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!




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:


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

Young Women Lawyers: Get Respect


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


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?


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.

Old Dog, New Tricks: What Can You Change Before Year End?

Happy businesswoman jumps in the airport

Most of us, thankfully, do not need to learn a new form of martial arts to effectuate the change we want to see in our lives. It could always help, yes, but it’s not the natural next step.

Yet we do have something eluding us. A piece of the puzzle we have not yet fit, and we cannot reach the next goal (even one we have been desperately seeking) without finding and placing that piece.

But human beings are stubborn. I know I am. And yes, I’ll say it, some of my clients are stubborn too.

Too often, we know what will serve us – what we need to do, so we can do what we want to do – but we make excuses. We are like old dogs who refuse to learn new tricks.

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So here’s what you do to change that:

(1) Take some time to chill. (Relax, settle in and create some emotional space.)

(2) Review what you wish to bring into your life, and articulate your top goal between now and year end. If your goal may not (or cannot) be completed by year end, choose a manageable goal that is a piece of a larger goal, and repeat these steps in the New Year. For example, rather than “get a new job,” your goal may be to take certain concrete steps toward that end. Focus on what you can change, without attachment to outcomes.

(3) Embrace the vulnerability that you need to move out of your comfort zone. Be prepared to fail, but also be prepared to succeed. In fact, redefine success as a series of steps, not only as an end point.

(4) Embrace the power that you can call forth, from the depths of your being, to reach your goal.

(5) Envision all of the ways you (yes, you) and your family, friends, team, community and/or others. will be better off when you have reached your goal.

(6) Build a support network for your change, even if it’s only one person. Ask them to hold you accountable at each step.

(7) Be curious about what you need to reach your goal, and take the time to explore the most efficient path for you to get there. 

(8) Focus on the present. Not what you could have done last summer, last year or five years ago. What can you do now to achieve your goal? Keeping yourself in the present keeps your emotional energy available for solutions rather than stressing.

(9) Create a realistic action plan and work your plan. Reverse engineer your possible investments and divisions of time and energy to prioritize this goal among other obligations.

(10) Be your own best fan. Cheer yourself on, and celebrate your wins in a way that is meaningful to you.

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Focus on what you can change, without attachment to outcomes.

In the career context, your goal may be to build something, such as:

  • Resilience
  • A Calmer Demeanor
  • Relevant Skills or Expertise
  • A Stronger Professional Network
  • Gravitas and/or Greater Recognition in Your Field

Choose the goal that’s most pressing for you, and stop giving yourself excuses! Feel free to drop me a line telling me what you have been able to achieve.

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 offers online instruction at www.segal247.com.

Image credits: Adobe Stock.

Thought Leadership Presentation Skills: Compressing Pictures to Reduce File Size in Microsoft PowerPoint and Word

In my work with executives, attorneys and others, I am called upon to act as a coach and help clients reach deeper, expand their vision of their own professional value and capacity and increase their emotional intelligence, versatility, resilience and other key qualities.

I also act as a technical advisor, so to speak, by sharing pro tips that save time (sometimes many hours of time), reduce stress and demonstrate proficiencies that put my clients ahead of the pack. On a recent webinar, I mentioned one of these tips to colleagues in the National Résumé Writers Association, and I have been asked to share it more widely.

So here it is.

If your thought leadership includes public speaking and PowerPoint® presentations, as many of ours does, you may have stumbled upon the common problem of large file sizes that are blocked by corporate and other email addresses.

I ran into this problem myself for a presentation I gave to a group at Wells Fargo, and I am embarrassed to admit that we spent days trying to find creative ways for me to send a large file to them. (They loved the first two slides I sent and were eager for the full presentation.) We tried home emails, SlideShare and other means. I ended up creating an abridged version, but it was still to large (over 20MB), so I had to abridge it even further.

Hours of work to create a visually compelling presentation went down the drain.

We all have had times like these in our professional lives, and we can feel at our wits end. Unfortunately, too often they arise exactly when we are very busy working on other important projects, and we end up not with an optimum solution but a hasty compromise that leaves us feeling stressed and out of sorts. Not the best look when you are the presenter, of course!

I resolved to solve this problem for myself and am sharing it here to give you the benefit of my mistakes. The solution is embarrassingly simple, in fact, and I reduced my file size by more than 20x without creating an appreciable reduction in picture quality.

