Your Best Foot Forward: a Job Interview Strategy Guide

What’s the purpose of a job interview?

First, let’s talk about what it isn’t:

The purpose of a job interview is NOT to get the job. It’s also NOT to provide answers to your interviewer’s questions.

Your sole purpose in a job interview is to present the best version of yourself to the interviewer.

When you go to the store, you’re more likely to be drawn to the product that’s presented the best. Great packaging, great displays, and great marketing all come together and get your attention.

A job interview is really not very different. In an interview process, YOU are the product and you need to strategically articulate your strongest “features” to showcase the best version of yourself.  In order to present this best version of yourself, you must first understand yourself, what you’ve done, why you’ve done it and how you’ve done it; both what works and what doesn’t.

Now, something you need to realize is that most interviewers are not trained in interviewing and they may not realize the purpose or the science of the interview questions. There’s a good chance they haven’t put much thought at all into the questions they’re asking. Often times, interview questions are googled  directly prior to the interview. Even if they don’t understand the real purpose behind a question, you have to give them the “right” answer. This is where being prepared in knowing yourself is critical.

Many candidates drill and prepare canned responses for common interview questions. If you do this, you’re gambling, because you have no idea what kinds of questions are going to be asked before you walk into the interview room.

So, what IS your ultimate goal in a job interview? What do you want the interview to do after he or she says goodbye? Let’s break it down:

  1. You want the interviewer to meet and remember the best version of you.  
  2. You want the interviewer to understand the big picture of how you’ll fit into the company. Again, connect the dots for them.
  3.  You want the interviewer to know you and how you will fit into the role you are interviewing for. Connect the dots for them.

You will hit all of these targets only by thoroughly knowing yourself, your core strengths, and your accomplishments. This means you have to undergo a very thorough analysis and inventory of yourself in order to properly prepare for an interview, because you have to be able to articulate and define the best version of yourself and how you will fit into the position. THAT is the goal, even though many intervieweees don’t realize that’s the goal.

It’s important to understand yourself and your accomplishments, as well as the way you think.  You don’t think of questions – you think of your accomplishments and work backwards.

A great tool for this is a spreadsheet. I’d recommend creating a list of accomplishments / projects that make you proud. Then, create several categories of core strengths that you utilized to achieve these accomplishments, such as “Communication,” “Leadership,” “Project Management,” etc…. and define examples.

Often we miss opportunities to show communication and provide context: ? Don’t assume the interviewer understands the dynamics of your previous role. Were you the leader of the team? Frame the response with a high-level summary before you dig into examples. Were you a member of the team? How many people were on the team? What was your team responsible for? Then be extremely specific of YOUR strengths and how YOU fit into the big picture to carry things forward. Don’t be afraid to say “I”.

Remember that anyone can claim to be successful. You need to illustrate examples of success in action. The proof is in the pudding. Demonstrate how YOU achieved success through your actions, or through the reactions of those around you. For example: Instead of saying “I’m well respected,” give an example: “My organization flew me to the headquarters for my five year anniversary.” This shows that you were well-respected in your organization without you having to spell it out. This seems a bit more modest and builds a story about who you are and how you fit into the big picture. It also enhances perceived credibility by showing how hsitorcially, colleagues respond to you.

Show the interviewer how you think. Make it very clear to them how you process things. For example: When interviewers ask you to discuss your greatest weakness, they’re not interested in your deficiencies – they’re interested in your thought process, how you deal with a weakness, and how you overcome it.

Study the job description prior to the interview. You have to be so familiar with the job description that you can provide examples and do the correlation FOR THEM. Your job is to connect the dots – you can’t assume they will connect them for you. This means you need to do your homework about yourself first!

Most candidates make the mistake to ask questions at the end of the interview– They miss the opportunity to engage the interviewer in conversation. Ask questions DURING the interview. Show that you’re interested in the company and you have questions of your own about how you’ll fit into the big picture. Most people who are interviewing like the opportunity to talk, not just listen. And remember: you’re interviewing the company, as well. This is as much about them as it is about you.

Take it slow. The first sentence is very important – take a moment to think before you speak instead of blurting something out or saying filler words. Interviews should be real, which means sometimes you may have to talk about a less than rosy situation…. But make sure you frame your answer so that it’s not personal and do not portray a victim mentality. Be objective and genuine. Pro tip: if you’re going to say a negative, use a personal transition word such as “honestly.” This humbles you and contributes to a human connection with the interviewer.

