Why Networking Is So Important As We Get Older

12/02/2015 03.07 EDT

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They may have more experience, but job seekers over 50 are unemployed 5 to 8 weeks longer than 30 to 49 year olds.  That’s according to a study by Professor Connie Wanberg at the University of Minnesota.  We may immediately think the reason is age discrimination.  Although that may be a factor, it is also true that this group is more selective in maintaining personal and professional networks.  Researchers found that older people on average have smaller social networks than younger people.  I am sure that news is not surprising and it implies we become more discerning about who we associate with as we get older.  On the other hand, the connections we have are critical as we launch a job search. Therein lies the dilemma.   No matter what your age, what can you do to expand your network and boost your chances of landing that job?   Actively seek out new projects to learn something new. It stretches your thinking and enhances your knowledge and experience base, but also introduces you to new people and expands your network. Reach out to former co-workers and college friends. LinkedIn, Facebook and other social media tools make it easy.  Rekindle those friendships now rather than waiting until you need to ask for a favor. Join a professional association. By attending events, you will gain more knowledge and perspective about your profession.  If you actively participate, you will also grow your network and be seen as a leader in...

One Space or Two?

10/01/2015 11.55 EDT

Many of us believe that, given the explicit choice, a company will hire a younger employee for any number of reasons: cheaper, easier to train, less likely to leave for a better opportunity, etc. While I’m not going to argue that age bias doesn’t exist, I do think its prevalence is overstated in today’s hiring environment.
One Space or Two?

It has been ingrained in all of our heads that age bias exists in the employment market.

While I’m not going to argue that age bias doesn’t exist, I do think its prevalence is overstated in today’s hiring environment....

Why the Small Things Matter

07/30/2015 11.03 EDT

The most important thing to keep in mind is this – everything you do related to responding to a job opportunity and going through the process is part of how you will be evaluated.
Why the Small Things Matter

Perfecting all of the little interview details will have a big impact on your potential employers’ opinions of you.

The most important thing to keep in mind is this – everything you do related to responding to a job opportunity and going through the process is part of how you will be evaluated....

Parents’ Guide to Helping Their Child Find a Job

05/27/2015 10.42 EDT

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Salveson Stetson Group hosts an annual College Seminar for our clients to support their family members who will be graduating from college.  At this seminar, we focus on providing advice to students on how to effectively look for a job.  In addition, we spend time with parents and discuss how they can best support their children.   It has been a very successful and well attended event each year.  As you can imagine, many parents have greatly encouraged their children to attend with the hopes that our advice will land their child that elusive first job.   We have to navigate through a sensitive path with parents at the College Seminar.  First and foremost, they are our clients.  We want to help them, but also ease their anxieties about their children.  Some are frustrated, as they don’t believe their child has been active enough in the job market.  Others are concerned that their child seems aimless with little direction regarding what they intend to do with their life.  Some parents are ready to have their children “off the payroll” and actively participating in the world of work and want to ensure they are able to find the best job for themselves.  Bottom line – we see it all.   One interesting aspect of the College Seminar program is allowing parents to vent their concerns, hopes and dreams for their child, along with their frustrations.  Naturally, it becomes a supportive environment where parents learn from one another.  Here...

Vacation, anyone?

07/22/2014 09.49 EDT

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This time of year, a good conversation starter is to ask a group of friends or colleagues about their vacation plans and whether they are able to disconnect during their time off.  I am surprised at just how many people remain connected to the office during vacation and are generally unhappy about it.  While I am certainly guilty of this from time to time and there are periods when it is not possible to avoid it, I really try hard to change my behavior during summer vacation.   Why is it important to take vacation, besides the need for a break?  The reason is both mental and physical.  Through the Framingham Heart Study, researchers learned that men who take regular vacations are 32 percent less likely to die from heart attacks and 21 percent less likely to die early.  Women who go on vacation have a 50 percent lower risk of a heart attack.   Yet despite the growing evidence that vacations are good for the body and mind, many Americans only use a portion of their eligible paid time off.  Glassdoor recently found that 61 percent of workers stay connected or even complete work assignments while on vacation.   So as you prepare to take vacation, consider some alternative ways to approach your time off:   Plan and prepare.  Tie up loose ends.  Update colleagues on projects that may require their attention before you return.  Provide updates to your clients, too.  Do everything in your power...

5 Considerations When Leaving Corporate for Non-Profit

04/16/2014 03.50 EDT

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This article originally ran on Non-Profit Information.  To view it, click here.   It’s an increasingly common trend: After making their mark in the corporate world, senior-level executives want to give back by taking on a leadership role within a non-profit. The good news is that 73 percent of non-profits surveyed said they value for-profit experience in candidates, and 53 percent have significant for-profit management experience represented on their senior leadership teams.   But the transition from corporate to non-profit comes with some particular challenges. Here are the five most common that executives mulling a transition should anticipate:   1) Understand that there may be many more stakeholders involved in a non-profit – and the opinions of each matter. The biggest adjustment for corporate professionals entering the non-profit world is often the number of stakeholders involved in a non-profit – each of whom has input to share. While corporate professionals’ primary focus is almost entirely on three groups (shareholders, customers and employees), non-profit leaders must consider a significantly larger audience that could include funders, employees, elected officials, patients or clients, families of patients and clients, alumni, etc.  Successfully navigating the various relationships of the non-profit world requires a careful understanding and concern for all parties involved.   2) Be prepared for a different culture at a non-profit. The culture of a non-profit generally has a far more collaborative leadership style than for-profit organizations.  Unlike the corporate world where decision-making typically rests with one individual or a small group of executives or directors,...