Click on the video below to learn more.

[Note: I do realize there are enterprise solutions to solve this and other common business and technical problems, but I am often of the view that less is more. How many such solutions can a small business entertain, afford and maintain, let alone an individual? In this case, you don’t need a special service or subscription, as no coding or fancy skills are needed to achieve the result of a smaller file. You just need to know the the trick!]


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.

Video copyright 2019 Anne Marie Segal. All rights reserved.

Writing a Book: What It’s Really Like

What started as a kernel of an idea six months ago – and was only 20 pages in late April of this year – will be a 220-page book on Amazon in a matter of days (or even hours).

I have had many friends, clients and other ask what it is really like to write a book. My answer here tends to describe the non-fiction world rather than how it would be to draft a novel or other fictional account.


It is amazing, first of all. Truly breathtaking. If you like to write, it is like eating all the ice cream you ever wanted and never getting full. For anyone who has ever wanted to write a book, I highly recommend it IF –

you are willing to devote countless hours of your life and will feel energized that you did so.

Here’s only a partial shot of the number of drafts that I made over the course of writing Master the Interview. In addition to writing and revisions, there is quote-checking. And, if you are publishing it yourself, you need to leave time for cover design, interior formatting, title selection (and vetting), image selection (and more vetting), back-of-book blurb drafting and more. And did I mention tons of copyediting, unless you have someone you really trust to do it for you? Heck, I even learned how to code very basic HTML today to format the descriptions in my e-Store. [Update: I decided not to use the e-Store, because the minimum price of the book (that Amazon allows) would have been higher than I wanted. It will be priced at $19.99.]

I saved dozens upon dozens of versions to not lose work and keep my momentum. I edited constantly in the final days before finishing the book, even while I was waiting for the car battery to be jumped by roadside assistance on a trip to Annapolis.

In other words, the writing is only one part of it, and unless you have someone (or want to pay, or get lucky to find a publisher) to do the rest, get ready to put in countless hours.

I self-published this time because I wanted to understand everything that went into the process. I am taking a risk. I know some people won’t buy my book because it doesn’t have a big name attached to it. Many more will, however, make the judgment based on the quality that lies within.

As an entrepreneur, I know that writing is an essential part of thought leadership, and I couldn’t wait to get my ideas out there. In addition, as a career coach, this book is directed to my clients first, as it will facilitate our work together. Those two factors played into my decision, and were it not for that, I may have gone the traditional route from the beginning, even if it meant that publishing would take longer and I would have less control over the outcome of the book.

Will I self-publish again?

Hard to say. This investment has certainly made me more nimble. I see documents in an entirely different light. The first time clearly must be the hardest, and now that I am over that hurdle, the learning curve will be easy. So maybe. It depends on what the traditional publishers offer, I suppose, based on the track record that I am able to develop this time around.

One of the things I learned most was to see the book as a BOOK and not a scattered selection of writings bound together with a cover on them. This was a huge disruption in my prior way of thinking and the only way I successfully brought the project to the finish line.

I used the function in Microsoft Word that lets you see multiple pages at once quite often, and I got used to looking at chapters in a new way. It’s essentially the 10,000 foot view, which helps you step back from your material. Not only do you see what you have written with a more detached perspective, but you also gain an entirely new sense of flow and clarity in your writing.

Two more great lessons from this experience were (1) putting words down onto the page, which forced me to have even greater conviction about what I was writing and (2) having the opportunity to receive direct input and suggestions from 50+ expert and industry sources and revise my thoughts and words based on that input. In that sense, the time I have spent on this project has paid me back tenfold already, regardless of how many copies are sold or other good things come out of having done it.

Here’s the bird’s eye view of editing your own work and seeing your book as a BOOK.

I am sure that I will have more to say in the future about book-writing. For now, here are my initial impressions in the final stages of publishing.

Last but not least, if anyone is considering writing a book themselves and wanted to know how to manage their time to do it, I would suggest creating a schedule with an end date (and finding a way to make it seem “real”). Then back up to the current date and plan out each step that needs to be done. For me, I first started writing a 20-page version, then I got my Table of Contents going, then I wrote more and went back to the Table of Contents. I continued this back-and-forth until the content was over 80% done.

Having a solid Table of Contents was absolutely key to organizing and completing the book.

