Managing Your Career Tamas Hevizi
in a Turbulent Market SVP - SAP AG April 5, 2009
The quality of your life is in direct proportion to the
amount of uncertainty you can comfortably deal with.
- Anthony Robbins
This document is a result of ad-hoc interviews, brainstorming sessions
and a web survey with over 180 executives in February 2009 for the sole purpose
of providing insights to the next generation of leaders - our graduating MBAs.
Special thanks to the following for their comments and insights:
Lauren Doliva, Managing Partner, Heidrick& Struggles
Valerie Wandler, SVP HR, Aramark
Peter Haabestad, Managing Partner, Guardian Capital
John Nugent, Harvard AMP Class, Former EVP SAP
Al Nietzel, CAO ADP
Mitch Blumenfeld, CFO AmerisourceBergen Drug Co.
Joe Amato, Managing Director, CSC
Linda Seale, Partner, Wilson SonsiniRosati
Stephanie Perrin, Director Risk Management, Service Canada
Jeff Richards, Managing Partner, Alsbridge
Fred Wilf, Partner, Morgan Lewis LLP
Chris Gopal, COO Applied Solar
Ravi Ravikumar, Principal, Deloitte
Bill Hartman, Managing Director, Brand Velocity
Several MBA class students at Kellogg and Harvard through Twitter.
MBAs Need New Job Market Strategies
Too many candidates chasing
too few great positions
Traditional job search strategies
mostly fail in big organizations
There are some great practices for
standing out and being selected
Career Change #1
It’s Not What You Know. It Never Was.
My LinkedIn Survey results
I asked executives on my LinkedIn Network in a poll on
What is the most important executive skill to focus on in these times.
180 responded to the survey and 45 followed up with detailed comments
Execution is the most important focus. Business Expertise is the least.
Full Survey: http://is.gd/qz0G
Survey Detailed Insights
•Align strengths with with job expectations
•Surprisingly, IT and Sales are the most
relationship oriented roles
•Operations is most expertise based
•Execution focus increased by age and
relationship building became less critical
Full Survey: http://is.gd/qz0G
Career Change #2
Status Quo is Shifting. Break New Ground.
•Entire Industries Redefined
•New Businesses Born
•New Jobs Emerging
Insights from Execs
Unprecedented Competition in Job Market
•Each position has an ROI. Make sure you understand and demonstrate it.
•However new jobs will be created in sales and areas where profitability can
You Must Create Your Own Job
•Identify non-traditional career paths, cross functional roles
•The best jobs are never advertised
The Most Important Talent Is The Ability To Execute
•Intelligence is just point of entry however the ability to deliver on
commitments matters above everything else.
•Roll up your sleeves and get into details
The 3 Most Important Questions
Do You Have The Skills?
•Can you demonstrate the technical and functional skills for the job
•Can you identify how your job adds value to the target company
Do You Have the Passion?
•Can you demonstrate why this your dream job or even your calling?
•Can you get others excited about how you can improve this job area?
•Will you be able to do 2 jobs in one in this economy?
Will You Step Up to a Vision?
•Businesses crave leaders at all levels
•Can you articulate issues facing the business and possible solutions?
•Can you convince others to follow you through uncertainty?
•Can you lead without official power?
Career Change #3
Your Career Will Take Longer. Unless…
•Change / Rotation
Build Your Network
•Critical to build and maintain a network of industry peers, customers and
partners – your Weak Ties
•Best networks are about finding ways to contribute to others
•Take your networks offline (calls, meetings, dinners)
•Be visible. Let opportunities come to you.
•Find others that worked through past crises and executives in your company
and in other companies
•Bring research, insights and relationships to them. Keep them engaged
•Leaders love the mentoring process
•The world is shifting and noone knows the answers any more
•Your ability to set a direction, act with conviction and persuade others has a
premium at all levels
Anatomy of a 4 week job search
Candidate: VP in a failing consulting firm
Time to land new position: 4 weeks
-200 emails to weak ties in network with target position and insights about
industry and trends - no resumes !!!
-20 email responses for follow-up (10%) – sent resumes
-5 phone interviews and discussions (2.5%)
-2 live interviews confirmed (1%)
Outside In point of view created about target companies issues, trends
Strong position statement on how he can add value short and mid-term
5 interviews completed at 1 company (0.5%)
Offer received and negotiated.