Briefcase Coach's Career Briefs: Job Search Newsletter

In this issue: the CEO talent pool, 2023 workplace trends, quiet hiring, the potential end of non-competes, and more...

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Dear Reader:

Happy New Year! How did you start your new year? Did you make a new year's resolution or set goals to help you make the most of 2023?

Maybe you are like me and have several years of the same goal that has not come to fruition. This can be discouraging and cause you to feel unmotivated to work towards achieving goals this year. This year can be different.

Instead of creating a fixed goal (like "I want to lose weight" or "I want to drink less"), think of a theme or word for the year. Identifying a word for the year allows you to set your intentions. My theme this year is CONNECTION. I don't know about you, but I am hungry for real, in-person relationships... with my co-workers, my neighbors, and my community. If the pandemic taught me anything, it's that I am hardwired to connect.

Authentic connection matters from a career development perspective. I want to encourage you to be intentional about developing work relationships. You will probably not see immediate results. Real relationships are built over time. But you will get a return on your (time) investment. You will be happier, healthier and more likely to get promoted at work.  

Happy 2023.

As always, I am rooting for you,


CEO talent pools differs for publicly held and PE-backed companies.

Companies have historically hired new CEOs from an internal candidate pool. However, research suggests that while this is still true for most publicly held companies, PE-backed companies are trending towards hiring external candidates for this top role. We have seen this with many Briefcase Coach clients who have hired us to create targeted documents for such openings. I found this recent article by Martin Daks in Chicago Booth Review to be a fascinating look at the trend and research behind it. The most fascinating stat is that more than two-thirds of new CEOs in their study had no previous connection to the portfolio company, either through board membership or employment, the research indicates.

Workplace Trends

Are employees less ambitious today than they were 5 years ago?

It is no secret that the past three years have changed the landscape of the workplace. Lindsay Ellis and Ray A. Smith of the Wall Street Journal explore the apparent decrease in go-getters in the workplace. With employees not wanting to work overtime and take on extra tasks, employers are having to shift their expectations and increase their payroll and headcount.

Are non-competes a thing of the past?

In many industries, changing jobs comes with the hurdles of a non-compete clause, preventing employees from leaving one company for a competitor. Last week, the FTA proposed banning companies from imposing non-compete clauses on their employees. In this two sided argument, there are valid concerns from both sides.

2023: A New Year

Workplace predictions for 2023 and how to "do less with less".

Career Strategist Josh Bersin shares his predictions for 2023. He believes 2023 will be the year that companies will need to transition to "do less with less."

  • 2023 will see companies simplifying while trying to increase productivity - eliminating distractions and overcomplicated systems.

  • Managers and companies will need to retain employees by reducing burnout. Decreasing work hours and allowing for downtime has been proven to increase workforce productivity.

  • A review of business is needed to help performance management. Microsoft has built a tool allowing managers to track the amount of multitasking occurring during meetings. Could 2023 be the end of large group Zoom and Teams meetings?

A playbook for business in 2023.

A return to normalcy has been on the horizon, but now that it is here, how has "normal" changed? Korn Ferry presents strategies managers and leaders will need to adjust to the new "normal".

  • Pay practices will change as the frequency of raises will decrease and compensation policies will increase.

  • The "worth it" equation is changing and employees are taking a stand against returning to the office. After several years of productivity at home, they don't see being in a physical office "worth it".

  • Leaders may be forced to refocus and initiatives and priority projects that were once deemed important may become less so with the downturn of the economy.

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CFOs are optimistic about 2023 revenues despite inflation.

Duke University's Fuqua School of Business and the Federal Reserve Banks of Richmond and Atlanta conduct a quarterly survey of business leaders on their insights into the current state of their firms and the economy. The 2022 Q4 CFO Survey results provided a 2023 outlook from these leaders. Some interesting findings of note: wages are trailing inflation - causing many workers to feel the impact of rising costs. Also, CFOs are optimistic about their firms' 2023 revenues even with inflation continuing.