I must have rewritten and proofed this book at least 20 times, and some parts needed more work than others. I also wrote a few chapters which did not make it into the final book. I estimate that, altogether, I spent 500 hours on this project over a half year of writing, so I spent 20 hours a week on average. It occupied my brain for many more. I expect that a second book will take less time, as I am sure that I did “heavy lifting” many times where none was needed.

How do you fit an extra 20 hours into your week? Early mornings, late nights, writing on weekends and generally prioritizing your writing above anything that is not truly necessary. Some weeks I wrote more, and other weeks I wrote less. The alternative is to spread everything out over a longer period of time – and I had initially budgeted 12 months instead of 6 months for this project – but I can tell you that writing is nothing if not addictive! Once you get into the thick of it, you may not want to put it down.

Thanks, all!

Anne Marie Segal is a career and leadership coach, writer and resume writer for attorneys, executives and entrepreneurs. Her new book, Master the Interview, is forthcoming on Amazon.com. For more information about Anne Marie’s coaching and resume writing work, please visit www.segalcoaching.com.



Leveraging the Pokémon Go Trend: Do It or Don’t Do It?

Young woman listening to music and walking along the street
Does she love the song or did she just find a PokéStop?

Pokémon Go

Can you ride the trend and retain your authenticity?

You can barely open a web browser without reading an article about Pokémon Go. In so-called breaking news, we hear reports of Pokémon Go breaking Apple download records, an inadvertent Canadian border crossing by teens playing Pokémon Go, police safety tips, and even the furrowed brows of Pokémon Go players in a border town near North Korea. Facebook carries Pokémon Go parodies, my favorite being Dena Blizzard’s Chardonnay Go, which has been viewed over 22 million times.

What does this mean for you?

Well, it depends whether you are someone who is more likely to use the app or write about it. If you are on the hunt, it means that you’re wrapped up in the latest craze just like many others, whether or not you actually derive joy from it. (And hopefully you do, since those hours in the day are yours to love or waste!)

Should you jump on the latest fad?

Businesswoman looking at phone while walking.
Where will our devices lead us next?

If you are involved with marketing and social media, the common wisdom is that you should post and tweet about trending topics such as Pokémon Go because this is what everyone is talking about. It makes you sound current. You turn up in searches. People devour news about Pokémon Go and drive hits to your site. In short, done well, it can provide a boost to your group of readers or followers because they find you (first of all) and, once you’re found, find what you are saying relevant.

You know instinctively, however, that if you aren’t careful, leveraging the latest fad can also make you sound like a parrot. So you should not simply find what is popular in the news and blast it out to your networks. What we hate most as readers is how the media, many Internet sites and others simply repeat the same news over and over, without any thought into what they are reporting or writing. As a participant in the online conversation, you need to add your voice, or you risk losing it. Leverage, yes, but artfully and with a purpose that is greater than self-promotion.

Your own voice must shine through. You risk losing your readership by parroting others rather than adding value.

What can you add to the conversation?

If you are someone who is working to be savvy about how social media can help you communicate your value proposition, you need to view yourself from the perspective of those with whom you are communicating. You will be most successful if you can determine how the latest news topics – Pokémon Go and otherwise – and other subjects can help demonstrate what you offer to your target audience. How can you dissect or elucidate a relevant topic in a way that resonates with your readers (and, in a business context, your clients) and brings them value?

Used strategically and thoughtfully, adding some popular culture to your communications will make your own message not only appear more relevant but actually be more meaningful to your audience. 

This strategy works for anyone, whether you are an app designer, CEO, journalist or corporate lawyer. A dry article about the legal implications of Pokémon Go will not garner a wide audience, of course, but quotes from a privacy expert on a hip Internet site certainly can. Used strategically and thoughtfully, adding some popular culture to your communications – i.e, discussing the things people love, fear, share and want to read in their leisure time – will make your own message not only appear more relevant but actually be more meaningful to your audience. 

Anne Marie Segal is a career coach and résumé writer for attorneys, executives and entrepreneurs. She is currently completing her first book, on job interviews, which will be available in early 2017. To join her monthly newsletter list and receive a preview of the chapter on value propositions, please click here and write “Book Preview” in the comments section.

© 2016 Anne Marie Segal. All rights reserved.
Image from Adobe Images.

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