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1 Using Your To Make A Career Change With Insights from the upcoming book The MBA Owner’s Manual By J. Todd Rhoad Continued g
2 INTRODUCTION Using Your MBA: A Guide To Changing Your Career Path Here’s a list of questions we’ll discuss today. 1) What is an MBA? 2) How is your MBA useful in a career move? 3) What are the areas can you move in? 4) How do you make a move? 5) Why should you work hard on your resume? 6) What problems will you face during your move? 7) How do you network? 8) Why will networking find your dream job? 9) How do you ask for a career change?
3 London Business School Harvard INSEAD IMDYale Wharton Kellogg Kenan-Flagler Nanyang MIP Bangalore Claremont University of Texas Vanderbilt Georgetown New York UniversityHenley Business School Georgia Tech Quinnipiac Missouri Georgia State Stanford Emory DukeESADE Kennesaw State Indiana Wesleyan Rutgers Texas State St. Edwards As you read through this information, we will share our experiences with you. The stories you will hear are based on the interactions we’ve had with our clients over the years. Just look at the list to the right. It’s not fluff. It’s the real stuff. This presentation is not a marketing piece so we will not be softening our advice for you and your career. The information found within these pages come directly from graduates of MBA programs all around the world. They are working professionals who have found their success by using their credentials, skills, knowledge and network. If you don’t have these, build them. It’s all up to you. We’re here to help but you must bear the burden in building a successful career. Disclaimer The information contained herein is designed for those taking charge of their career. It is not intended for use by: Whiners Wimps Slackers Let the journey begin!
4 QUESTION 01 What’s an MBA? It’s March Madness! Only 65 teams are selected to enter College basketball's NCAA Men's Division I Basketball Championship. Thirty teams automatically qualify from the performance in their conference tournament. Aside from the Ivy League champ, 34 other schools are selected to participate by a 10 member selection committee. The committee takes a long look at each schools past performance. They consider things like their conference and non- conference record, road record, performance in last ten games, quality of competition, injuries, travel schedule and much more. In short, everything is important. Past and present. Once all teams are selected, they are placed in brackets by secret ballot. Then, the action begins in what can be called unregulated competition. 65 teams go in and only 1 will come out. It’s really difficult to predict what will happen. While a no. 1 seed has never lost in the first round, the 2nd seeds have. And yes…even the unknown schools have a chance. George Mason University made it to the Final Four in 2006. 30 1 34 “The pressure is all on you. That gives you that anticipation that you gotta play not to lose. Don't do it that way. Go out there and seize it.” – Phil Jackson, Former Coach of the Chicago Bulls
5 Your experience will not only help you be selected, it will help you perform in the big game. QUESTION01 It’s March Madness Getting an MBA can get you in a bracket but it’s not a guarantee. The only players that seem to get in automatically are the graduates from Top Tier MBA programs. If that’s not you, then you’ll be competing for one of the 34 remaining positions. Just like the smaller schools, you may feel like you’ll have to perform amazing feats to capture the attention away from the teams that always seem to be seeded at the top. Getting the opportunity to get to the Sweet Sixteen or even the Final Four will take a great deal of work, drive and motivation. Each victory brings new challenges, new obstacles, new competition and the need for new strategy. Every move on the board is a move to less competitors but better competition. As you getting higher and higher on the board, you’ll run into players with similar skills and abilities. Many will be high performers with comparable drive and determination. So what will distinguish you from them? Experience. UConn, UNC and several other college teams frequent the Final Four because they have already experienced the big pressures that come with playing in the big game. They have a track record of high performance.
6 QUESTION02 How is your MBA useful in a move? It’s a multi-purpose tool. The MBA will give you all the tools you need to become a success, whether inside your current company or outside of it. The choice is yours. A large percentage of MBA graduates say they have everything they need to move forward. The most common functions the MBA are the 4 C’s: Choice, Credentials, Collaboration and Confidence. Choice. With all the choices the MBA allows, finding your direction may be the toughest thing to do. You want be Lucky enough to be placed in a bracket that defines your path to the big game. You have to figure that out. Naturally, you need to have a direction in mind, or better yet, written down. For the most part, the MBA is a general degree, giving you the opportunity to show you have the drive, determination and cognitive ability to operate effectively in any position. Planning your course reduces work and the need to keep reinventing yourself for continued career changes. You show your course through development of your resume, experiences and stories. Credentials. The MBA basically says that you can learn at a higher level. It’s just like a JD in that it says you have the prerequisites to become a lawyer but doesn’t make you one by itself. You make yourself a fit for your new career by using or creating opportunities to build the skills needed for the new position, either inside or outside of your current workplace. Combine your MBA with relevant experience and you have the ingredients for changing your career.
