Did you meet your peers before you signed the contract?
As you can see from this graph below, the people you spend most of your adult life with are your partner and your co-workers. So you better like them!
Connectivity is critical to our well-being and happiness.
Human beings are a social species, wired to connect.
According to Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs, besides food, water, and safety, love and belonging are the most important needs we must fulfill. This includes our desire for interpersonal relationships, intimacy, to connect with others, and to be integrated into a group.
When these needs are met, our overall well-being improves, and we live a more fulfilled life.
The 2021 World Happiness Report found that people who experienced an increase in connectedness with others during the pandemic had:
✔️Greater life satisfaction ✔️More resilience ✔️Better mental health
Human connection also decreases health risks and improves physical well-being and longevity. Strong social connections strengthen the immune system and increase your chances of a longer life by 50%.
We find the contacts in our community who really enjoy their roles are the ones who get along with and respect their colleagues.
Given we recruit in the strategy and management consulting space, the caliber of their colleagues seems to be a big contributor to this as many of our candidates come from prestigious consulting firms where they are surrounded by like-minded individuals.
On moving into industry, a consultant needs to be able to work alongside many different types of stakeholders at all levels from the mailroom to the c-suite, this is great experience for them and invaluable for their growth. If they can prove they can influence at all levels they often thrive.
However, we find ex-consultants are happiest when the immediate team they are working with, and the leadership they report to, are made up of smart, dynamic, interesting, and ambitious individuals.
A big complaint we get from some strategy & management consulting candidates who have moved into industry is that they are missing the intellectual stimulation that they received previously in consulting and their pace of learning and growth is affected by this.
The industry clients who use our services ensure the quality of the individuals in their teams remains high. Their teams are made up of excellent talent which in turn attracts more excellent talent.
Many of our clients offer a peer coffee as they make offers, and some of our candidates insist on this which we encourage.
You may be bought into the line manager or interviewer but ensure you have the full picture so do proper due diligence on the tribe you are signing up to belong to. Did you meet your peers before you signed the contract?
Firstly, are your expectations of how and when you will get promoted in industry roles too high? Management consultants are used to getting regular promotions. Score well on your performance reviews and you are usually aware of which promotion cycle you will secure your next run up the ladder.
In corporate and start-ups however promotions work very differently.
Yes, you need to perform, but your performance is only 10% of the equation. 30% relates to your image and how others perceive you at work. Your perceived gravitas and EQ etc. A whopping 60% + is attributed to your exposure.
Doing a good job is all well and good but if nobody knows about it you are likely to get overlooked.
I find this is a problem for top-performing consultants moving into the industry who do not know how to network, look up the chain, and self-advocate for themselves and then get frustrated when overlooked for a promotion.
Daily my colleagues and I are having conversations with candidates who are exploring the market only to get their next run up the ladder.
NEWSFLASH- There are not many in-demand roles out there that will just give you the next level up and a 30% increase in salary just because you feel you deserve it and are not getting it where you are! (Can you tell we have this conversation on a daily basis?)
So you need to self-advocate to the right people at the right time.
You need to be clear on what you want from your career and what your career goals are. How can you communicate this to others if you do not know yourself? Get specific.
Now think about your energy and your presence and work on your confidence. If you believe in yourself others will follow suit. (Just mind not to go too far the other way, a massive ego can also be your downfall.
Look up and identify who can help you get to where you want to be. What are their goals and values?
Ensure you understand what management’s expectations are and what good looks like from their perspective. Do you understand where the company is going and how you play a part in that success?
Some useful tips to help for self-advocating and being seen.
1. Schedule catch-ups and mentoring sessions with a variety of stakeholders.
2. Build genuine, mutually beneficial relationships with them. Ask them what is keeping them up and night. Can you put your hand up to take some of their stresses off them? They will remember that!
3. Speak up in meetings. Be present in the office when you know management is around. The value of those water cooler chats is undeniable, although, with more flexible working, these are happening less and less. Be the one that stands out.
4. Work on your executive presence. Do you have a blind spot, ask for honest feedback from peers and friends. Many don’t as they do not like to feel critiqued however you want to make sure, when you are standing out to leadership, it is for the right reasons.
Read your CV or Linked In profile through the eyes of a robot!
I have had a fair few coffee’s post the New Year, with good contacts of mine asking for advice as they embark on a new job search. Many have relied of word of mouth for past career opportunities but as they get more senior, the competition increases. They ask me what they need to be doing to be as appealing to the hiring managers of the big roles they are after.
Here are some of the basics:
Gone are the days that recruiters rely on a rolodex and a solid network of contacts, (I am showing my age now). 90% of recruiters, both internal and external, pay Linked In A LOT of money for the privilege of accessing their super smart AI tool Linked In Recruiter.
This tool highlights potential candidates to recruiters and hiring managers based on a set of criteria the user inputs.
So take some time to look at your Linked In profile. What would the AI tool tell the user about you? Does your profile reflect the role you WANT or just list a load of responsibilities you had in roles of the past 10 years? Or does it say nothing at all?
