Are you prepared to bend geography?

A CEO who runs her company from Paris during weekdays but spends weekends at her home in the Alps. A journalist based in Paris who commutes to London every two weeks. A media trainer and consultant shuttling between Amsterdam and South Asia who’s chosen Chamonix, France, as his home base. A French project manager targeting the Brazilian job market for her next career.  An American entrepreneur developing solar energy in Senegal from his base in southern France. A Paris-based software specialist actively targeting Dubai-based companies in his quest to move to his dream location. The list can go on. What […] Read more »

Personal Value Proposition and why it matters

Your Personal Value Proposition – or PVP – is at the heart of your career strategy.  It is the foundation for everything in a job search and career progression – getting promoted, targeting potential employers, attracting the assistance of others, and explaining why you are the one to choose. It shows right employers why they should hire you, not someone else. Showcased in your CV, LinkedIn profile, elevator pitch, it is a powerful tool that attracts headhunters, HR directors and alike, and helps you attract new opportunities. So, how do you develop a powerful PVP? Amanda, a PR and communications […] Read more »

Are you an inspiring leader?

I don’t know how factually correct the CEO of the American tire maker Titan International (Maurice Taylor) was when he launched a brutal attack last week on productivity in France, telling the government that some French workers put in only “three hours” a day.  The issue he raised, though, is a crucial one, and is directly linked to economic success. Did you know that  70 percent of employees in most companies – not just in France – are somewhat disengaged or actively disengaged? In order to drive growth and deliver steady business results, leaders need to flip that figure around: […] Read more »

Startups in France: solopreneurs or entrepreneurs?

Continuing the topic of starting and running own business in France…  Last night I was invited to a networking event of French entrepreneurs at one of the local town halls of Paris.  Dozens and dozens of dynamic businessmen and businesswomen came to mingle and exchange ideas . Most of them had recently started their own projects or enterprises. Quite a few launched only a few months ago. So, what the landscape of French startups is like these days?  If you’re – like some of my clients who’re frustrated mid-career professionals or senior executives – seriously contemplating to start your own business, […] Read more »

Dig Your Well Before You’re Thirsty

At networking events in Paris I keep meeting people who were recently made redundant and are now looking for a new job. I often hear them asking people they have just met “If you hear of an opportunity or a company that needs my services, please let me know”.  This is what I call ’emergency networking’.  Unfortunately, it rarely works. People usually do not rush to recommend someone they have just met and chatted for a few minutes, someone they don’t know or trust to their network. It takes time to build your trusted connections. And frankly, that energy of […] Read more »

What does it take to launch and run a successful business in France?

One answer could be “an MBA from Harvard Business School”. On a more serious note, the four extraordinary women entrepreneurs I met last week share not just the business degree from a top US school. They are driven by a personal mission, determination, an acute sense for business success, love of challenge and adventure. Those women — Margaret Calvet, the co-owner and Chief Financial Officer of the French Bordeaux wine distribution company Aquitaine Wine Company, Sophie Kerob, founder and general director of Direct Medica, Helen Lee Bouygues, founder of Lee Bouygues Partners, a consulting firm specialised in performance improvement and […] Read more »

Is 2013 the year you will change jobs?

What are your career goals for 2013? Having a career goal is like possessing a compass in the dark on an endless ocean; you use that compass to guide your progress in the proper direction (Victor Ghebre). Is your top career goal a better work/life balance that gives you more time with your kids and spouse? More money? A promotion? More impact? Better relations with your boss and colleagues? Does your current position allow you to fulfill those goals? If you have explored all the options and the answer is ‘no’, 2013 might be the time for you to design […] Read more »

Does your CV pass the 30-second test?

Do you know that employers and recruiters spend less than 30 seconds to scan your resume and determine whether you have what it takes to move to the next hiring stage? You may be a great candidate but your resume may not reflect that. So how do you grab their attention in 30 seconds?  Take the 30 second resume test: Step 1:  Take the Position ad and highlight 5-8 key skill requirements Step 2:  Fold the first page of your resume in half Step 3. Set the clock to 30 seconds and count how many key skill requirements and accomplishments […] Read more »

Career Transition Success: from investment banking to bartending

Kai Nakamura followed the classic path of most academically gifted French kids – he did his baccalaureate in exact sciences. Seeing that the math and finance came easier to him, he went on to do a masters’ degree in finance. His first job was with a prestigious French investment bank in the City of London. “It was exciting. I liked the challenge of learning!” remembers Kai. Then in September 2008 Lehman Brothers filed for bankruptcy.  Kai’s bank downsized and sent him back to Paris. “The next two years I felt I was stagnating. I was bored. The mood in the office […] Read more »

Why do we need to know our talents?

We will know or have met people whose personalities transform when they perform or do something they love.  Sometimes it happens when they are at work, a lot of times we see this transformation when they are engaged in a hobby activity.  Why does this change happen – their eyes fill up with passion and enthusiasm, their voice changes and their energy is contagious?   It is because they are doing something a) they are really good at, b) they enjoy a lot. We all know Michael Jordan, as one of the most talented professional basketball players in the world. […] Read more »