Presentation on tips and tricks on getting a job and curating a career. How to get ahead by Naeem Zafar (from OPEN Forum 2014 in Silicon Valley). 30 years of experience in interviewing and hiring talent.
Landing your next opportunity getting a job & thriving in it
Landing Your Next
The Art of getting a job, thriving in it & getting
to where you want professionally
Chairman: OPEN SV Board
University of California Berkeley
Twitter: @naeem email@example.com
• Faculty at Univ of Calif Berkeley
• Founder www.Startup-Advisor.com
• Co-founder & CEO of Bitzer Mobile, Inc. Sold to Oracle
• CEO of three companies (semiconductor & software)
• Experience at one large multinational & 6 startups
• One IPO (Initial Public Offering)
• Wrote six eBooks on entrepreneurship
• Raised over $70M in multiple ways (VC, asset sale, debt, angel)
• Traveled to 76 countries, lived in 3
• Brown University ‘81, Univ of Minnesota MSEE
• Charter member of TiE Silicon Valley & OPEN
• Ex-President of OPEN Silicon Valley
• Advised or mentors over 700 entrepreneurs
Landing an Opportunity
• Getting a job
• Thriving at your job
• Curating your career
“The more prepared I am,
the luckier I get!”
Getting a Job
or an internship
Landing an Opportunity
• Clarity of mind
• Approaching a job
• The interview
Clarity of Mind
• What job will make you fulfilled?
– Life outside work
• Where does this job you next?
How do you prepare to be an
• 80% of the effort goes into top 4 Inches
– Relevant background
Make it relevant to the job
Match the company culture
• Getting F2F
• Understand their needs – do your homework
• Compelling emails
– Subject line
– First 2 lines
Approaching an Opportunity
• Systematic Approach
• Spreadsheet to contact people who have favorable
impression of you
– ~50 names
– 3 week interval to contact
– Change method of approach
• Keep track of each application
– When, who
• Learn the culture of the company first!
– Eye contact, smile
• Make it a conversation
• What questions to ask
– How do you make decisions?
– What is company’s strategy?
• Money is not the only factor
– Cell phone policy
– Work from home policy
– Having fun at the job
• Your manager
– Is she on a fast track?
Will Your Work Look like This?
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Or Like This???
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Make People Want to Stay at Work!
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Is your Work Fun?
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Creative Use of Space
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Color Makes a Difference
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More Colors at Work
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Play Ground for Engineers
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• Write a compelling follow-up email
– Stand out from others who they met
– Summarize conversation and your ability to
Thriving at Your Job
Relating to Your Manager
• Your only job is to make your boss look good
• Pick a boss with upward momentum
• Ask “what can I do to make your life easier?”
Why People Network
• People do business with you because
they like you
• Find co-founders, advisors, mentors
• Be known
Networking in Real World
• How do you know you are
networking at a party or professional
• What is equivalent to hello in US?
Get to Know Others
• Carry your business card
–Have a single tag line that defines your
–Where should people put you in their brain
–Always carry a pen
• Ask people about themselves
–People love to talk about themselves
• Focus on your audience
–Devote 2-5 minutes just on one person
• Do not look over their shoulder
–They can tell!
What to Do
• Ask them about their work, their interests
• Deliver your 3 key lines
– Positioning tag
– Your “ask”
– Your follow up angle
• Write something on the back of their business
card that is not about what is on the front of
When Are You Done Networking?
• Collect at least five business cards before you
are allowed to leave the party
– This will force you to have a few conversations
What to Do After?
• You have only done 50% of the work of
• Send an email to that person within 3 weeks
– The email is NOT about you or any business
• Then send a LinkedIn request within 1 week
Building Networked Relationship
• Networking takes effort
• You have to make several
“emotional deposits” into
your account before you
can make a withdrawal
Curating Your Career
Skills Needed To Accelerate
• Communication skills
• Selling skills
• Political skills
• A mentor
• Essential to your professional success
–& personal relationship success as well
• Learning to present well will help
throughout your career
• Be open!
– & true
Forms of Communication
• Phone calls
You Are The Message!
• It is not about PowerPoint
• You are the message
• Use aids only as needed
• Have your message ready & crisp
• Clarity must exist in your mind
Say it with Conviction
Most Important Aspect
• Clarity of thought: you need fewer words to
express it if you are clear yourself!
Perfection is not when
there is nothing left to
add, but when there is
nothing left to take out!
• Explain yourself in first minute (slide zero™)
• Explain the relevance of what you do
• Don’t dive into details until you get signal!
• Listen for audience reaction …
• Unclutter your slides
• Minimize font, style, emphasis overload
– These detract from your message
• All articles can & should be deleted
• Use “builds” only with busy slides
One Main Point Per Slide
• Do not read your slides
• Supplement wordings on the slides with
words coming out of your mouth
• No more than one (or two) messages per
Most Important Slide
• What is the most important slide in your
• Be attentive, energetic, in front!
• Know your message!
– Do not read your own slides
• Engage with audience
• Uses pauses effectively
• Pay attention to title of email
– Will it grab attention, will they open it
• State purpose
– Need an action, need approval, FYI
• Then provide supporting material
• Salutation sets the right tone
• Pay attention to cc list
– The curse of reply all!
• Use email to deliver good news, ask questions,
• Never deliver bad news on email
• Keep it succinct (1-2 iPhone screens)
• Carefully examine title, recipients on each
• Sales is noble
• Most people hate selling
• Selling is considered “deceitful”
• Good selling never is
You Are Always Selling!
• Selling your idea
• Selling a “job offer”
• Selling an idea for vacation to friends
• Selling a trip to dentist to your parent
Selling is Not What You Think!
• American hate to be sold!
• But Americans love to buy!
• Selling is not “tricking” them to buy
• Is not “coercing” them to buy
• Just lay out the facts and educate them
• Let the customer come to conclusion
they want to select your option once
they feel educated
–Be their advisor- earn their trust!
The B2B Sales Process
1. Create a comfortable environment by
asking permission to ask questions
2. Ask questions to understand their pain
3. Shut up and listen to answers, take notes
4. Explain how your product or service fills
their needs – but only if it does
Sales Different from Marketing?
• Sales is “listening”
• It is putting your knowledge to solve
• Tell prospects about benefits of your
• Ask if any of these resonate with them
• If not, then ask what would
• Then listen as they just told you how to
sell to them
The Next Chess Move
• Clarity on a career plan
• Seek advisors & mentors
• Always be learning
• Have executive demeanor
• Act like you are in the next job!
• Not taking career seriously
• Not managing your career
• Not willing to put in the extra time
• Flying without a map, or any instruments
• Chasing the “titles”
• Not nourishing your mind!
• Not investing in developing new skills
• Learning how to think clearly & present in a
way that people will “get it” is probably THE
most important business skill
• Make emotional deposits before attempting
• Hearing is voluntary, listening is not!