Career Briefs: What Are You Chasing?

In this issue: The pursuit of what's next, Interview Prep Questions, Major company seemingly fails female employees, Soaring compensation of consultants, Unleash your personal brand, Newest book club pick and more...

Dear Reader:

I sometimes struggle with living in the present and not fixating on the next milestone. This isn’t a new struggle for me. In college, I worried about finding my first internship and then a job. Post-college, my focus shifted to desiring a spouse, a promotion, and a great house. Then it was kids. Once I had two kids, I wanted them out of diapers. I dreamed of restful vacations again. Now, here I am with everything I’ve ever wanted. And yet, I’m still restless.

Can you relate? Do you struggle with being present in the moment?

Recently, I came across a poignant poem written by a 14-year-old boy named Jason Lehman in 1989. It made me pause and reflect on my own focus in life.

These words struck a chord within me. They made me question the constant pursuit of what's next and the potential dissatisfaction it can bring. Are we always chasing happiness over the next hill, or is it possible that true contentment lies right where we are?

So, I ask you, what are you chasing? Is happiness perpetually out of reach, always residing in the future? Or could it be that happiness is already within your grasp, waiting to be recognized and appreciated in the present moment?

I’d like to encourage you to take a moment to pause, reflect, and appreciate the beauty and opportunities that surround you. Where are you placing your hope?

Rooting for you,

Leverage Your Tacit Knowledge to Land a Job

Tacit knowledge is "knowing how" rather than "knowing that." It is subjective and rooted in personal experiences and learning through doing. Examples of tacit knowledge include leadership skills, emotional intelligence, innovation, language fluency, and humor. Leveraging tacit knowledge during a job search can set you apart from other candidates by emphasizing the intangibles you bring to the position and showcasing specific problems you've solved using quick thinking and leadership. Highlighting unique knowledge and practical experience can differentiate you from other applicants with impressive credentials.

How to leverage tacit knowledge to land a job: According to Ladders, one needs to “Separate yourself from the rest of the applicant pack by highlighting knowledge and practical experience that no one else can claim as their own.” This article from Ladders explains how to use tacit knowledge as a differentiator during a job search.

Interview Prep: Common Interview Questions

Got a big interview coming up? My best advice: Prepare, prepare, prepare.

In my latest article, I share common interview questions that you will likely be asked. Learn how to use the STAR format to tackle behavioral interview questions.

Feel stuck? Consider the benefits of working with an interview coach. For a high-stakes interview, partnering with a third-party could be a valuable investment. My firm, Briefcase Coach, offers top-notch interview coaching at $219/session. You will have the opportunity to get feedback from either myself, Lisa (former Korn Ferry recruiter) or Lindsay (former SVP of of Enterprise Performance).

Goldman Sachs's Failure to Let Women Lead

Five years ago, CEO David Solomon pledged that Goldman Sachs would work to promote women to senior positions. However, today, no woman currently runs a major division or is seen as a credible candidate to succeed the CEO. Wall Street Journal’s AnnaMaria Andriotis and Andrea Fuller investigated the exodus of women from Goldman Sachs.

As Solomon and Goldman Sachs have failed to uphold their promise, there are several reasons why women are walking out.

  • Many female partners have left due to limited opportunities for advancement and better opportunities elsewhere.

  • Management decisions and practices have had a bigger impact on women partners, including denigration of their work.

    Changes in leadership roles and requirements have contributed to the departure of women partners.

In response to the lack of support, Goldman has faced a class-action lawsuit alleging discrimination against women in lower-level positions. Meetings have been held for women partners to express concerns, but little progress has been seen. Read the full WSJ article here.

Soaring Compensation of Consultants

This week on Twitter, author Paul Millerd posted this image depicting the soaring compensation of consultants from the Charles Aris report here.

The report gives other interesting data points. Only 13% of the total MBAs who took the survey (538) are highly likely to leave consulting in the next 6 months. Top career pivots for those considering leaving include private equity (31%), life sciences (20%) and financial services (18%).

It will be really interesting to see the 2024 report as these firms halt hiring. Employment opportunities with top management consulting firms including the Big Three of Bain & Company, McKinsey & Company, and Boston Consulting Group (BCG) fell by more than 80% in the UK.

Book Club Pick: The Zebra Code by Andrew LaCivita

I am excited about this issue’s book club pick, The Zebra Code by Andrew LaCivita. Andrew is a globally renowned career and leadership coach and founder of the milewalk Academy®. His newest book is a must-read for emerging professionals and experienced leaders alike. There is so much packed into Andrew’s teachings!

