed until January 2, 2020.

See you back here in January! Until then, HAPPY HOLIDAYS everyone!


 

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Anne Marie Segal is an executive coach, resume writer and author of two well-received books on interviewing and career development. She served as a corporate attorney for 15 years, including roles at White & Case LLP and a prominent hedge and private equity fund manager, before launching her coaching practice. Based in Connecticut not far from New York City, Anne Marie partners with clients internationally on executive presence, impactful communications, graceful transitions and other aspects of professional and personal development. She also hosts an online learning site at Segal247.com.

To join her monthly email list, click here.

Second image above: Copyright 2017 Candace Smith. All rights reserved.

Guest Speaking at Lehman College and Why “Buy Low, Sell High” Also Works for Recruiting

Late last month, I was honored to present to two classes at Lehman College as a guest speaker on career development. 

Handsome Hispanic Student Uses Laptop while Listening to a Lecture at the University, He Raises Hand and Asks Lecturer a Question. Multi Ethnic Group of Modern Bright Students.

There was considerable diversity among the student body in all senses of the word, including their professional goals. Some wanted to go the entrepreneurship route, while others were focused on tax, audit, financial advising and other “traditional” paths. In each case, we focused on their value proposition and how they could articulate to a target audience what they brought to the table.

We had some surprisingly in-depth discussions, and many of the students articulated a subtle and sophisticated understanding of themselves, their goals and the world at large. And, of course, we stretched them a bit further during the course of the presentation.

For example, one entrepreneurial student said his value stemmed in part from getting someone the “best deal.” We discussed the downsides of competing on price, because someone can always undercut you, so you will be sacrificing profit margins in order to win customers. We also explored how to extend the concept of service and relationship-building to make sure the “best deal” is more comprehensive than low-cost merchandise.

Another entrepreneurial student proposed creating and offering a specialty hair product for a niche market, and we explored what relationships she might need and want to build with scientists, investors, patent attorneys, social media influencers and others to bring her product idea to fruition and distribute and market it to her target audience.

We also discussed how presenting yourself in a job interview requires the same set of skills: understanding your value to the hiring company or client (i.e., what are the needs for that job or consulting engagement?) and how to best articulate your value (ability to meet those needs and exceed expectations) to your target audience. These concepts echo points I have raised in my books, Master the Interview and Know Yourself, Grow Your Career and are the key means to breaking down a daunting job search or other career decision-making process into manageable steps.

Each time I speak to a group of students, I am reminded that questions arising at the beginning of one’s career often continue to arise over the years. Many of the concerns these students had – such as confidence-building and personal branding as well as how to seek out, choosing among and making a positive impression on potential mentors and hiring managers – are similar those I hear from my executive clients.

As I imagine some of the readers of this post will be Lehman College and other students, I wanted to close with an article I read recently in the Harvard Business Review that is particularly apropos to job candidates at the beginning of their careers, entitledWhy Hiring is a Lot Like Picking Stocks.” (The specific classes were corporate finance and investment analysis courses, so the analogy is even more relevant to this particular group of students.)

I love that this article puts the hiring process in the same light as investment decisions, translating concepts such as due diligence, valuation, growth potential and other terms. As career coaches, we consistently try to help job candidates see beyond themselves to the goals of the team that will be hiring them. This article goes a long way toward making that clear in terms of the return on investment companies expect from job candidates, the risk-reward ratio that they consider when looking for new (or even experienced) talent and the delicate calculus that goes into talent retention.

And, by the way, if you are reading this and looking for a new source of recruits or investment opportunities, consider giving Professor Gary Jacobi a call. He just may have some suitable candidates for you!

Anne Marie Segal is an executive coach, resume writer and author of two well-received books on interviewing and career development. She served as a corporate attorney for 15 years before launching her coaching practice, including roles at White & Case LLP and a hedge and private equity fund manager. Anne Marie is based in Stamford, CT and serves an international clientele. Her online learning platform is accessible here.