Look for an opportunity to show the interviewer how you think, and remember, above all else, it’s about how you make people feel. At the end of it, people are going to remember how you made them feel during an interview.

This is where a Career Coach can be extremely beneficial. It’s almost impossible to know for certain how you come across in conversation. Your perception is not necessarily the interviewer’s reality. A career coach will give you honest feedback and point out problems you might never realize exist. A professional coach will help you be true to yourself without giving the wrong impression. Most importantly, a coach will help you really know yourself, so you will know what’s really important to you.

Interviewing is primarily about knowing yourself. You really have to know yourself, know your accomplishments, know what you want, know how you’ve gotten what you wanted in the past. Again, the goal is not about getting the job… it might not be a job you want. Present the best version of yourself, and then the interviewer can make an educated decision as to whether or not you’d fit into the role and their organization. Happy interviewing!

Look Like You Want the Job in Four Easy Steps

Believe it! Kim walks in with his long hair hanging over his eyes, his handshake feels like a wet fish and he shuffles through the door. Do I want to interview him? Not really! His resume looked great – he had the experience, well known and respected employers and the education. He looked great on paper – the reality didn’t look so great!

Now please understand, I am a Human Resources Professional. I know enough to look beyond the reality of what I see in front of me. Yet, it is really hard to get excited about a prospective employee who looks like he or she just crawled out of bed and decided to grace me with the pleasure of his or her presence. Kim was almost one of them. He did not come across as it was my good fortune to interview him, yet, even though I saw value in him for our client, I had to continuously remind myself to look beyond his physical attributes.

Kim is not unusual! Many people project little energy. They do not show they are pleased to be in front of a recruiter – they think their skills are enough to get them the job. It’s not! They also need to show an enthusiasm for the position and for the company who wants to hire them.

As Human Resource and Talent Management Professionals it is our job to assist candidates in projecting themselves in the best possible light. Some things candidates can do to assist themselves when they go into interviews:

  • Dress for the interview – Visit the organization where you want to work. Simply sit outside at the start of the day or the end of the day and see how people dress. Then, dress in like attire for your interview, or perhaps dress a notch above this so you are dressed appropriately to meet the recruiter.
  • Groom appropriately – Today there are still some young men who choose to wear their hair long. If this is your choice, then consider pulling it back off your shoulders and out of your eyes by putting it into a pony tail. Be sure it is clean – shiny looks clean! And, if you are a woman you might also want your hair out of your eyes as recruiters do pay attention to the eyes.
  • Exhibit energy – Look like you have the energy for the job! Walk briskly into the organization and as you follow whomever into the interview. This shows you have the energy to do the work at hand. This could mean doubling the steps you normally take and swinging your arms along with the opposite foot as you step.
  • Give a firm handshake – A weak handshake creates a feeling of wishy-washiness, a feeling of a lack of strength. A firm handshake suggests energy, sincerity and above all, a desire for a relationship. There is no secret in a firm handshake – simply ensure your thumb is firmly engaged in the V of your contact’s thumb and forefinger. This way it is virtually impossible to give a weak handshake.

These few things put you above many candidates.

Then add the other keys to a good interview and you stand a good chance of making it to the next round. Practice your answers to questions, giving not only strong answers but also using eye contact and moving into your interviewer.

Be sure to have questions for the interviewer. Not ones about what’s in it for you, rather questions showing your interest in what you can do to help the organization improve itself showing how you can add to its bottom line.

By looking the part when a candidate goes into an interview they will have a leg up on someone like Kim. They are immediately moving forward instead of beginning at the starting gate. It’s important to be aware of how one comes across to others – if you need to, contact your Career Partners International consultants to help you get ready for your next job interview.

Gutsy Governance for Family Business Boards

The Family Business Board Volume 2“We can’t afford the cost of harmony!” declared Bruce Dayton, former CEO of the Dayton Company. He was referring to the way Dayton’s family-only board made decisions through a time-consuming process to achieve consensus. He sensed that the accelerating pace of the retail business required a change in the company’s governance model. The year was 1950, and the five Dayton brothers had not yet grown the single department store—inherited from their father—into what would eventually grow to become Dayton Hudson Corporation and later the retail giant Target Corp. “There is a new phenomenon coming called the mall. At present we don’t have the distribution, financing, and real estate know-how to go there. But the longer we wait the harder it will be to get in. And if we don’t go, we will become five brothers owning a smaller and smaller business together.”