In the world of professional advancement, the age-old adage “Different is better than better” reigns supreme. Andrew’s teachings in The Zebra Code embody this philosophy, guiding savvy professionals on “being a zebra, not a horse.” Grounded in the belief that clarity, creativity, and focus are the pillars of career success, The Zebra Code presents a refreshing perspective. It doesn't just aim for improvement; it champions uniqueness and distinctiveness in the job market.

Andrew is gifting those who preorder the book through his website 5 months of complimentary video lessons and live group coaching with him. This is HUGE! He is also gifting a Briefcase Coach reader a signed copy of his book and one month’s access to his premium Leadership Coaching Program. Send me an email to enter.

Parental Warning: Bleak Outlook on Gen Z Job Market

A recent article in Business Insider spotlighted the dim job market conditions for recent graduates. The job market is becoming increasingly challenging for Gen Z and millennials entering or early in their careers. Young Americans may already feel like they are in a recession.

I encourage those looking to enter the job market in the next couple of years to start early. Help your child understand what "productive" job search activity looks like. Talk to them about how to set realistic weekly networking goals. It's better to be consistent. More than likely, your student already feels stressed and anxious about the future. Be their partner in this process and not their adversary. Encourage your student to create a target company list in Excel or Google Sheets with 35+ companies. Push them to take their research efforts further by identifying individuals from their alumni network or community who work at those target companies. Finally, I have an extensive list of free and inexpensive job search resources for you to share with them.

PSA FOR PARENTS OF COLLEGE-AGE CHILDREN: The job market is still relatively strong. Recent graduates and students approaching graduation are particularly affected. Encourage your children to start early, spend time on their resumes, and network! I predict the early bird will get the worm in this market.

American Workers Are Living Further from Their Employers

A recent study performed by Gusto found that employees' average distance from their employer has increased by 2.7x since 2019. The rise in distance is driven by employees hired after the pandemic, who now work an average of 35 miles from their employer. Other findings include that millennials, especially those aged 30-39, live the farthest from their employers as they are most likely to take advantage of remote and hybrid work. The highest-earning workers have seen the most significant increase in distance, with those making over $250,000 per year now living 42 miles away from work.

How far do you live from your employer?

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Unleash Your Personal Brand

When it comes to job searching, uncovering and marketing your personal brand is crucial. In my latest issue of Curated Career Conversations, I had the opportunity to speak with Ashley Dodge, a marketing and branding guru, about how to unleash your personal brand. Understanding what makes you unique and aligning it with what others are seeking is key. Ashley recommends using the concept of ikigai, which is the intersection of your passions, skills, financial viability, and societal needs. Ultimately, everyone has something valuable to offer, but finding the right fit is essential.

The State of Job Boards

With experience in job boards, publishing, and e-learning, Jeff Dickey-Chasins is a trusted industry veteran who writes the blog Job Board Doctor. He recently looked at the major players in job boards and provided an overview of what he saw. He found that the state of job boards is inconsistent across the industry. Overall it seems that traditional job boards have faced challenges, while marketplaces have fared better. Some of his findings include:

  • Zip, DHI, Recruit, and Freelancer have experienced a revenue decline in the job board industry.

  • Randstad reports decreased hiring and revenue decline in Q4 of 2023.

  • Seek merges brands in the Philippines to create a new HRtech company.

  • DHI Group sees revenue and bookings drop, with improvement signs in bookings.

  • ZipRecruiter faces challenges with a slow hiring market and revenue decline.

  • CrowdWorks experience sales growth in net sales.

  • College Recruiter launches chatbot for pay-per-application advertising benchmark data.

  • Upwork and Fiverr see revenue increase in the fourth quarter.

How Can I Help?

Do you know someone who is job searching?

35%. That’s the number of clients referred to us by previous clients. We view referrals as the highest compliment that we can receive. As a token of our appreciation, we offer referral gifts ranging from Ember mugs to Jeni’s ice cream boxes.

Is your company people-focused?

Consider sharing Briefcase Coach with your HR leadership. We are a great “white-glove” boutique option for executive outplacement.

Need to make updates to your professional documents or prepare for a high-stakes interview?

Briefcase Coach has an experienced team ready to help high performers wanting to work one-on-one with an executive career strategist.

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