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7 November, 2011 Posted by John G. Self
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29 September, 2020 Posted by John G. Self Posted in career advancement, Career Transition/Outplacement, Interviewing Skills, Job Search
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Job Applicants Should Pay Attention to this Trend

Posted September 29th, 2020 | Author: John G. Self

Read Time: Less than 2 minutes


Candidate:  Can you tell me why I wasn’t chosen?

Recruiter:   We selected someone we felt does not just preserve the organization’s existing culture and values but would add to it.


Companies with inclusive talent practices generate up to 30 percent higher revenue per employee than those who do not, according to a new study on behavior and values interviewing conducted by LinkedIn.  Maximizing workforce productivity must be a primary focus for businesses in the post-Covid 19 business climate.

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Finding the right person for a job does not mean finding someone who is exactly like everyone else in the department division or the whole of the company, surveyors concluded.  Finding people who will be “culture adds” will be integral to achieving improved and sustainable productivity.  

“Culture adds have the potential to do great things at your company.”

LinkedIn Talent solutions

For years, the applicant selection process’s conventional wisdom focused on knowledge, skills, performance, and cultural fit.  The LinkedIn report suggests that while these elements are

all essential, companies will be using behavior and values interview questions to assess whether an applicant’s experience and successes means they will be adaptable and embrace new ways of doing things.  This approach makes sense since many organizations, once stable with respected brands, have faded from sight because executives, like their workforce, were too comfortable with the status quo.

Innovative organizations are not looking for bomb-throwers.  They are looking for people who will embrace the inevitable change in any business and provide a foundation for senior leaders to effect necessary change.

Innovative organizations are not looking for bomb-throwers.  They are looking for people who will embrace the inevitable shifts in any business and provide a foundation for senior leaders to effect necessary change.

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This trend leads me to this conclusion – preparing for a job interview, always a hit or miss proposition for most applicants, is rapidly becoming more critical and more complicated. But this trend may provide well-prepared applicants another way to differentiate themselves from the dozens of competitors.


Applicants, especially at the management and executive level, should consider framing questions about the prospective employer’s current culture and how they expect new hires to make a positive contribution as a “culture add” applicant.

© 2020 John Gregory Self

24 September, 2020 Posted by John G. Self Posted in Career, Career Building, Career Management, Diversity, Your Career Success
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Don’t Get Mad, Get Even

Posted September 24th, 2020 | Author: John G. Self

“You are never too old to set another goal or to dream a new dream.” 

Author unknown


I am encountering an increasing number of out of work senior executives — capable, up-to-date, energetic, with an impressive record of success, who cannot find a job.  They are victims of age discrimination, a rampant practice at a time, it has been said, where we are trying to find 21st century talent with 19-century theories and technology that frequently eliminates excellent candidates.

Discrimination in employment, in ethnicity, gender, and age, is not new, but that it is widespread and has become an inconvenient fact for many employers that would like you to believe they do not discriminate, is beyond troubling.  

I ran into an old acquaintance the other day.  His long-time employer decided “to go in a different direction,” which is to say that he was the victim of a familiar combination:  younger executives were willing to do the same job for much less money.  He said he spent more than nine months looking for another job without receiving one call back.  “I got tired of arguing with a screwed-up talent acquisition system that did not care that I was more qualified and had more experience than other applicants. Then I decided to stop getting mad, ignore their process, and do my own thing. 

“I got tired of arguing with a screwed-up talent acquisition system that did not care that I was more qualified and had more experience than other applicants. Then I decided to stop getting mad, ignore their process, and do my own thing.

A Frustrated Job Seeker

“Hell, I had been a salaryman for my entire career.  I never thought I had what it takes to be an entrepreneur, to start my own business, but I was so frustrated and so angry with how I was treated that I decided to take the leap.”  He opened a consultancy in the same industry where he had developed an impressive reputation.  When I asked how he was doing, he replied, “This is not for everyone and to be honest the jury is probably still out regarding the long-term potential, but it is looking pretty good so far.”

A quote from entrepreneur, author and motivational speaker, Jim Rohn, that he found while searching the web for a job caught his attention and ultimately motivated him to take the plunge.