Image above: Adobe Images.

How to Prepare for a Second Interview – What’s Different than the First?

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If you are moving onto a second interview with the same company, congratulations! You have passed through the gatekeepers and are now poised to refine your presentation and move one step closer to getting the job.

So what changes in the second round and how should you prepare yourself differently than for the first interview?

Often companies use further interviews to introduce you to more people, ferret out any concerns, check for consistency (from one interview to the next) and gauge your overall energy level, interest in and fit for the job. They may also present you with new challenges, such as behavioral questions (e.g., “Tell me about a time when…”).

Here are some of the key ways I suggest you prepare for a second interview:

  1. Research any concepts, other companies, approaches or themes presented in the first interview you did not understand or with which you were not familiar.

    For example:

    – a business line, product or service that is new to you
    – a partner or competitor that is significant to the company
    – a type of organizational structure (e.g., matrixed organizations)
    – a certain leadership approach or management style

  2. Reread the job description and make sure you can address all aspects of it.

    Job seekers often have a tendency to focus on certain aspects of a role – the ones that they find more interesting – and assume that the rest will fall into place. You do not need to know every aspect of the job before you even start – and in some cases there will be considerable ramp-up or stretch goals – but you do need to be able to formulate a plan of how you will learn what you don’t know.

    For example, if the job description indicates that you will interact with the Board of Directors or manage a team of 100 direct reports, and you are lacking one or both of these skills in your background, be ready to explain (without sounding defensive) what you have done that is analogous or prepares you for it. In the absence of any related background, you can also build out from what you have learned.

    For example:

    “As you know, I have managed teams of 20, and a good portion of my day is already spent on leadership-building, evaluating and mentoring team members. I’ve spoken with a few of the senior managers in my network, and they have told me that some of the adjustments between managing 20 and 100 are [fill in with some wisdom you have learned]….”

    Half of the battle is to sound upbeat and ready to rise to the task and suffer any growing pains gracefully. Yes, this may nonetheless be a breaking point for your candidacy, but you cannot create experience that doesn’t exist. You can only give it your best shot.

  3. Learn more about management and any interviewers you expect to meet.

    You have likely done some of this diligence before the first interview, but it is good to refresh yourself for the second time around and also check whether what you see presented online matches your view of a company based on what you have learned in the interview and through your additional research and connections.

    LinkedIn® and other online sources provide a great deal of information, as many company CEOs and marketing and recruiting leaders have released videos or articles discussing their goals for the company and talent acquisition. Find out what you can from these sources.

    In addition, become a “mini-expert” on the people who will interview you. You don’t need to know their shoe size or most recent vacation spot – of course! – but you should find out basic information to understand their perspective of the world and what they may want from a candidate.

    For example:

    Do their values match with yours?

    How do they see the firm’s culture and do they participate in creating it? 

    What is their leadership or management style?

    What or whom might you have in common? 

    What topics should you avoid discussing?

    How can you build a bond?

    As an example of the above, I worked with a job candidate on interview prep, and we discovered that her interviewer placed a strong value on diversity. We crafted her “tell me about yourself” story – which was entirely authentic, or it would not have been appropriate – to include the fact that (1) she had moved to the U.S. from Europe at a young age and (2) she was looking for an environment where there were people from many different backgrounds and perspectives. (Yes, she got the job!)

    This candidate had not initially thought of herself as “diverse” but we reframed her perspective, and I believe she will take this larger point of view with her into the job and life going forward.

  4. Be ready for multiple interviewers simultaneously (the panel interview.)

    Another common strategy companies employ in a second interview is to engage you with multiple interviewers at the same time. Some keys here are:

    Remember it’s a conversation, even if it feels like a panel inquiry

    – Show that you are able to relate to multiple people at once

    – Address and show respect for everyone in the room, even if only one person is asking questions (especially if the person leading the meeting is the “boss” and the others will be your colleagues; you don’t want to give the impression that their opinions are not important)

    – Pay extra attention to your body language, as the second or third person may be watching you closely (i.e., facial expressions, hand gestures, eye contact)

    – Give consistent answers and don’t falter if challenged (which is different than thoughtfully revising an answer based on new information)

  5. Prepare follow-up questions to decide whether the job is a fit for you.

    At this second interview, you want to ask what I sometimes call “stage- appropriate” questions to understand fit. That means you can ask more in-depth questions on some aspects of the job than the first stage, but tread lightly on other topics.

