2015: A year to act!

2015Dear all,
I would like to wish you a very good year 2015!

It is my hope that this new year will see many of us DO things and become in some way entrepreneurs.
I don’t particularly mean it in the business sense. I just wish we would all take things in our hands, to various degrees, and become actors of our lives, not passive by-standers.

I wish we would now try to make our time matter. Time passes fast and I, like too many of us, often find I have nothing to show, having wasted precious hours and days looking for opportunities, getting prepared, waiting to begin but not quite daring to ACT.

We can’t expect things to come to us, whether at work, in our social environment or in personal life. We have to go and get them.

As I have done over the last few years, I will try to support you in making your projects come true, whether changing jobs, finding back one, or becoming a better manager.
Later on in January my first book: La Quête, will be released in French on this blog as a pay-as-you-want e-book. The English & updated version will then be issued in May. Both aim to help you find new career opportunities, whether you already have a job or are unemployed.
In the last quarter of 2015 I will also publish a handbook of management, based on my last years of mentoring experience.

In 2015, I will do things.
What about you?

A few words about talent retention

TalentsI first titled this post ‘Is it possible to keep the talents in your company?’
But there is no real point there:

  1. They will ultimately leave anyway.
  2. It is not good to want them to stay with you forever.

So what? Should we even bother and care? Of course we should, with a lucid and realistic mind.
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« Mais pourquoi m’appelez-vous ? »

kotekLorsque j’accompagne mes managers à faire leurs premiers pas dans le monde merveilleux du réseau, pour d’abord obtenir des informations, et dans un second temps aller offrir leurs services, arrive fatalement le moment où ils évoquent, interloqués, leur premier mauvais coup de fil téléphonique.
Je ne parle pas des appels durant lesquels ils ont bafouillé ou n’ont pas été convaincants, mais de la première fois où ils tombent sur un mauvais client…
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May I do something for you?

how_can_I_helpI am currently making a secret experiment.
I am live-testing people’s Linkedin motivation for connection.
For the whole month of October, I have accepted all the requests sent to me. And then after having waited one day, I sent, to the ones who had not followed up on their invitation, a little message saying “I’m happy to be part of your network! Did you have a reason to connect with me? Is there something I can do for you?”

Some stats & facts:

– 8% made the effort to write their own sentences in the request, all others just sent the default message.
– 6% of the people who sent a request (not the same ones) followed up with their own message. All wanted my service as a recruitment consultant.
– 92% were people I had never heard of before.
– 66% were not in my direct network (were not a contact of my contacts)
– 72% were women… (Do I look that good on my picture? Mmh…)

– 100% of the Anglo-saxons have answered my message, only 70% of the French and 55% of the Poles.
My explanation for the differences is that the recruitment market is tougher in France and people with recruitment in mind make naturally more effort, if this can be called an effort. Regarding the Anglo-saxons, well, networking is more in their culture … so they do it more efficiently?

– 100% of the ones who answered my friendly message did not appear much at ease with the exercise. More than half explained they did it in case they would need me in the future, nothing specific.

(- 1 Englishman wanted me to help him retrieve some funds from some dead body with the same family name as me, by writing an official statement I was next of kin??? SPAM! and shame on you mister…)

So far, my analysis is:
1. Most people play at Linkedin like my son used to collect Pokemon (I wonder… how many points am I worth in your collection?) they collect contacts, probably with no specific reason.
2. I am linked to a recruitment consultancy, which makes me somewhat popular. You could be a candidate on one of my assignments ‘in the future’ and you think I would not be able to find you, so you are taking the lead by contacting me. But most of you are trusting my creative power and judgement, since none of you explain for which type of jobs I should contact you.

And so my conclusions are:
1. Do not be passive. Do not be shy. Do not be rude: talk to me! You request connection to me. I accept. Then I send you a nice little message and you don’t answer!… What kind of a caveman are you? Do you want me to tell your mother how you behave? Come on, she raised you better!
2. We all exist IN REAL LIFE: having a VIRTUAL link to me is worth almost nothing. Even if I accept we connect without a reason, we have to be willing to talk to each other.
3. Let’s all make the (professional) world a better place. Let us all network a little more smartly.

Le retour de Congé Maternité

work_lifeDifficile de rester 100 % focalisée sur le boulot lorsque l’on retourne au travail après un congé maternité. Un petit, mais ô combien important, bout de vous manque à l’appel. Et vous, lui manquez-vous ? Saura-t-il/elle s’en sortir sans vous ? Votre travail, fût-il riche, varié et prenant, a perdu, forcément, un peu de sa saveur. Même si vous étiez impatiente de reprendre.
Faut-il avoir peur du Professional Baby Blues ?
J’ai vécu cette situation en tant que collègue, que manager et comme papa. J’ai pu faire quelques observations.
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In 5 Years’ Time

futureI very often ask during interviews: “If you had the chance to decide of it, what would you be doing in 5 years from now?” Or something very similar aimed at the not-so-near future.
It’s not because I lack imagination and I so much love classic ‘naïve’ interview questions.
I’m not asking you to predict the future. And I certainly won’t seek you out 5 years from now to see whether you followed your plan.
But your answer will tell me a lot about you.

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No Man Is An Island : Soyez actifs pendant votre recherche

HandJ’en ai autrefois parlé à propos des fameux trous dans le cv et de la recherche quand on est au chômage (cf post ‘Qu’avez-vous fait pendant tout ce temps’). Je veux cependant revenir sur la question des activités que vous pouvez – correction : que vous devez – mener alors que vous êtes entre 2 emplois/missions.
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Kill your to-do

todoI can’t think of many things as useless as to-do lists.
That’s it. I’ve said it. Don’t shoot me just now, hang on a little longer.

Honestly, what is their point?
The classic to-do list of the managers I’m supporting is a never-ending, un-readable, depressing document, that they don’t much refer to except at the beginning and/or the end of the day. It does not guide them, it does not set priorities, it barely mentions what the deliverables really are…
You must use your time better? So you should do better than writing a to-do list.
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Γνῶθι σεαυτόν

MirrorMost of the people I meet in my Career Advice activities (recruitment, assessment and outplacement) are somehow flying blind…
This is always very surprising. The generic impression I get 9 times out of 10 after my first meeting is that managers are mostly clueless about what they:
– bring/offer to their employer,
– have to do in order to change jobs/get a new one.
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Will you take this offer?

Yes_noExcellent!! You have passed all the tests, assessments, interviews and reference checks. You have been patient enough to remain in the process for several weeks, even months… And there it is: the offer letter is in your hand.
Now is the time to sit down, take a deep breath and make up your mind. Will you accept or resign?
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