7 QUESTION 02 Collaboration. This is by far the most important thing you should take away from your MBA. Career change is much easier if you have a lot of connections in your network. Ask any Ivy League graduate what the most important thing they got from their education and they’ll tell you it was the Network. If you’re not networking with students, professors, associations and companies, you’re missing the biggest part of your Education. As a graduate student, you’re automatically recognized as a higher learner and will be accepted at higher Levels. Use this inclusion to become part of numerous networks. Confidence. You’ve heard people say that attitude is everything. I never wanted to believe this. I thought all you needed was to know your job. Be the best. Unfortunately, I was wrong. People are drawn to others who demonstrate confidence in what they do. As an MBA graduate, you’re expected to be a leader, not a follower. People will look up to you. The faster you accept that responsibility and show people that you are the person to lead them, the faster you’ll get the opportunity. In all of the questions and responses that seemed to stand out between the graduates of top tier MBA programs and those of the lower tier is in Attitude. Top Tier graduates have already accepted that their MBA will only be as useful to their career as they make. They are prepared to use it to open doors for which they plan to run through. They are worried about not Knowing the right things, being able to perform under pressure or making mistakes. Top Tier graduates understand that most MBAs aren’t fired for being dumb. They are fired for their personality quirks.
8 QUESTION03 What are the areas you can move in? Almost anywhere. Very few graduates argue that doors are opened and opportunities are many. The biggest issue is usually which one to pursue. After studying the career paths of MBA graduates around the globe, I’ve found that most graduates move into one of five categories: entrepreneurship, consulting/private equity, career change, middle management, and future options. Entrepreneurship is business ownership. An MBA doesn’t necessarily teach this. Graduates from the top MBA programs are likely candidates for entrepreneurship. If they don’t jump into it initially, they build their company after a few years of experience at other institutions. Networking for funding is often a major component to a successful transition plan. Consulting/Private Equity positions in the big companies are usually held for graduates of the IVY League schools. Usually requires experience in finance, investing and banking. If you like venture capital and leveraged Buyouts, this is the field for you.
9 QUESTION03 What are the areas you can move in? Career Change. The most common reason I hear for obtaining the MBA is to change career fields. The change usually occurs within 1 to 2 years of graduation. Once you’ve made up your mind to get the MBA, you’ve made up your mind to leave. What most students miss is that this is also the best time to prepare your plan, build skills and network for the next position. While you think you may have plenty of time, a job search usually takes about 1 month for every $10k in salary. Management. This is an option many take within their own company (or possibly by jumping to another company). Often, these are graduates from Executive MBA programs, which target development of specialized management skills. If you haven’t made it to the higher ranks within 6 years after graduating, the odds are stacked against you that you will. Future Options. It’s safe to say that not everyone has their career path totally planned out. Getting an MBA is a way to prepare yourself for opportunities in the future. For this group, they have no immediate plans for their MBA but used it to gain different perspectives on the workplace and their career, network, gain knowledge and build brand (e.g. new credentials). “Success is the intersection of preparedness and opportunity.” - J. Todd Rhoad
10 QUESTION04 How do you make your move? It’s easy as 1-2-3…and 4! Making your move is a simple 4-step process. It’s like taking a vacation. You must first decide to take it. Then, you decide where you will go. With brochure in hand, you plan your resources to get there. Finally, after you’ve packed everything you need, you load the car and hit the road. Decide it! It all begins with deciding to make the move. There a 6 common reasons MBAs change their status quo.
“The self is not something ready-made, but something in continuous formation through choice of action.” - John Dewey
11 QUESTION04 Choose it! Are you staying in the same industry? Short path Are you changing industries? Long path Which one? Look at your skill sets, transferable or not? Identify companies of interest (job listing or not) Contact people inside them Plan it! Write down your goals – define your direction (Harvard Study) Identify resources – your network, recruiters, consultants, friends, family Create milestones that lead to the completion of goals – celebrate them Communicate your plan Work it! Put the plan in motion. As one of my old professors would say to us when we were stumped on a tough engineering problem, “Do Something, even if it’s wrong.” Progress is made by moving forward. Failures will happen. Decide it! Choose it! Plan it! Work it!
