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Tips For Serious Seekers: Are You Easily Found?

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Are you easily found? If you want to be contacted 032113_Are You Easily Foundthis is especially true for people in sales, business development, job seekers, and networking contacts — put your phone number and/or email in your LinkedIn heading.  Remember, only your first degree connections can see your LinkedIn registered email address which appears at the bottom of your profile. This simple tip will become even more critical as LinkedIn rolls out a mobile platform later this year.
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Tips For Maximizing Your Returns From Mentorship

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Time spent with a mentor is valuable.  So, make sure that it’s time well spent. One of our active mentors — Gerhard van der Poel, Director-Structured Finance, ING — recently shared his thoughts on how proteges can maximize their mentorship “returns.”

1) Don’t be impatient with the process. You are seeking help, but it may take time to reach answers.  Remember…it is a process.

2) With an important topic, be willing to explore it inside and out. You need to clearly understand your goals and obstacles and limitations – both personal and external.

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Mentorship Case Study: A Mentor Can Take You Places

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Path ForwardSometimes it can be hard to recognize you need help when it comes to building your career. But guidance from someone “who’s been there and done it” can make all the difference between a “ho-hum” and a “wow” career. Gerhard van der Poel, Director-Structured Finance, ING, — one of our network mentors in Finance — helped one protégé clarify her goals and energize her search.

Protégé Career Challenge:

To dramatically “switch gears,” moving from the back office at a European financial institution to a front office business development/commercial role.


The protégé began looking for a new position last year after finishing her MBA. Earning her MBA while working full time was a laborious, every weekend process over 3 years. While the protégé was not fulfilled by her current job, she was not pressed to make any quick career change because she was in her comfort zone. But, with her MBA in hand, she wanted much more than just an “OK” career. The protégé faced a difficult European financial services job market and needed a “push” to get started with her search. She decided to seek mentorship from the Ivy Exec Mentor Network. After some serious soul searching about her career goals and ambitions, she identified several mentors in the Network to “meet.”

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How Does Illiteracy Affect Job Seekers?

Posted in Career Development, Career Planning | Tagged , , | 2 Comments

America is a country of forward-thinking innovation. In our rich history, we’ve revolutionized vehicle production, walked on the moon, and produced successful entrepreneurs like Steve Jobs and Bill Gates. However, despite all of this progress, we still have a long way to go, especially in terms of education.

A National Adult Literacy Survey conducted by the U.S. Department of Education in 2003 revealed that a startling one in five Americans lacks basic skills beyond the fourth-grade level. That’s a hard pill to swallow, especially when you stop and think about how the current job market is becoming increasingly global pits our citizens against job seekers from across the world.

This reality means that there are still more eager candidates than available jobs, and positions that once required less education and experience are being pursued by overqualified individuals. In some cases, people with some to no high school experience are competing with college graduates. While this is clearly an uneven playing field, not all hope is lost for the less-experienced, lower-performing candidates.

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Conflicts With Boss Are Inevitable, But Can Be Healthy

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iStock_000019067686XSmallIf you are a get-things-done manager, sooner or later you will come in conflict with your boss. The same sort of assertiveness and confidence that leads you to have a mind of your own has helped him to earn his position.

Another reality is that if you do not have periodic disagreements with your supervisors you are probably not being as assertive as you should be in moving your career ahead.

These conflicts can prove to be hazardous to the health of your career if they are not handled with common sense.

No one enjoys conflict, especially with the boss.  But when you have an honest difference of opinion, it is better to pay the price of discomfort and take the risk of some penalty than to bottle up the frustration and nagging conscience that results from not meeting what you see as your responsibilities.

How To Turn Conflicts To Your Advantage

There are nine steps you can take to lessen the damage that can result from conflicts with your boss. In fact, you can turn these conflicts to your advantage.

1. Concisely define the issue– preferably in writing– so that you have a clear understanding as to what the controversy is all about. Determine how important it is to you and the organization. If it is not truly important beyond your personal feelings, forget it.  Save your energies for another time when the stakes are significant.

2. Give full consideration to the points of view of all parties concerned, especially the boss. His responsibilities are different than yours.  He may have a legitimate reason for his opinion, which you are not aware of at the moment.  The conflict you see may disappear with an explanation.

3. Weigh your reasons and objectives against the good of all parties. Before you go to the mat,  be sure you are motivated by what you believe to be the larger interest and not just your own narrowly defined agenda.

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10 Things You Must Consider Before Making Your Next Career Move – Part I

Posted in Career Development, Career Planning | Tagged , , , , | 4 Comments

searching dog with magnifying glassBuilding a career requires the confidence and planning to take risks and make radical decisions from time to time. Taking your career in the direction you want to often means having to leave your comfort zone and take the plunge into something more challenging and rewarding – something that has the potential to test your mettle and increase your worth as a professional.

But taking the plunge is never easy, especially considering the current state of the economy. When considering taking up a more rewarding and challenging job role, it is important to analyse not only the job role itself, but also the company, the potential for growth as well as the potential rewards.

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Why Employers Respect Candidates Who Negotiate

Posted in Career Development, Negotiation | Tagged | Leave a comment

It’s irrational to think an employer will tell you to get lost if you try to negotiate their initial offer.

While you certainly can lose your offer if you take a month to reply, or if you come back with a bizarre demand for your own personal masseuse and access to the CEO’s parking spot, employers expect you to review and negotiate their proposed compensation package. In addition, they may even lose some respect for you if you are too eager. 

Don’t believe me? Pretend for a minute that you are a hiring manager…

  • You’ve received hundreds of resumes for an open position in your organization.
  • You’ve interviewed many strong candidates (along with a lot of people who seemed rude, flaky, or unqualified).
  • You’ve done tedious background checks, and you’ve had internal conversations to get different opinions from your staff.

In other words, you’ve put in a lot of work to try to find the right person. However, you think it’s just about to pay off… if your top candidate accepts your offer.

You present your offer to this candidate, optimistic yet anxious about his reply. Without any delay, questions, or counter-offer, he immediately accepts and asks when you would like him to begin work.

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