The Dayton brothers’ way out of that dilemma, which was courageous at the time, was to compensate for their lack of know-how and clear strategy by bringing in outside expertise onto their board, while making a personal commitment to become students and proponents of excellent corporate governance. They recruited independent directors who could help the company select real estate, raise capital, and set up a multi-store distribution system. They saw reshaping the board as a key first step in developing the strategy and capability needed to pursue an opportunity for exponential growth.

Bruce Dayton provided these insights in an interview with me a few years ago, and his story is included in the newest addition to the NACD Director’s Handbook Series, The Family Business Board, Volume 2: Governance for Agility and Growth, published this month (March 2016). Dayton was ahead of his time. His strategic use of the board is becoming more common among family-owned companies today, as evidenced in the 2015–2016 NACD Private Company Governance Survey: Family Business Boards. The survey showed many points of comparison between the boards of family businesses and public companies, and also revealed that family business boards have their own governance style oriented to the long term. The proliferation of family-business education programs and peer networks for directors of large family-controlled companies, including NACD’s upcoming Advanced Director Professionalism, is empowering more owners to create sophisticated, tailored governance structures that include independent director expertise while also cultivating the family’s continuing contribution to the value of the business.

Family business board development requires a champion and a plan.

The Dayton brothers’ story illustrates important steps on a path to more effective family business governance. Because there may be many obstacles (sometimes political and emotional) to be overcome in advancing the capability and composition of a family business board, the best leaders of board change are usually well-prepared insiders—who have both strong credibility within the company and high levels of trust among the owning family members. NACD’s new handbook is designed for these “board champions” who want to spark development and expand the capability of an existing board to help the business meet new challenges. The handbook suggests strategies for addressing common sources of resistance to board change in family business and describes the following fundamental steps of board-development planning:

  • Identify and communicate reasons to advance the board, such as new realities on the business horizon, that compel a strategic response.
  • Assess board capability and effectiveness gaps.
  • Bring on independent directors while building owner confidence.
  • Facilitate constructive contributions from both independent and family directors.

Because every family business is different, these basic steps should be customized and implemented in a manner that is acceptable to senior management and leading shareholders. These stakeholders must have confidence that the board changes are the best way to move the company forward. But before that confidence can be built, acts of courage are required. A “champion” has to raise the issue of board readiness and articulate compelling reasons for advancing the board, while charting a board development plan that brings others along.

The risks are higher when family relationships are at stake.

The Dayton brothers reshaped their board as a first step in achieving a series of advances: building the first indoor mall in the United States, becoming developers of mall anchor stores, and later, buying a competing public retail chain before selling their interest in that business to focus on a new quality discount store concept, Target.

For the Daytons, as for many family business owners, recruiting outside, independent directors required the support of informed and educated family members. In their case the speed of change in the business environment required action before an informed family consensus could be achieved. “We recognized that success might require that each of us would eventually have to give up our current management job to someone who could do it better, and even sacrifice our good salaries in the short term for the goal of higher profits and greater long-term returns,” said Dayton. “We knew that sacrifice might be hard for our [families] to understand, but board discussions boosted our confidence that profits would rise, and shared profit would eventually smooth any hard feelings.”

The brothers’ gutsy steps toward better governance not only produced a more powerful company, but also they established precedents that inspired generations of creative family contributions in entrepreneurial business, philanthropy, and public service. The potential to be a part of that kind of long-term generativity is a reason why many of the best independent directors want to work with great family business boards.

Allen Bettis is the author of NACD’s latest handbook for family business boards and is a leader of the NACD Minnesota ChapterAllen will be facilitating a discussion with directors from the featured case study in the newly released handbook at Advanced Director Professionalism in June. If you are interested in attending, click here.

Where Recruiting Technology Comes Up Short

Here’s what’s wrong with most “hi-tech” solutions to improve the recruiting process: they miss where the real value is.