12 Resources: The Vault MBA Career Bible www.vault.com QUESTION 05 Why should you work hard on your resume? It’s Expectation Management. When we dial 9-1-1 we have certain expectations: that a skilled operator will answer our call quickly, speak our language, understand our emergency and dispense help expeditiously. Similarly when we frequent a drive-through fast food restaurant we also have expectations: that we will receive our meal quickly, that it will be affordable, and we needn't leave our car to gather our food.In both cases, when expectations are met we're satisfied. When expectations are exceeded ours is a happy meal. And when expectations aren't met, the sour taste of dissatisfaction leaves us wanting. While it's not always a life-or-death proposition, expectations matter. When it comes to a job, employers will agree to pay highly competitive salaries to candidates who prove themselves an asset to the company and who demonstrate an ability to increase overall profitability, whatever form that may take. “Employers expect your resume to be your best work. “ -- A survey by the Association for Job Search Trainers
13 http://www.consultingacademy.com/a09.shtm QUESTION 05 It’s Expectation Management There are 3 components to effectively managing expectations with your resume. Set - Monitor - Influence 1. Setting Expectations Managers already have expectations of what an MBA graduate should be able to do. Should you expect UNC to put up a good fight in a NCAA title game? You bet. Why? Performance. This is what your resume is to describe. Managers don’t want to know that you are 6’2” tall, 175 lbs, brown hair, blue eyes, etc. They want to know you can hit 100 consecutive free throws, average 12 rebounds a game, 8 assists and 24 points. Expectations are handled by defining performance. 2. Capturing / Monitoring Expectations During the game, coaches track almost every possible statistic in each quarter of the game. Why? Because they want players who can perform at a high level for the entire game. They want the complete package. They can get talent almost anywhere. Your resume provides your performance statistics. It shows how you have performed in your last jobs, under pressure, in good times and bad. 3. Influencing ExpectationsImagine being interviewed after the game. Lights, microphone, camera and questions. Are you a pressure player? Would you embarrass the team, the coach and the college? Or would you shine and prove that you are worthy of the ball when the game is on the line? When you interview, you are basically validating the information you put on your resume by your responses, behavior and presentation. The complete package players prove that there resume is an understatement of their true performance. Managed expectations drive your success. Everything else is secondary. The S-M-I principles should give you enough to be prepared for your current position and any future positions.
14 QUESTION 06 What problems will you face during your move? Chemistry. As college players move to the pros, they are often unprepared for the transition to a new team. They don’t usually struggle with dribbling, shooting or passing. The game is well-known and mechanics are second nature to each player. Organizations are team sports. More success is achieved when the teams play with Synergy. Individual greatness accomplishes little for the team. The three biggest obstacles to their performance include being a team player, trusting their instincts, and embracing pressure situations. BEING A TEAM PLAYER. Just like the great athletes that grace the courts of the NBA, it’s unusual that an MBA graduate would get fired or fail to be hired for not having the appropriate skills. The biggest issues graduates face in moving to a new team deals with their ability to perform in a new organizational structure and culture. Your career success is not limited by technical skills. It is limited by your ability to create and sustain personal relationships. Coaches know if their players are good teammates by tracking them using the SPI Playing Style Spectrum, a performance-based means of characterizing player type. Players are categorized as Pure Scorer, Perimeter Scorer, Pure Perimeter, Scorer’s Opposite, Pure Interior, and Interior Scorer. By collecting statistics on their performance, coaches can determine their playing style and build a more successful team by optimizing the mix. As you journey through your career change, it’s imperative that you demonstrate your abilities to be a team player and top performer, inside and outside the organization. There’s a lot of skill and talent in the pool today. You must demonstrate the skills, experience and knowledge of a top scorer if you want to be in the running.
15 QUESTION 06 Chemistry. TRUSTING THEIR INSTINCTS. In a study by University College London, it was found that you are likely to perform well if you don’t think about things too much and just trust your instincts. Published in Current Biology, it shows that in some cases snap decisions are more reliable than decisions that take higher level cognitive processes. The study shows an instance when our rational mind is more likely to perform worse than our subconscious -- but the conscious mind still tends to veto the subconscious. You can utilize the power of your instincts by defining your vision and career path. Most of us don’t do this so we fail to achieve the success and effectiveness we desire. Beat this problem by asking and answering the questions about who you want to be and what you want to do. Then, define the path to get there. What you need to achieve it. WRITE IT DOWN. This submits your plan to your subconscious, where it gets processed and monitored constantly. When an opportunity arises, your subconscious will let your conscious mind know. All you have to do is act on it. EMBRACING PRESSURE SITUATIONS.Daniel Goleman, PhD, Author of Emotional Intelligence, considers the ability to harness one’s disruptive and distressful feelings a competency that can be improved. Scientists at UCLA have proven that expressing your feelings using the same area of the brain that involves emotional self-control. Continued activation of this region will lead to improved emotional control. Putting feelings into words regulates destress. So how do you exercise this area of the brain? Build social skills. One effective method is to engage in networking.