    Example:

    I worked recently with a candidate who was encouraged to hear that the office closes early on Fridays but discouraged to note that there seems to be a “difficult person” with whom she will be working closely. We formulated a plan to address the latter but determined that she should save any questions about the workday – do they actually leave at lunchtime every Friday? – until a later stage or (possibly) after the offer.

    On word of a difficult colleague or other negative aspect of the job, I suggest approaching it from a place of curiosity rather than negativity.

    So if Kendra says Lisa is difficult, ask Tomas if he knows more about how you’ll be working with Kendra and what he knows about her rather than seeking confirmation if she is difficult as Kendra would have you believe.

    You also will want to understand – if it hasn’t been explained already – how your group relates to each other and the rest of the company, what success will look like in this role and what you’ll be expected to complete on a daily and long-term basis.

  6. Plan how you’ll clarify any “loose ends” from the prior interview. 

    If your first interview generally went well except that you floundered on a certain answer, be ready to circle that topic back into the conversation in a positive way.

    You may, for example, say that you were reflecting on your earlier conversation and have more to add about a certain question. It could be how you would approach a certain situation or whether you have experience in a certain area.

    Make sure your additional information puts you in a confident light, rather than sounding worried or apologetic. You do not wish to dwell on the point, only supplement and clarify. In addition, address this topic at an appropriate point so you don’t break the flow of the new conversation. For example, if the interviewer asks if you have any questions, you might say, “Do you mind if I expand on something we discussed last time…?” If you have already addressed the topic in a thank you note, you don’t need to revisit it again.

  7. Rehearse situational or behavioral questions.

    As I mentioned above, you may be asked hypotheticals about how you would approach a certain situation or prompted to tell the interviewer “about a time when” you rose to a certain challenge, faced an ethical concern, needed to break bad news or otherwise.

    I discuss how to approach behavioral questions in this podcast, if you have time to review that before your meeting. If not, keep in mind a few key points:

    – Choose situations that speak to the call of the job

    – Have your top accomplishments in mind and pull from those where possible

    – Do not betray confidences of your current or former company

    – Remember that every interview question is a version of “why should I hire you?”  and speak to that

  8. Drive home your value proposition.

    If you do nothing else, have a clear statement of value proposition and be ready to work it into the meeting.

    What are the three or four key reasons you are the one to hire? What do you offer that they need – in terms of soft and hard skills, knowledge and talents?

    Turn back to the preparation you have done for the points above. What does the company need – more generally and from someone in this role – and how can you deliver it?

    If you need more help formulating a personal value proposition, please refer to my worksheets here.

    The second interview is an exciting time! Best of luck!

    Anne Marie Segal - Web Image (Credit Alejandro Barragan IV)

    Anne Marie Segal is an executive coach, resume writer, Forbes Coaches Council member, former practicing attorney and author of two highly-praised books on interviewing and career development.

    Image credit: Adobe Stock.


 

 

 

 

 

I Don’t Want a Coach. I Just Want a Job.

My clients who have the most success are the ones that have or can acquire clarity, skills and readiness.

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My daughter is nine. Lately, she wants to be an actress. She saw a casting call for Descendants 3, and she is ready to head to Vancouver (we live in Connecticut) to audition, if I will just say yes.

As we read through the requirements, among other things, you must submit a resume that lists your acting experience. My daughter has been in a few local shows at her school and the community center. It is “real” acting, but not necessarily the type that is valued by casting directors. I watch her scour the internet for information and other opportunities, quite devoted and pumped up (as only someone who is just reaching double digits in age can be).