“If you don’t design your own life plan, chances are you will fall into someone else’s plan.  And guess what they have planned for you?   Not much.”   

“If you don’t design your own life plan, chances are you will fall into someone else’s plan.  And guess what they have planned for you?   Not much.”  

Jim Rohn

“I did not have a clue who Jim Rohn was, or that he died in 2009, but that quote certainly lit my fire.

“I guess I was determined to show my former company and all of those recruiters who would not give me the time of day that I still had what it takes to compete successfully.”

Entrepreneurship is not for everyone.  Most new businesses fail the first year but if you have a good plan and the determination to succeed, you can leave the job search frustrations behind.  Of course, there is more to it than that.  Take it from me.  I have started three companies and I am working on my fourth during the last 7 to 10 years of my career.  Why?  Because, like you, I am frustrated and I am determined to show the establishment nay-sayers there is a better way, that someone with a long record of experience and achievement can still deliver exceptional value for clients and investors.  Just because you have achieved a certain age milestone does NOT mean you have to go sit in a rocking chair on the damn front porch.


Accelerate Your Job Search

We guide executives and managers to their next career position. We offer affordable subscription pricing plans, in most cases for $89 a month, which gives you access to expert coaching and spot-on educational content for a fraction of the cost you will pay with traditional outplacement /career transition firms. Info@JohnGSelf.Com

© 2020 John Gregory Self

22 September, 2020 Posted by John G. Self Posted in Uncategorized
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How Many LinkedIn Connections Are Too Many?

Posted September 22nd, 2020 | Author: John G. Self

How many LinkedIn connections are enough? At what point do you have too many?

Steve Burda is reportedly the connections champion on LinkedIn.  He has more than 50,000.

180, 275, 350, more than 500?  More than 25,000?

During my earlier years as an executive recruiter, I would zero in on a potential candidate’s number of connections.  If they had less than 750 I would think, ‘Oh brother, this person is going to be in trouble.’ I would assume that the executive was not investing enough time in supporting his/her career by building a robust network.  That was the conventional wisdom at the time.  Now, I am not so sure that the assessment is accurate.

In the early days of LinkedIn, many of us used the highly scientific method of selecting potential network connections; if it moves, shoot it.   Digital networking was a new thing in 2003.  We had little or no idea what we were doing and today there is plenty of evidence to support that conclusion.   Many of us early adapters ended up with more than our share of insurance salespeople and financial planners from the furthest reaches of Northwest Washington to Key West, Florida.  They were probably all genuinely lovely people but of little or no use to our respective business growth strategies.  Today, with the increasing demands on our time, the shotgun, willy-nilly approach to professional networking is toast.   We must all be more strategic in who we select to include. 

In the early days of LinkedIn, many of us used the highly scientific method of selecting potential network connections; if it moves, shoot it.

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So, to answer those two questions, we first must know this:  what is your objective?  If the purpose of building a professional network is to support your professional development and career advancement, then connecting with thousands of contacts is probably not that useful.  If you are promoting a new book or services with mass-market appeal, then perhaps you can make the case that there is value in bigger is better.    

Let us focus on the most common (read: real) reason people create a professional network:  to get another job when they are laid off or are terminated.  Expecting someone you connected with on LinkedIn but have not had any contact with in the last three years to stop what they are doing to help you find a job is not even remotely plausible.

However, if your network is comprised of 250 contacts and they are senior leaders at your targeted organizations, places you might like to work, then I would argue your network is more valuable than being connected with 2,000 or 3,000 people you do not know and have not interacted with.  

However, if your network is comprised of 250 contacts and they are senior leaders at your targeted organizations, places you might like to work, then I would argue your network is more valuable than being connected with 2,000 or 3,000 people you do not know and have not interacted with. 

The key to success is interaction.  You must approach your network with the idea that these 250 or 300 people are so important to you that you will not allow a month to go by without their receiving something of value from you.  Building a meaningful relationship takes time.  You cannot rush it.  

If your plan to grow your network is not strategically aligned with your career plan, your chances of deriving real value for your career objectives are not that great.

We help clients build a career plan and strategic networking strategy. info@JohnGSelf.Com

© 2020 John Gregory Self

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