Will the AI tool be flagging you as a potential candidate for that stretch role?
As technology becomes smarter, AI tools like ChatGPT are being used to scan CV’s and cover letters. Users can simply copy and paste cover letters or CV’s and ask it to search for key job criteria. It will comb through text to determine if candidates have relevant experience. Even if this process is being done by an internal talent person or EA and not an AI tool, they too are looking for specific terms, words or achievements.
Just like AI tools, internal recruiters are often not subject matter experts on every role and rely on you to make it obvious that you are relevant for that role which is why it is important for you to tailor your resume to the role you want using the businesses terms, phrases and the words they use in the role descriptions. (For instance, do they call it “Blue sky thinking strategy” and you say “Corporate strategy”)
Finally, when you have managed to get the attention of a hiring manager, you want your profile to sell not tell!
Don’t just list roles and responsibilities.
My clients want to see quantifiable achievements directly related to the work you did. How did your input benefit that business?
We have a free resume template and insights on our website for anyone who may need it.
Of course, we are safe in the knowledge that our years of networking will safeguard us from such tools that will still miss excellent talent and cannot determine character and gravitas but if you are active in the job market, you need to think about being an obvious choice for the role you want beyond word of mouth.
Our client is a very highly regarded Australian Financial Services institution. They are growing their strategy functions and are looking to hire a dynamic, Sydney-based Manager or Senior Manager to join their Corporate Development & Strategy team.
This team defines and drives the strategic direction of this preeminent Financial Services organisation.
With a focus on organic and inorganic growth, they are looking for an ambitious and talented individuals to join their team.
In this role you will:
Develop the strategy for the business working with senior stakeholders across a number of business units.
Analyse competitors, markets, and industries they are most focused on
Working with internal clients to solve complex business problems
Identify, develop, and analyse investment opportunities
Bring innovation to the business through products, processes, and technology.
Innovate and be a thought leader
Lead engagements for key strategic initiatives
Key qualifications for this role are:
A minimum of 4/5-8 years of financial services experience within:
Investment banking advisory or M&A with financial institution coverage
Top tier management strategy consulting firm
Either of the above before transitioning into a corporate development and strategy role within a financial institution
Excellent modelling capabilities which may have been gained through valuation, forecasting or scenario analysis
Strong understanding of financial statements and has a strong interest in financial services, fintech, and any adjacent industries.
Exceptional verbal and written communication skills, enabling you to present key insights to senior stakeholders
Demonstrated problem solving skills, strategic thinking skills and a growth mindset, which will equip you to work independently and navigate ambiguity
Proven experience in managing multiple workstreams and prioritising tasks to execute on key deliverables
If you want to work in a prestigious company with excellent peers, that supports flexible work arrangements, then this role is for you. If this sounds like a good challenge for you and you know you are a good fit, contact Anika Stokes at email@example.com to be considered for the position.
This reputable ASX company provides a diverse range of information services in Australia. They are a leader in their industry sector and are envied by their competitors. This growing organisation has a focus on all things digital and innovation and will appeal to those that enjoy this kind or work. They are currently looking for a Senior/ Executive Manager for their premium Strategy team that’s based in Sydney.
The Strategy team is a small but high performing team and has a very positive team culture. They promote from within where possible and there are strong career opportunities internally and due to their growth, there are new opportunities are being created all the time.
They are currently looking for a Senior/ Executive Manager for their premium Strategy team that’s based in Sydney. They need someone that can provide strategic direction to the company and who has an interest in and has experience in the Digital and TMT sectors to some extent.
The successful candidate will be joining a team that partners with the Executive Leadership Team and Business Unit Leaders in developing and evolving the company’s strategic direction which includes identification and assessment of new investment, partnership and business opportunities. And well as driving the annual strategic planning cycle. You will be using your analytical skills in determining the best place to allocate the company’s resources.
Key Responsibilities include:
Work with inspiring business leaders to help develop corporate or business unit strategies.
Understand business performance by identifying profitability levers, utilising evidence-based assumptions, and more.
Juggle multiple strategic project work streams and develop expertise across a range of business units.
Provide recommendations on future strategic direction to senior leaders through the creation of compelling written strategies and presentation materials.
Ideate and develop new business opportunities
Work with the different teams to assess new areas of growth
Drive the annual strategic planning process
Support the M&A team in their efforts to achieve success
Key Qualifications for this role:
At least 6 years dedicated to business strategy (strategy consulting experience is a must have, can be mixed with corporate advisory and or start-ups)
Expert in developing detailed models and bespoke analytics to support strategic decisions
Creative problem-solving capabilities including experience in design thinking & agile development
Deep understanding of consumer experience
Outstanding presentation skills at an executive and senior management level
Demonstrable experience in people and stakeholder management at the highest levels
Digital media industry or Technology, Media, Telecom sector experience highly regarded.
If you want to experience a different type of work environment, where you are empowered to make changes and have a sense of accountability, then apply now by sending your CV to Anika Stokes at firstname.lastname@example.org