The Suck Less JOB SEARCH BLOG
Trying to catch a great role in 2017? You can get a great amplified offer but you have to hustle in a different way. First, you have to target. It's easier to meet local C-Suite and Board Members than target leaders in other cities. Second, you have to develop a target list of companies that have a clear business mandate that you can help with (research, research, research...pain/solution). Third, you have to ignite the connectors that can trade your unique value to get you a meeting with the leaders at your target companies. Finally, you need to have a plan for every day. What steps are you taking to add one new decision maker, and influencer into your network? If you focus on this framework you will get a great job in 2017.
Making a quick stop to talk shop on 10/12. If you are an educator, alumni support professional or career counselor and you would like to learn advanced techniques for candidates I will be doing a lecture at SDSU and would love for you to drop on by. The event is closed to the public but I can probably sneak you in.
Email Chris for details: firstname.lastname@example.org or call him (866) 753-5580 x101
Pepperdine, UCLA, UC Irvine, CSULA, UCSB
I will be in SoCal This week speaking with Alumni Associations and Student Associations at some great schools,
Wanna meet? Talk shop? Figure out this job search thing? I will be meeting about 50 people at Chateau Marmont in West Hollywood on Friday at 630pm. I will be meeting with about 30 folks at the Island Hotel in Newport Beach on Friday.
Email Chris to get the details...the more the merrier! email@example.com
Seeing Mr. Martens (the esteemed John Martens) at Neiman Marcus in Beverly Hills always made me feel right. He exuded so much grace, ease, sophistication. I grew up shopping with my mom, the Last of the Retail Jews, at Neiman Marcus in Beverly Hills. It was more than shopping...it's where I learned how to be a gentleman. Having lunch with my grandmother, manners were formed. Talking tailored clothing with the gents, style became important. It wasn't about clothes or fancy shit. It was about attitude, kindness, and class. Now, like many, I am a distant cousin. I am a Marcus. No, I didn't get any discounts or special treatment but it felt like a marvelous little secret...that some how, some way, I was related to someone and something so great.
Watching Neiman's constrict and right-size is heart breaking to me. Today, watching those dedicated pros at NM try to deliver the highest of high standards under financial duress is a very tall order. I feel for those ladies and gents as they navigate into a time where they will need to make many changes. It's not news and it's been some time coming but retail, all brick and mortar retail, is dying or changing. I wanted NM to buck the trend and not just survive but thrive. I wanted my young son to experience, to feel the NM culture and get a taste of better times. I am fearful that he won't get this experience that helped shape me into a man and kick start my career in fashion.
I am not an expert corporate staffer in this world anymore. I am an expert on finding the next chapter for dedicated retail pros and fashion pros but it requires a hard reset as the jobs just aren't there anymore. The new world for retailers and fashion pros is robust but the hard part is figuring out what will feel like full engagement without a hard kick in the wallet. A successful transition is possible, probable and beyond fulfilling...you just got to see the writing on the wall and decide to make it happen.
I have included the PPT download with live links. If you would like to book a chat or have questions you can chat or schedule through the Scheduling App (lower right hand corner).
I was sitting between a super model and a sales executive for Bugle Boy Jeans (yes, Bugle Boy Jeans!). Across the table in a private room at a popular Vegas steak house was a passionate designer talking about the return of sweat pants as couture clothing. I was just a kid working my first staffing gig. My boss sent me to MAGIC (apparel trade show) to scout for talent. As the Bugle Boy sales guy told me he cleared over 600k last year the mound of cocaine in front of him was nearly gone..."you want a bump, kid?" I graciously declined. I was nervous, intimidated and way out of my depth. I wanted to get back in the kiddie pool but I was determined to show my boss that her gamble on me was worth it. Years later and many fashion staffing jobs later I wrote my first book, You Can Get a Job in Fashion. It was a good primer for young fashionista's looking to break into an industry that they were determined to crush.
I knew the industry was changing when I wrote the book but I didn't know how fast and how dramatically it was changing. Fast forward to last week, I was on the phone with an executive from a big Italian fashion brand as she wept on the phone telling me that she now hates fashion and that she didn't get into the business to be a digital media expert or web programmer. This talented merchant is an industry legend that built fashion brands and had a record of raking in double and triple digit growth at luxury. She was looking for a Chief Merchandising role with another brand but when it came to the question of certain 2017 skill sets she balked. For the last ten years, this veteran and name brand talent had taken a 10-20% pay cut, almost yearly. She told me that she made more money in the 80's than she does now. That's when I told her my Steaks, Cocaine and Sweat Pants story (there are more details but wanted to keep it short and PG-13).
Instead of focusing on the skills she didn't have we talked about the opportunity to lead the companies that lacked certain skills with her expertise. Where could we take her voice? Where could we leverage her ability to strategize? Where could she be the adult in the room? I wanted her to take advantage of a longer runway. To latch on with a traditional fashion company would mean that she may have to look again in a year. Nope, we needed to find the best last chapter of her career.
I am writing about this now because it was one of my shortest engagements. Our work together was just two sessions. Our timing was perfect. I knew of a VC firm that was engaged in a pure play eComm company and they wanted an adult in the room. She messaged the Managing Director and detailed her plan. She didn't want to go into clicks but the job was too good to pass up.
She may never make the huge bucks she used to. The world she loved, romanced about...that world is gone. But, instead of fighting the tides she packaged herself as an innovator and creative strategist again...just on a new playing field and she couldn't be happier. Mazel tov!
People will email me...they want to know why they aren't closing. They seem baffled. They tell me that their resume was awesome. They tell me they passed the screen. In fact, many will tell me that they always make it to the final interview and then get blown out.
Adam, help! Email me some tips, I am asked. I have a formula for crushing interviews, yes. I have written about it a half dozen times. It's buried in these blog posts. But, the truth is that I don't know why you aren't closing. Emailing you general guidance may not do the trick. Now, I do know how we can figure out what's missing. I certainly know how to eliminate issues that you think may be a negative contributing factor. But, without knowing you and void of a conversation I don't think I can help.
Well, thanks for nothing, Adam! Wait a sec...I always offer treats. If you are serious about your search then it's worth a chat. If you give me 20 minutes and you are open-minded we may be able to figure this out, together. Press the schedule button and we will either make progress or you will thinkI am full of it. I'm ready. Are you?
I did it. You did it. We all did it. But, let's not do it again. Yeah, I passed on actions I thought about taking in my own search because there was a potential job in play. I remember a string of 3 plus months where there was always something simmering. Sounds good but at the end of that three month period, I had nothing to show for it. I chased fools gold!
Every week I speak to folks that just applied for the perfect job. Or, they just had a good phone screen. Some even make it to the final interview. The one thing most have in common is that they essentially shut down their search or they simply take it out of 5th gear and throw back into first. Then, there are those few enlightened candidates that know that you can't cash fool's gold. They don't stop until the offer letter is delivered and some don't stop ever. Channel these job seeking powerhouses.
Focus on the job search math equation. The more people the know you + feel a need for you= the better the job and the faster it comes.
Focus on your brand...you validated and unique value that is targeted to specific company pain.
Focus on your operating system. Build out the framework for how you do your voodoo so well.
And most importantly...Focus on taking massive action every day to add new Decision Markers, Influencers, and Connectors in your network.
Don't wait and see. You'll lose out on opportunity. Slam your foot down on the gas until that robust offer comes in the form of a 24k offer letter.