8 Ways to Advance Your Career to the Next Level

03/13/2014 09.46 EDT

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It is always refreshing to speak to students, young professionals and mid-career executives.  I find it broadens my thinking, and the group shares great ideas throughout the collaborative process.   At a recent Drexel University Alumni event, I spoke to fellow attendees about how to advance their careers to the executive level.   Here are eight suggestions we shared on advancing careers:    Know your career objective and pursue it with vigor:  If you are fortunate enough to have found your interests and passions in the workplace, do your best to understand and become an expert in the field.  Determine how you can continue to advance your skills and knowledge on an ongoing basis. Competence alone won’t advance you in your career:  Speak up.  Ensure you ask for what you need and don’t be shy about “tooting your own horn.”  You need to be noticed for a job well done; don’t assume your boss or other key leaders know what you have accomplished. Take some career development risks:  It is important that you take charge of your career.  Be proactive.  Have discussions with your boss about what you’d like to do next.  Partner with him or her and develop recommendations on your next steps.  Make it easy for your supervisor to say “yes” and help you move to the next level. Network, network, network:  You should network even if you are not looking for a new job.  Networking can expand your thinking – learn what others are...

Why Would You Want to Work for a PE-Backed Firm?

10/24/2013 11.35 EDT

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This article originally ran on CFO.com.  To view it, click here.   For CFOs who may be of a mind to hook up with a private equity-backed company, open your eyes wide and tread very carefully.   When speaking with senior financial executives about their career aspirations, the conversation often turns to a desire to work for a private equity-backed company. I am talking about a large majority of respondents here – at least 70 percent. When I ask why, the answer invariably focuses on the opportunity to participate in a transaction and the potential financial rewards to be reaped by doing so.   That is a pretty naïve answer. For every success story out there in private equity-backed firms, there are many more failures. Working in private equity is difficult, particularly for a CFO. Any financial officer contemplating making this type of move for the first time in his or her career must to go into it with eyes wide open. At a bare minimum, consider the following:   1. Not all private equity sponsors are created equal. The industry is not monolithic. In addition to industry specialization, private equity differentiates by what type of asset each firm considers. Is the firm buying the asset to clean up the balance sheet and quickly turn it over? Is the investment for long-term growth? Does the private equity firm have a habit of breaking up the companies in which it invests? CFOs contemplating such a move should investigate how the private equity...

Aspire to be a CHRO?

09/17/2013 02.20 EDT

Think business first and human resources second. Understand the business, its trends and how you can utilize all of the necessary tools and levers to ensure the company is meeting or exceeding its expectations. Be intellectually curious about the business, ask thoughtful and insightful questions and understand what it takes for the business to thrive.
Aspire to be a CHRO?

The best way to move into your first CHRO role is to ensure you are performing at your highest level in your current position. Your contributions will be recognized and, clearly, you’ll be on your way to being considered for your first CHRO opportunity.

Think business first and human resources second. Understand the business, its trends and how you can utilize all of the necessary tools and levers to ensure the company is meeting or exceeding its expectations. Be intellectually curious about the business, ask thoughtful and insightful questions and understand what it takes for the business to thrive....

To Those of You Who Are Shirtless on LinkedIn

05/06/2013 10.45 EDT

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College students learned years ago that they should be careful when choosing which photos they include on their Facebook pages.  Drunk at a frat party?  Probably not.  Helping poor kids learn how to read in an inner-city church?  Bingo.   So it doesn’t seem unreasonable to expect that a mid-career grown-up might exercise a bit of judgment when selecting the photo to use for their LinkedIn profile.  After all, the site’s tagline is “The World’s Largest Professional Network.”   Our firm holds an annual seminar for soon-to-be college graduates to help them figure out how to conduct an effective job search.  We do it as a nice gesture to our clients who wring their hands at this time of year, wondering how they are going to get junior off the payroll.   Every year, we place more emphasis on the power of LinkedIn, advising these new grads to have a substantial profile on the site.  With the National Association of Colleges and Employers recently reporting that employers expect their level of new-grad hires to remain flat, those entering the workforce can better market themselves with a fully optimized, professional-looking profile.   In order to give these new grads examples of profile photo do’s and don’ts, we logged into our own accounts to survey our connections’ pictures in hopes of finding some questionable choices.  It turned out to be easier – and more surprising – than we’d anticipated.   First of all, we stopped counting the number of...