An acting coach’s website pops up in one of her searches about whether a certain agency is a scam. “Oh, a coach could be helpful,” I tell her. “She could let you know how to prepare for your big break. What to learn, where to look for opportunities…”

My daughter turns to me, scoffs and delivers a classic line. “I don’t want a coach, Mom. I just want a job.” Other than the addition of my maternal moniker, she sounds like a few of my clients, if they would just be honest with themselves and me.

Yesterday a prospect pointedly asked me how fast my clients get jobs, as if that were a true measure of my success as a career coach. I gave her the honest answer, which is that “it depends.” I know there are some coaches who make promises – an interview in X weeks or a job in Y months. The truth is that I have clients who get an interview the same week we start working together, and I have others who struggle for some time after that. As I said to the prospect, there are three factors at play: (1) does the person have clarity on what he/she wants, (2) does he/she have skills that the marketplace needs and (3) is he/she ready to go?

Coaching is not a job placement service, but I do have prospective clients who contact me all the time wanting me to “find them a job” rather than help them do the tough but satisfying professional development to prepare themselves for their job search and interview process. They want a magic shot or shock to their system that will make the pain go away (pain of unemployment, pain of a toxic or numbing job, pain of not advancing, etc.) rather than being open to learning a better approach that will serve them in the short term and long term. By contrast, my clients who have the most success are the ones that have or can acquire the three points below.

Clarity. To be successful in a job search, you need clarity on what you are seeking and what roles will actually be a good match for you at the present moment. Notice I did not say “to find a job” you need clarity, but rather to be successful in your search. There are many people who are quite good at finding new jobs, only to be continually disappointed with the results, because they do not ask themselves what they really want to achieve in the short term and long term. There are others who struggle for months to find something, only to realize after starting a new role that it is not what they expected. In both cases, you are better able to find a match for your interests, talents and values if you have invested the time and energy (with or without a coach) to understand what those are.

Skills. What are the hard and soft skills, from strategic thinking to asset-backed financing or from stakeholder engagement to Hadoop – or, as in my daughter’s case, the ability to act, sing and dance – that are required by the targeted roles? Can you demonstrate that you have what it takes or are able to quickly get up to speed, closing the gap? In some fields and roles, in which skills are easier to acquire and there is a huge demand for each open position, you will almost always need to demonstrate your accomplishments in advance. In other cases, and with forward-thinking hiring managers, what you need to demonstrate is an understanding of how the role contributes to the organization, the ability to solve problems and an immediate aptitude and readiness to acquire the needed skills to make that happen.

ReadinessLet’s return again to that last point, readiness. I sometimes describe it as having the “light turned on,” like a cab that is free to pick up passengers. The single most important indicator to job search success, which I notice every day among my clients, is an ability to stand ready for the opportunities that life presents. In fact, cultivating readiness is often a central element to the coaching process – whether we discuss, for example, how to prioritize networking opportunities or present one’s value proposition to the specific audience at hand – and it can be the one that yields the greatest results. Readiness includes openness, self-confidence, responsiveness and an ability to (leave one’s baggage at the curb and) live/work/be in the moment.

Anne Marie Segal is a career coach and résumé writer for attorneys, executives and entrepreneurs. 

© 2016 Anne Marie Segal. All rights reserved.

Image above: Shutterstock.

 

Game-Changing Decision – I’m Launching a Business & Executive Coaching Practice

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Friends and colleagues, I have made a game-changing decision. Some of you have already heard, as emails and successive social media posts create a series of “mini-launches” rather than one definitive LAUNCH.

I am hanging up my shingle, stepping aside from the practice of law, and launching a business and executive coaching practice geared toward attorneys, executives and entrepreneurs. More details to come soon, as I work on reconstructing the SEGAL LAW BLOG into my new coaching blog.

In the meantime, here’s my new website: www.segalcoaching.com.

Thanks again for all of your support!

The best is yet to come.

-Anne Marie

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