16 QUESTION07 How Do You Network? You live it. Networking is NOT something you do effectively when you’re out of work. You’re anxious and emotional. You just need someone to help you. So, you rush into a large meeting room full of people with an outstretched hand. You’re a beggar. Give me a job. Give me a lead. Help me! To the professional networkers, it’s a lifestyle. The pros get together often to share life stories, books they’ve read and causes to support. It’s like an inseparable bond between good friends. They don’t ask each other for help because they already know each other’s story and what’s happening in their life. Networking can mean trying to jump to the next level and meeting the "right" people but it can also mean meeting people in your field and establishing the groundwork for friendships and working relationships that WILL someday translate into opportunities. Career Networkers usually operate with two goals: increasing their professional visibility and disseminating information on their career path and ambitions. Adding new connections to your network requires a little work. Some research shows it takes about 9 interactions to make a real connection. It’s like planting a seed and nurturing it to make it grow. Not all seeds will have the right chemistry to develop but many others will. It is an activity where you make deposits with no guarantee of a withdrawal. The effective executives build relationships first, then they work on selling their cause.
17 QUESTION07 You live it. The best way to network is Face-to-face. Attend an event, join an association or contact a friend for a referral. No matter how you approach your new contacts, here are a few tips for making a real connection. Don’t approach someone as “I’m networking and need your help.” It’s a door closer, not an opener. Get to know them before you ask for help. Choose events with the best return. You can’t attend all events, so choose the ones that get you the most information. Meet your new contacts outside of these meetings. Make the connection closer. 1 5 9 Do your homework. Know the people You are contacting and what to expect From them. Business cards. Carry cards that show all of your contact info, what you do and who you are. Many groups perform community service. Do your part. Get involved. Make your mark. 2 6 10 Have a plan for your discussion. Know what you’ll ask and what information you seek. Branch out to other areas. Don’t focus only on groups within your field. Break in new habits with new networks. Offer help to others first. People value The gifts from others and often reciprocate. 3 7 11 Plan for next steps. Have suggestions for the next meeting should you get interrupted. Stay in touch with your new contacts. A Cold contact isn’t very useful. Send a Thank you. Then, ask a few questions. Manage you new network. Once you make new ‘real’ connections. Use them to support your new projects. Call on them weekly. 4 8 12
18 QUESTION 08 Why networking will get your dream job? It’s what works. The Wall Street Journal reported recently that 94 percent of successful job hunters claimed that networking had made all the difference for them. Sixty to 90 percent of jobs are found informally - mainly through friends, relatives, and direct contacts. The U.S. Department of Labor reports that 63.4 percent of all workers use informal job finding methods. Here's an example of the extraordinary benefits of networking from The Job Hunting Handbook: Includes the Job Outlook to 2008 by Harry Dahlstrom. Mr. Dahlstrom writes: Just pretend that you are an employer and you have a job opening to fill. Which of the following would you be most eager to interview: (a) an unknown person who answers your advertisement, (b) an unknown person who mails you a resume, or (c) a friend recommended by one of your workers? No doubt, you would choose the "friend". All the other applicants are unknowns. As a manager, you would probably think, "Jennifer is a good employee...hard working...likes the job...someone I can depend on. I'll bet her friend has the same qualities.“ If you are wondering why a busy professional would take the time to meet you, consider this: 1) The average person enjoys helping others, and information and advice are free to give (even when jobs aren't); 2) People enjoy talking about themselves, their ideas, and their opinions; 3) Every now and then, people enjoy a break in their daily routine; and finally, 4) Most people are not so busy that they don't have a free half hour sometime during a week.