Should companies call their employees "their family"?

Should companies call their employees "their family"? Career Strategist Sonal Bahl says no. With layoffs becoming more frequent, hitting the tech industry especially hard, many feel like they were let go from their family. They think this way because their company has fed them this message throughout their career. Layoffs can feel like a bad breakup. Employees have invested heart and soul into their work to move a company forward, only to receive notification of their release via Slack and email. It's hard to justify the terminology of "family" with what many see as a cowardly goodbye. As comedian,Scott Seiss shares in his satire on social media, despite the countless hours spent together, coworkers are not family, they are "acquaintances that keep our lunch in the same fridge."

Encouraging news about the job market for laid off employees.

The Wall Street Journal has reported, citing ZipRecruiter that 79% of recently laid-off tech employees have landed a new job in 3 months. While the report did not include a review of salary and title changes, it is an uplifting sign that a job market is open for those looking.

Job Search Strategy

Briefcase Coach Original Content: Common recruiter terminology explained.

Recruiters reach out to candidates daily looking to fill their open roles. They often use words and phrases, that while common to those in the industry, are foreign to the masses. I have compiled a list of common terms used by recruiters to help bridge the gap.

Feature on LinkedIn helps job seekers looking to pivot industries or roles.

Kevin Turner, a LinkedIn expert, is always sharing the latest features and how to make the most out of the social networking platform. He recently introduced a new YouTube channel to share must-know features to improve your personal brand. In a recent video, he breaks down the LinkedIn feature Career Explorer - which is available to help job seekers wanting to change careers and pivot into a new role or industry. There is so much value in LinkedIn that is unknown to the common user - Kevin helps keep us all expertly informed.


What is "quiet hiring" and who is doing it?

2022 introduced the buzzword "quiet quitting" and now there is "quiet hiring". Quiet hiring is when an organization acquires new skills without actually hiring new full-time employees, says Emily Rose McRae. In this article the HR expert forewarns about the growing trend and discusses why employees and bosses need to pay attention. Companies like Apple who experienced layoffs at end of 2022 are still planning to hire (quietly) for critical roles during their announced hiring freeze.

Artificial Intelligence

Will AI replace us?

I am fascinated by AI. I love to explore new companies that are seemingly making life easier by developing machines to alleviate mundane tasks. But what does this mean for the future? At what point will everything be replaced by AI? Peter Nixey, founder of, recently posted on LinkedIn about a new AI tool he created to write complicated code. His post (and the comments) discusses if AI will be a real disruptor or essentially make things easier but more mediocre. Don't overlook the comments for insightful perspectives.

Career Briefs: Book Club Pick

Do This, Not That: Career by Jenny Foss

As a career coach, I often get asked situational questions: "should I..." or "would it be wrong to...". Most people want to find a job they love and succeed at it. When tricky circumstances arise, it can be a struggle to know the right action. My friend and career colleague, Jenny Foss, has a new book, Do This, Not That: Career released this week! The book is organized into 81 independent lessons, each providing actionable (no fluff) guidance on dealing with specific situations to walk away feeling good about the decision made. IMO, it is one of those books everyone should have in their desk drawer to reference when faced with questionable workplace situations.

Pay Transparency

The creator of, Roger Lee, just launched a website that shares pay ranges tech employers in California and NYC are required to post. The data is aggregated from the career pages of 700 tech employers, from Movoto to Reddit, Inc. (Thank you to my favorite digital marketing recruiter, Kelli Hrivnak, for sharing this new site with me)

Do you think pay transparency is a good idea?

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Can you do me a favor?

I’m on a mission to help job seekers land amazing jobs. Would you consider doing one of the following:

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  • Consider sharing my company name with your HR leadership. We are a great “white-glove” boutique option for executive outplacement

  • Recommend me as a paid speaker for your company events on networking, job searching, or leveraging LinkedIn

  • Recommend my services to high performers wanting to work one-on-one with an executive resume writer / or experienced interview coach

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