With Big data in its infancy, the biggest contribution of technology so far to recruiting is to connect the job seeker to the job offer.  Helpful, but basic.   They do a great job of selecting candidate profiles to match job vacancies but how far has that got you.

Matching is the easy part.  Now you are at the starting line.

Greg Savage

Greg Savage

In a recent blog, recruiting authority Greg Savage points out what is still to be done.

  • Identifying candidates who are notlooking, but who will fit a hard-to-find skill set.
  • Approaching, enticing, seducing, and bringing those candidates to the hiring table.
  • Managing the hiring process, negotiating terms, finessing the brief, handling the counter-offer, assisting with on-boarding.

These require humans.  They require humans with a lot of experience and, yes, intuition.

Recruiting technology is starting to make inroads into these complex stages but there’s a long way to go.

There is also the question whether technology is even leading us in the right direction.  One of the leading claims of psychometric evaluation is to remove subjectivity.  But, accurately interpreting the findings of these assessments requires a credentialed operator at the helm.  In other words, to remove bias from the process to remove bias comes back to human skill.

Perhaps, instead of setting out to replace the human function, the best technology will lead to an optimum partnership.

“Technology will make talent identification easier and easier,” says Savage. “Recruiting and hiring will get harder and harder.”

Convincing a candidate that the job is right doesn’t come by checking off boxes.  It requires the give and take of human interaction.

If technology cannot replace the “craft” of recruiting, the ideal recruiter of today and tomorrow will be a strategic combination of both that brings the efficiency and speed of technology in finding and matching together with the experience to finesse and finalise the hire that is not available to the client elsewhere.

In Savage’s words: “Talent is not an online commodity”

It’s worth keeping up with “The Savage Truth”. Here’s the link.

Diversity in the Aging Workforce: Why Older Women Matter

First published for AARP International’s The Journal – Special Edition on Women: Illuminating Progress in September 2015 

Susan Jackson-Wood, 62, was national training manager with the Australian operation of UK cosmetics company Yardley London, where she had worked for 23 years in a variety of management roles, when the company withdrew from Australia in 1998. Adelaide-based Jackson-Wood was 47 at the time and convinced that employers were not interested in employing an older woman, irrespective of her experience.

“I suddenly felt invisible,” she recalls. That’s when she decided to start her own training and professional development business, until 2004 when she joined business association Business South Australia as a sponsorship and partnership executive. Her interpersonal and relationship skills, as well as her ability to connect people were essential attributes of the role. And it’s what she loved to do.

As the oldest person on her team she quickly decided not to fall into the trap of thinking the old ways are the best ways. “Those days [of being in charge] are over, but there’s still a lot I can contribute,” she says. “I had to tell myself that it’s a different time and that the people I was working with have incredibly strong skills and qualifications that I never had. I’m not trying to compete with them.”

 True to her training background, Jackson-Wood believes in the importance of professional development. She self-funded her participation in a 10-month leadership development program run by the Leaders Institute of South Australia. “I really need to be doing something to keep the sparks going,” she explains.1

Susan is a shining example of thousands of older women in Sageco’s circle of colleagues and participants. Each story is different. As a specialist in providing aging workforce solutions to hundreds of organizations in Australia and New Zealand since 2004, we have learned the importance of recognizing that older workers are a diverse group. One size does not fit all—particularly when it comes to older women.

In terms of workforce participation, women ages 55 and over make up the fastest-growing segment of the workforce. We participated in a research project in 2013, Older Women Matter, with the Diversity Council of Australia that applied both an age and gender lens to existing academic and industry research to get to the heart of why older women matter.

Older female workers (defined as ages 45+) are a critical segment of Australia’s workforce. Their employment participation has increased significantly in the last few decades and now makes up 17 percent of Australia’s workforce. This is a global trend, but Australia still lags behind comparable countries.

Governments are interested in increasing the workforce participation of older women because of its effect on gross domestic product. Businesses benefit because of sustained job performance, high motivation levels, high reliability, improved staff retention, and the accumulation of experience, knowledge, and skills over working lives. Gender diversity research indicates businesses can experience a range of benefits from a workforce that is inclusive of women, including reducing attrition; enhancing innovation, group performance, access to target markets and financial performance; and minimizing legal and reputational risks.

