Career Briefs: Finding Job Search Success

In this issue: mapping your plan to success, advice for a successful interview, navigating a season of layoffs and more...

Dear Reader:

No one cares.

Or at least, no one cares more than you do about your success.

Not your boss. Not your old man. Not your mentor. Maybe your spouse—but even then, it’s not the same.

For much of my early career, I waited. I waited for others to recognize the effort I was putting in. I hoped they would assign me new projects or consider me for opportunities without me having to apply for them. It didn’t pay off in the way I wanted it to.

Success comes to those who define it. Hustle Wisely. Have access to opportunities. And take the initiative.

You have to take full responsibility for your career. If you aim to be in a different position next year, now is the time to map out your plan.

I am rooting for you and your success,

In this Issue

In this issue of Career Briefs, we are diving deep into all things success.

What does success look like in a job search? From outlining a strategy for your search to having a successful interview, I share resources for preparing for success.

Studying how someone else became successful and what worked for them is helpful. I share an episode from best-selling author Tim Ferriss's podcast where he talks with an entrepreneur full of success stories about how he got there.

Something I have learned that feels better than achieving success is celebrating the success of those around me. It’s not always easy to find joy when facing hardships like a layoff while watching others succeed. I found Matt Hearndon’s recent LinkedIn post inspiring.

Finally, I love reading and finding articles to share in my newsletter. I included a list of recent reads that I found insightful on success.

A job search can be overwhelming and exhausting. Even just the thought of searching for a job can leave you feeling paralyzed. I believe an efficient and effective job search requires the preparation of three key components. These components are a comprehensive job search strategy, a well-crafted resume, and solid interview prep.

Three components for a successful job search are:

  1. Develop a comprehensive job search strategy

  2. Write a well-crafted, targeted resume

  3. Spend time on solid interview preparation

In this article, I explain each component and how to use them to your advantage in a job search.

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 send referral gifts ranging from Ember mugs to Jeni’s ice cream boxes.


Finding Success in an Interview

Preparing for an interview takes time and typically correlates with the success one has in an interview. I was honored to share my take on questions NOT to ask in an interview. Sometimes, preparing what not to say is just as important as preparing what to say. I, along with several other experts in the career space, shared with Harvard Business Review’s Kristi DePaul some questions to avoid and the reasoning behind why we wouldn’t ask them.

For more advice on interviewing preparation, check out this Briefcase Coach article on steps to help you ace your interview.

Success as a Startup’s Early Employee (Twice!)

Tim Ferriss is an American entrepreneur, author, and podcaster known for his self-experimentation and focus on productivity, personal development, and lifestyle design. He gained prominence with his bestselling book The 4-Hour Workweek, which was published in 2007 and has since been translated into dozens of languages. I found his recent podcast episode with Noah Kagan insightful (thanks to Noah Thomas for sharing). Kagan, an early startup employee (#30 at Facebook & #4 at Mint), shared his secret to landing these roles - and it didn’t come from mass applying.

This is a LONG episode - 4 hours! - and while it is a great listen with a lot of wisdom shared between Kagan and Ferriss - it’s long. A great listen for your next cross-country flight. In the meantime, skip ahead to the 3-hour mark to listen to Kagan's revelation on how he landed the job at Mint.

Celebrate the Success of Others

Celebrating the success of an employee or team member is an easy way for leaders to boost employee morale and retention. It doesn't cost anything. Gallup says it can be more impactful than a bonus, promotion, or paid company benefit.


My small town, hometown State Farm ® agent, Stuart, taught me one of the most important leadership lessons: celebrate other people’s success.

Those with an abundance mindset believe there is enough of everything for everyone. Giving someone else praise or celebrating someone else’s win does not take anything away from you.

Having a positive outlook on others’ lives adds value to your life. I believe it adds value to others’ lives for them to feel celebrated.

Click here for practical ways to help maintain an abundance mindset and celebrate others’ success.

Success Amid Layoffs

Layoffs plagued many industries in 2023 and continue to do so today. While it is easy to get discouraged, especially if you are in a position where layoffs are looming, stories of success are out there. I was encouraged to read this post from Matt Hearndon about a client who successfully landed a job in the gaming industry - one that has been hit particularly hard by this season of layoffs. The key takeaway is that it was NOT easy, but it was doable.

Why is the tech industry getting hit so hard with layoffs? In this article by Business Insider, Mark Zuckerberg explains the reasons behind the wave of layoffs and what makes the current wave different from the post-COVID period.

What I have read this week (on the topic of success):

BOOK: Choose Your Battles by retired U.S. Army Colonel Irene Glaeser

This is a must-read for all leaders. Glaeser draws on her experience to share wisdom on successfully becoming a leader and the leadership principles she learned during her career.

This article discusses the importance of connection through conversation. A strong conversation could lead to success in a job search. The open-ended questions shared in this article can also be used to help prompt meaningful conversations in networking meetings or interviews.

Many industries and employees fear AI will change or devalue their jobs. In this article, Forbes Senior Contributor Tracy Bower gives five strategies for leveraging AI to help make you more successful and happier in your job.

We tried something new with this issue--we focused the content on a specific theme. What did you think?

Login or Subscribe to participate in polls.

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.

Join the conversation

or to participate.