19 QUESTION 08 It’s what works. MESSAGE:Hi Shawn,Most candidates we hire are referrals from employees, but the next largest group are those that are "open" to new jobs on boards like LinkedIN, or "actively" seeking jobs on the job boards. HOWEVER, I have found that passive candidates are most often the very best employees, and if they are small in number, they are mighty in force and worth the trouble. We've hired people that we've spent more than a year recruiting and attracting to our company and they are still with us today and are our TOP PERFORMERS. In a candidate driven market you may have to divide your time between identifying and attracting passive candidates, and managing active candidates, but when the market changes and we're not doing as much hiring, it's a GREAT opportuunity to hone your passive candidate recruiting skills.I hope this helps.~Jenniferxxxxxxx Consulting SolutionsSenior Recruiting Manager The following year I entered the MBA program at UCLA. I liked this curriculum much better. While there, I worked for a fine-jewelry manufacturer called Nova Stylings; my first real job was literally counting diamonds. From Nova, its CEO Marty Gruber, and my Jewish colleagues in the jewelry business, I learned how to sell. The jewelry business is the toughest business I've encountered. I remained at Nova for a few years until the computer bug bit me. The Apple II removed the scales from my eyes, so I went to work for an educational software company called EduWare Services. However, Peachtree Software acquired the company and wanted me to move to Atlanta. "I don't think so." I can't live in a city where people call sushi "bait.“ Luckily, my Stanford roommate, Mike Boich, got me a job at Apple. --- Guy Kawasaki, Best Selling Author of “The Art of the Start”
20 QUESTION 09 How do you ask for a career change? You slice and dice. When you watch TV, you see a great deal of advertisements. Companies spend a lot of money to sell their product or service. So, they put it out their where you can see it. They show you all of its features. It chops, slices and dices. It’s easy to clean and stays razor sharp. The commercials clearly identify the common problem they are solving with their product. Demonstrate it. The commercials are full of demonstrations on the functionality of this new product. They cut tomatoes, peppers, onions, meat and even an aluminum can to prove their point. Then they spread the cut food all over the tables in front of the camera so you can see it really works. Compare it to other similar products. Many advertisers will take it even further by showing how their product outperforms the competition. Show a happy customer. There’s nothing like a great endorsements of your abilities. You can hear the customers of your new super-duper, slicer-dicer, “It makes the food taste better too!” It’s guaranteed. You’ll love it or your money back. This little statement gives the customer the comfort that they are taking little risk in owning your product.
21 QUESTION 09 You slice and dice. Here’s your strategy for making a change inside your current company: 1. Make your efforts visible. We judge each other by what we do. If you want to be something else, find projects to work on and make sure the most influential people know you are working on it. Use your network to promote your activities. 2. Show you can solve problems. There’s no better time than today to start stepping up your game and becoming a positive thinking problem-solver. It’s too easy to be a blamer. Always ask “what’s the problem?” Don’t be afraid to take the lead in solving a complex problem. It’s not career risk. It’s career enhancement. 3. Demonstrate your skills in many ways. Don’t just focus your skills and talents on your specific area of expertise. Show that you can speak by making presentations, show that you can lead by managing teams, or show that you can teach by offering a class to your company. 4. Compare your performance to other attempts. Always promote your successes by quantifying the results to previous attempts by others in your company or from other documented cases. Don’t highlight the failure from the previous attempt but focus on the technique or skill you used that differentiates your attempt. 5. Gather endorsements. An endorsement is a validation of your efforts. Get as many of these as you can. Recognition from others at higher levels is an acknowledgement of your ability to perform at their level. 6. Make your successes known. Advertise as much as you can. Once you find yourself in possession of another great success, make sure people know about it. If you don’t, no one else will. Use others to promote your achievements so you don’t come off as bragging.
22 ABOUT J. TODD RHOAD Todd Rhoad is the managing director of BT Consulting, an Atlanta-based consulting company. Todd's expertise stems from twenty years of work in corporate America studying and learning how organizations are changing and what it takes to be successful in them. As a consultant, Rhoad assists others in finding their next level of desired success, whether it's inside or outside their current organization. His coaching includes teaching the Blitz Approach, writing resumes, performing job searches and creating career strategies. As a public speaker, he enjoys the opportunity to talk with colleges and associations who are looking to learn how organizations really function and how they can do it better. As an author, Todd published one of his career strategies last year in his book, Blitz The Ladder. He has made many managerial and technical contributions to books, articles, websites and blogs. Born in a small town in South Carolina, Todd grew up in a blue collar environment. Adopting this philosophy, he began his career in the military. After serving his country, he knew he had to find ways to educate himself if he wanted to become a success in private industry. The road hasn’t been easy and has always been filled with hard work, long hours and a constant reinvention of self. Todd holds a Master’s degree in Business Administration (MBA) from Indiana Wesleyan University and a Master’s degree in Electrical Engineering from the University of Missouri.