But most importantly, older women benefit. For older women, paid work provides access to greater financial security as a consequence of having an independent source of income, as well as enhanced social support, satisfaction, self-esteem, and mental and physical health. With life expectancy in Australia increasing to more than 84 years for women, and close to 70 percent of older female workers rating their health as good or excellent, many older female workers are at their peak.2

A Framework for Action

Sageco’s approach is always about conversations and taking action. This framework was not only borne out of the extensive Older Women Matter research, but out of our niche experience with hundreds of successful organizations in managing the risks, challenges, and opportunities of an aging workforce. This framework is not exclusive to women; many of the strategies are applicable to older men. However, within this framework are tailored actions that organizations can take to increase and enhance the participation of older women in their workforce. Here are some examples of what can be done.

Source talent

• Check your recruitment practices for “gendered ageism.” Is a younger female more likely to win a close to entry level position than an older female? Are you assuming that because a woman is older she is overqualified?

• Value skills and experience that women have gained outside the workforce. Running a household or being a caretaker or a volunteer requires extraordinary skills that are transferrable to a work setting.

• Look past interrupted work histories. Many women have breaks from their career due to parenting and caring responsibilities. Periods of unemployment do not necessarily indicate a disinterest in work or a career failure.

• Look to your existing talent. Provide opportunities and flexible working options for the older women already in your workforce.

• Diversify your recruitment messages. Use descriptors that value experience, life skills, long service, or multiple careers.

Consider careers and capabilities

• Provide training courses at all employee life stages. Research shows that older women are twice as likely to participate in training courses as their male counterparts.

• Review career models for

gendered ageism. An older woman who has had several career breaks may be looking for promotional opportunities when she’s 55. This is often considered quite late in any given career model paradigm.

• Take a life stage view of capabilities. Recognize informal qualifications.

• Provide flexible development options, centering on family-friendly scheduling and locations.

Cultivate culture

• Create a specific employee value proposition for older women that might take flexible work, career opportunities, and financial well-being into account.

• Make older women visible. Represent older women in visual materials that demonstrate leadership in your organization.

Get flexible

• Flexible work is a key enabler for the participation of older women. Many older women care for grandchildren, children, and their own parents. Factor senior care into flexible offerings.

• Provide caregiving leave. Even better, provide paid caregiving leave.

• Use technology to support flexible work.

• Create a flexible work campaign targeted at older women, and ascertain what they want when they consider flexibility (e.g., a later start to the workday, an

earlier finish to the workday, buying extra leave).

Invest in health and well-being

• Each life stage requires a tailored approach for supporting health and well-being. For older women, this might include mental health issues such as anxiety or depression and physical health issues such as diabetes, high blood pressure, arthritis, cancer, and menopause.

• At the same time, it’s important to challenge health stereotypes. Women are living longer and aging well, and close to 70 percent rate their health as good or excellent. Older women are less likely to experience work-related injuries and the least likely group to take days off due to illness or caregiving.

• Factor older women into safety initiatives. Review physical load and ergonomic design.

• Consider shift lengths and leverage flexibility to support well-being.

Focus on financial well-being

• Financial circumstances play a key part in encouraging women to exit, remain in, or reenter the workforce. Career breaks, the lack of early access to superannuation schemes, and pay equity contribute to this.

• Include financial well-being in your employee value proposition and tailor financial planning assistance to ensure it recognizes the financial circumstances of older women, particularly those who are divorced, separated, single, or widowed.

• Support industry-wide pay equity. The gap in Australia is 17 percent.

Tailor transitions

• Provide a framework to help older women make decisions about their future. It could be a productive and positive transition to retirement or imagining the next 5-10 years of working life. The framework should include holistic support in the areas of identity, money, career, health, relationships, and planning for the future.

• Develop a specific retention strategy for older women that includes initiatives such as financial well-being and flexibility.

Envisaging a Productive and Positive Future

Since 2004, we have been privileged to work with thousands of older women through our organization-sponsored Envisage seminars. The Envisage framework is a holistic framework that supports decision making for the future—personal identity, money, career, health, and relationships. In our experience, this single half-day intervention has provided life-changing moments for many women whose careers have been shaped by social, economic, and environmental factors not experienced by their male counterparts or the generations of women following them. This baby-boom generation of women was often denied educational opportunities, forced to stop working once married, excluded from superannuation schemes, and took long career breaks to raise children.

