Lean into Life, your unique style

Despite the mountain of controversy and publicity around Sheryl Sandberg’s book “Lean In”, I’ll admit that I enjoyed reading it.  I liked the author’s accessible style and the generosity with which she shared personal stories and experiences. Many of those stories revealed a different, more human and less perfect, face of Facebook’s Chief Operating Officer.  I liked the humility of her writing style as she shared her insights. Ever since the book’s launch, the biggest take-away seems to revolve around the question/title: Are you leaning in? That’s the question that a lot of young ambitious women seem to be pondering, […] Read more »

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 »

Time to have a moment of epiphany!

I was having my morning coffee earlier this week when I had an epiphany. An epiphany (comes from the ancient Greek meaning “manifestation”, “striking appearance”) is an experience of sudden and striking realization. Often used to describe a scientific breakthrough or a religious discovery, it can be applied to any situation in which an enlightening realization allows a problem or situation to be understood from a new and deeper perspective. Epiphanies generally follow a process of significant thought about a problem. I had been pondering for some time about the challenge of writing an inspirational book vs the memoir I […] Read more »

Do you have an elevator pitch?

Whether you’re looking for a job, run your own business, or want to find new – better paid and with more challenge – opportunities, you need to have a well-crafted elevator pitch. What is an elevator pitch?  It is a short 30-second to 2 minute long preplanned statement that you use in response to the question “What do you do?”   It needs to answer the questions “Who I am? What I do? What I am looking for?”  Ideally, it also makes it clear why you are the best candidate.  You want to be able to deliver your pitch anywhere […] Read more »

Personal Value Proposition and why it matters

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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 »

The real reason you haven’t landed your “ideal” job yet

Deteriorating economies and a constantly rising unemployment rate across Europe are having huge ramifications for job-seekers. Those circumstances require individuals to take a fresh approach to their job search. According to an HR director of one of the Global 500 companies: “The game has changed : now, more than ever, job seekers need to turn their mindset from looking for ‘openings’ to looking for ‘opportunities’. Opportunities are born out of crisis and chaos, and exist even in the worst economy.” In my observation though, most job-seekers tend to concentrate a lot on the mechanics of the job search: polishing off their […] 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

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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?

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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 »