Career Advice Workshop…


Contributed by: Aneek Saha, CFA        

Where your talents and the needs of the world meet, therein lies your vocation

The Bangalore Chapter welcomed Luis Moniz, Executive and Career Coach, Frontrunner Career advisors on July 26, 2015, to help members and candidate scale-up in their professional careers and effectively help participants derive the full value of the CFA Program® and the Charter. The participants found the interaction replete with actionable tips and strategies that one could use immediately to effectively plan and manage his / her career appropriately.

The four-hour long discussion touched on various points as summarized below:

Current Career Paradigm:

According to Reid Hoffman, the founder of Linked-in, one needs to plan like an entrepreneur while strategizing his professional career. One should persevere to be among the top 5% of performers in an organization; the axe generally doesn’t fall on them even in the event of a downsizing. To achieve this objective, one should possess four essential characteristics / skills: Business savvy, technical knowledge, creative energy and hands-on approach to get work done.

Choosing the right role:

The one question that can help answer this question is: Do you enjoy your job?

Job Life Cycle Phases:

On an average an executive shifts his career seven times during his work-life. The lesser experienced population shift their career about three to four times during their first decade.

Crafting an effective resume:

Luis discussed the different phases of a job life cycle:

  1. The idealize phase when one has the highest regard for ones job, boss, coworkers, when the job seems challenging but rewarding
  2. the honeymoon phase which is the steepest part of the learning curve
  3. Ideal vs. Reality – when reality dawns, the job seems to be what it seemed to be
  4. Take off: when one reaches peak performance , the highest degree of mastery and productivity, the time being to explore internal moves
  5. Magnetism Dominant phase, when one needs to reinvent, reposition and go to market and
  6. Devaluation phase, where one’s performance becomes poor, one is left out of meetings and one mentally checks out.

Luis urged the participants to update one’s resume during his / her annual performance review. Some good practices with regards to resume are:

  • Cover letters or photographs are not relevant.
  • The quality of information is important and not quantity.
  • Information accuracy is paramount.
  • Proof Reading: Perform a spell and grammar check and request a friend to proof read it.
  • Presentation: The ideal font is 12 size Garamond or Times New Roman and one align the text left to make the resume more readable. Each point should not bigger than two lines. The resume should be circulated in PDF format, the file being titled CV first name and last name.

Use Linked-in effectively:

Linked-In according to Luis is the ultimate branding platform. The site shows up on top of Google searches and one can know that he / she is being searched. It is advisable to have at least 500 connections, join relevant groups, read and participate in daily digests, regularly update his/her status, and clearly define the role one is interested in. As far as the number of recommendations are concerned, he advised a limit of four to prevent any dilution in its value.

Job search tips and strategies:

Luis highlighted the importance of a positive mindset during ones job search. Even in challenging times, one should persevere in his efforts as all it takes is just one right job offer.  Since 75% of all job shifts are through referrals, and just 20% through public portals, it is advisable to find a connection to apply for the job. Approaching the job search systematically and professionally will yield better results than approaching it in an unplanned manner.

Job interview tips:

Prepare well for the interview. Invariably, any interview starts with a ‘tell me about yourself’ question. A short answer that focuses on three core skills, some relevant career achievements and why this job is important to you would be appropriate. An interview evaluates the following core business attributes

  1. Knowledge, skill and experience
  2. Leadership Competencies
  3. Personal Attributes.

The Behavioral interview involves asking the interviewee to come up with a specific example which demonstrates a certain attribute / situation. The best approach to answer such questions would be in the S.T.A.R. format. S.T.A.R. is an acronym that stands for Situation, Task undertaken, Action taken and Results thereon.

Job offer finalization:

Luis advised not to state one’s salary expectations. Instead, request the company to make their offer first.

The participants found the long workshop eye-opening though tiring.

– AS

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