We are always buoyed by participant feedback such as the following:

“As a single woman, I really appreciated the fact that this seminar acknowledged that not everyone approaching retirement is the same (i.e., has a partner and children). The course has given me a good perspective about planning for a future where I have to rely on myself to safeguard my future, and where being single means I need about 70 percent of the funds a couple needs. It was a good sanity check. I would definitely recommend this course.”

“I realized that despite talking the talk about retirement, I was quite possibly in denial until I attended the Envisage program. I then realized that the other people in the room were my age, and what we were discussing was something that was soon going to affect us all in some way or other—some sooner than others. I was one of the sooner rather than later mob. I realized it was serious stuff that I had to really think about. What was I going to do with myself when work was not the place I had to go to every day? What would I think of myself and what would my husband want when I retired? Were we even thinking we might want the same things? It was time to talk and sit and think. Thank you—you made me do this. I keep my little book beside my bed to remind me that this plan is something that is ongoing. When I think of something new, I write it in my book, so it’s there for me to refer to.”

Being prepared to examine the challenges of the aging workforce with a diversity lens allows us to tailor solutions that cut through much of the rhetoric. We encourage any organization to take that bit of extra time and pilot a few initiatives. You might be surprised at the difference you can make. As an employer of many older women, we at Sageco can put our hand on our heart and say that they really do matter. •

1 Originally published in “Age Shall Not Weary Them,” Leo D’Angelo Fisher, BRW Online, June 19, 2013,

2 “Older Women Matter: Harnessing the Talents of Australia’s Older Female Workforce,” Diversity Council Australia, last modified 2013,

Appointments Boost Cornerstone In Asia-Pacific

SHANGHAI CN, March 11, 2016   Cornerstone International Group, the global executive search and leadership development organization, has expanded its services in the Asia Pacific market with two senior appointments.

Atsushi Murata - Cornerstone Japan

Atsushi Murata – Cornerstone Japan

In Japan, the recently launched Cornerstone Yokohama has announced the addition of Director Atsushi  Murata, a senior consultant in strategic management.

In Australia, veteran HR Director Anna Xu has joined Cornerstone International Group Australia to lead the Life Science practice group in both Melbourne and Sydney.

“We are delighted to welcome such highly qualified professionals,” says CEO Simon Wan from Cornerstone’s head office here. “Their experience and expertise will greatly benefit our clients in the region.”

Atsushi Murata’s experiences include director and advisor at a listed Food and Beverage company, Learning & Development practice lead at Deloitte Tohmatsu Consulting, a senior management role at a Human Capital group company of IBM, and director at a strategic management consulting firm.

As a business leader and a management consultant, he developed not only effective business solutions but also a “never give up” fighting spirit to encourage executives to overcome such difficulties.

Anna Xu cropped (199)

Anna Xu – Cornerstone Australia

Anna Xu joins Cornerstone in Australia as Associate Partner and brings a wealth of HR Leadership and international experience in the Life Science sector.

She was most recently the HR Director for Shenzhen Mindray Bio-Medical Electronics Co. Ltd. Based in Shenzhen, China, Mindray is one of the leading global innovators, developers and providers of sophisticated medical devices and is listed on the New York Stock Exchange.

Anna was a key member of the Executive team and played an important role in the merger and acquisition of companies in USA and Australia.  Her HR expertise includes: Strategic Workforce & Succession Planning, Talent Acquisition & Development, Organization Transformation & Development, and Compensation & Benefits.

Cornerstone International Group is a world leading organization of retained executive search and recruiting specialists with 65 offices in 34 countries. It maintains head offices in Shanghai, China and in Atlanta, USA.

Out With the Old. In With the New.

If you attended last year’s NACD Global Board Leaders’ Summit, you already know that mushrooms really are the new plastic. When Ecovative President and CEO Eben Bayer told an audience of 1,200 directors how his company could change the future of packaging during last year’s Future Trends: Short Takes on Big Ideas, we’re not sure he even believed IKEA would be knocking on his door a mere six months later.

That’s the thing with Summit; you’ll hear about concepts and emerging trends that you might not have otherwise considered, because—let’s face it—you’re not hearing them anywhere else (like board member advice from Batman producer Michael Uslan).

From future trends to big ideas, big data to getting your next board seat, leading through disruption to breaking through bias, the agenda for our largest event of the year is designed with one major thing in mind: keeping you—the director—relevant.

And speaking of relevancy, we’re excited to share our brand-new 2016 NACD Global Board Leaders’ Summit website—your fresh, everything-you-need-to-know-about-Summit headquarters. Before you check out it out, however, don’t miss this 2016 Summit Trailer:

2016 Summit Trailer

We’ll see you in September!

2016 NACD Global Board Leaders’ Summit | CONVERGENCE

September 17-20, 2016
Marriott Marquis | Washington, DC

Reserve your seat today.

Early-bird pricing ends March 31.

Why Accept Outplacement Services?

Losing a job is like a punch in the gut. We work in a shifting sand work landscape today. Work that is reliable, safe and comfortable is something stories are told about, especially during a job loss.

Companies that care offer outplacement services to employees and it takes time for the employee to recognize the outplacement package as a benefit and as a goodwill gesture by the employer.

This lack of readiness in considering the value that outplacement services can offer during a job loss can best be understood within the framework of William Bridges work, “Change is fast and situational, transition is slow and psychological.”

I am curious about what stops us from accepting help when we need it the most. In fact, a robust outplacement service, at the very minimum can do the following:

  • Gives us a map – When we lose our footing, a map is a useful thing to have. As Reif Larsen says, “A map unlocks and formulates meaning. It forms bridges between here and there, between disparate ideas that we didn’t know were previously connected.” Brene Brown tells us, ‘we are wired for stories.” A dedicated coach can help make sense of the visible and invisible narratives within us. These conversations help us pay attention to self-care at a time when it is usually absent. A client once remarked, “I didn’t know how much caring I needed until I engaged with my coach and the services.”
  • Gives us permission – Much of life is lived within the context of being brave, being invulnerable and being resourceful. Outplacement services provide scaffolding. As one of my colleagues says, “a transition is the perfect time to be unready.” This scaffolding can help make sense of the fall, encourage leaning into the discomfort and rewrite our future.
  • Gives us customized value – Each one of us experiences loss differently. Our circumstances are unique. The way we integrate our experience, including our failures, real and perceived is complex. Sometimes, we need another perspective to make this complex process somewhat simpler. Outplacement services come in all sizes yet rarely have I encountered a situation where services and importantly, conversations can’t be tailored to make the best meaning for the client.

What has been your experience? What has stopped you from engaging in outplacement services? What has been positive for you when you did engage in such services?

As you know, Promark Company and Career Partners International are in the business of impacting lives – work that we care deeply about and do with integrity, each day. Our promise is simple: we will listen to your story wholeheartedly and help you explore what works best for you, should you be in a transition.

Cornerstone Global Executive Search Group Opens in Japan

SHANGHAI, CN March 7, 2016 –  Cornerstone International Group, a global executive search and leadership development group, has established its first office in Japan and 17th in Asia, it was announced this week.

William Liu, Cornerstone Yokohama

William Liu, Cornerstone Yokohama

Speaking at the head office of Cornerstone International Group here, CEO Simon Wan welcomed Human Future, a boutique human capital agency based in Yokohama.

“This is an exciting step for us,” said William Liu, Managing Partner of Human Future. “Japan used to be a region by itself for many multinationals but has increasingly become part of a wider market.

“This new association will give us direct, high-quality global access and greatly benefit our growing Japanese-based businesses and MNC clients.”

Liu has over 20 years of HR experience in Japan in various consulting and senior corporate roles. He was formerly HR Director of Elekta Japan, a major Swedish medical device company.

More information on Liu and the new Cornerstone Yokohama can be found here.

“This is an important addition to our presence in Asia,” said CEO Wan. “Talent acquisition today knows no borders and has become a complex management and organizational challenge.

“William’s team brings a strong combination of retained executive search practice and HR consulting that will help firms to meet this challenge.”

Cornerstone International Group serves home-based and multi-national clients around the world with consistent, high quality services.  Members own their own businesses and are market leaders, sharing specialty expertise and best practices.   Cornerstone International Group has headquarters in Shanghai, China and Atlanta, Georgia.