J Patrick + Associates Blog

15 Ways to Fiscal Cliff-Proof Your Career

Posted by Daniel Sullivan on Mon, Jan 28, 2013 @ 10:00 AM

15 Ways to Fiscal Cliff-Proof Your Career
You can triumph and advance your career in this fiscal cliff economy! Whatever happens in Washington over the next few months, the fact remains that the uncertainty posed by the fiscal cliff have many people worried about how it will affect their job and their career. The rumblings about how the fiscal cliff outcome can affect people at work is loud. Despite this growing concern, I believe you can win in this economic turmoil. How, you ask?

As a general rule, focus on what you can control and ignore what you can’t control to stay sane and win during this tumultuous economic time. Companies want to hire and keep productive, resilient and happy employees…so here are some things you can do to demonstrate this characteristic in you:

15 Ways to Protect and improve your career reputation

1. Remain calm, stay focused and simply do your job.

If your employer sees you as someone who is resilient and productive amongst the economic noise, they will note that you might be worth keeping around if cuts are to be made.

2. Be the voice of reason

Stop talking about what can go wrong and focus on what can be done right. Again, employers want to keep the employees that are positively contributing to the environment and not the Chicken Littles who are running around that the sky is falling.

3. Stay social

Ask a work colleague out for lunch and call a long distance professional buddy to chat. And, for God’s sake, don’t talk about the fiscal cliff or any other negative economic fodder. Chat about productive topics.

4. Join a professional networking group 

Stay abreast of what is going on in your discipline and your industry. Make new friends.

5. Take Credit when credit is due

When doing your performance appraisal spell out how you contributed to revenue initiatives, saved money and streamlined processes. Tell your boss how fabulous you are in concrete, measurable terms.

6) Be grateful and happy


If you come across happy and grateful, your employer does not have to worry about making you happy. One less thing to worry about on their growing to-do list can help you stay employed. I find that demanding, disgruntled, never-satisfied employees who contribute to the problem rather than the solution do not tend to stick around long.

7) Update Your Resume

Update your resume and optimize LinkedIn profile to reflect these winds outlined in your performance appraisal. Have these documents ready to roll if needed.

8) Connect on Linkedin

Audit your LinkedIn connections and see that you are connected with vendors, clients, external and internal partners. Maximize your reach.

9) Get Linkedin Recommendations

Get LinkedIn recommendations and endorsements…can’t hurt, right?

10) Be active online

Post interesting articles, endorse other people, and participate in groups to stay visible in online mediums.

11) Continued Education

Research professional development initiatives you can do…certifications, professional credits, and ongoing learning initiatives improve your credentials and create natural networking opportunities, whether they are in person or online.

12) Attend Conferences

Book yourself to attend a conference…when was the last time you went to one in your industry? Promote yourself as a leader in your field and for your company.

13) Avoid Distractions

Time to turn off the news…don’t listen to it. Unless you are contributing to the senate meetings or advising the President on how to proceed, you really don’t need to listen to the play-by-play.

14) Ask for help

Sign up for interview coaching class or work with a private coach to hone your message and improve your confidence. This type of preparation can help you with a promotion at work, communicating during your performance appraisal and interview for a new job, if needed.

15) Help Others

Be a resource to your network. Connect people who can benefit from knowing each other. This will be remembered when you ask for help.

The bottom line is keep your eye on the prize—retaining and excelling in your job—by just over-delivering on what you are supposed to do. Even you lose your job due to economic circumstances beyond your control, the good karma that will come from doing most of what is suggested above will increase your opportunities to be hired quickly. Again, companies want to hire and keep productive, resilient and happy employees. Companies realize they cannot make you that way, you have to come to them that way, despite the fiscal cliff looming or the financial opportunities arising.

Written by Lisa Rangel, Executive Resume Writer

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Tags: Social Media, Job Search, Networking, Information Security, Resume Optimization, Career Strategies

Hiring Sales Engineers? Open your mind when it comes to requirements

Posted by Daniel Sullivan on Tue, Nov 22, 2011 @ 03:13 PM

hiring pre sales engineers for your team


In another encouraging sign for hiring demand for Information Technology candidates, I have seen multiple examples of Sales Engineering managers loosening their requirements for new hires, and looking outside their traditional talent sources for exceptional candidates.

A number of recent searches have cropped up where companies hiring sales engineers have been asking for candidates outside of traditional pre-sales support roles, such as post-sales account manager, project managers, and product delivery/implementation types.  Even technical trainers and some sales reps with the required technical depth.   This openness means that hiring managers are exhausting the pool of available strong candidates, many of whom have simply withdrawn from interviewing for new jobs because they are making or exceeding their sales targets (and the accompanying commissions) and have a strong pipeline of sales prospects for quarter-end/year-end sales accelerators (where the scores can really change!) as well as for Q1 2012.

A window of opportunity has opened for external and internal candidates in highly-technical customer-facing roles to leverage the mix of technical depth and personal communication skills and land a lucrative Sales Engineering position, even from outside of a particular firm.

If you are looking to make a transition into Sales Engineering but don't know where to start, check out our Sales Engineer Jobs page.  Our Telecommunications, Applications, Information Security and Systems Integrator customers are hiring aggressively, and I foresee this trend continuing. 

Just make certain that you have a strong technical base in the product or services area that the hiring firm when you apply.  Technical and market domain knowledge, as well as a strong personal presence, and communications skills (for product demos, webinar, presentations, RFPs, etc.) are the ingredients for successful Sales Engineer.

Good luck!

Dan Sullivan


Check out all our current available Sales Engineer Jobs by clicking here.  

Also look at our recent Sales Engineer placements here

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Tags: AV/VTC/UC, Information Security, HR and Hiring

A Case Study in the effective use of an Executive Recruiter

Posted by Daniel Sullivan on Fri, May 06, 2011 @ 11:51 AM

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One of our Information Security vendor clients was recently purchased by one of its main competitors, a division of a multinational technology firm.   The combined firm is one of the market leaders in the PCI security world, securing payments between financial institutions, retailers, businesses and consumers.   The following search engagement is a case study in how to a committed client makes the best use of an Executive Recruiting firm to adapt to change and achieve its business objectives.

After a transition period of rationalizing certain functions, staff turnover and reducing the number of office locations, the successor firm had a large volume of open positions in critical revenue-producing functions.  J. Patrick was brought in to deal with a burst of hiring that would subside.  The CEO had a strong sense of urgency in filling these positions in Marketing, Channel Marketing, Direct Enterprise Sales and Channel Sales, and wanted to build a relationship with a recruiting that understood the firm’s needs and culture.   The client also wanted quality candidates, an efficient and speedy process, as well as control cost-per-hire.  In addition, our client wanted us to identify key individuals from their strongest competitor, regardless of role.    J. Patrick designed a recruiting program that ensured the fulfillment of all of these goals, which included a volume discount on placement fees (the fee percentage declined through several tranches of hires) as well as a small upfront engagement fee to begin the program.

Due to a strong partnership, based on trust, communication and mutual commitment to a defined process, we have been able to place six strong candidates (with total compensation exceeding $1M) within 4 months of program onset, in the following positions:

Director Product Marketing, Boston

Channel Sales Manager, Western Region, Dallas

Channel Marketing Manager, Western Region, Boston

Sr Manager, Customer Product Support, Maryland

Business Development Manager, Western Region, San Jose

Enterprise Sales Manager, Financial Services Vertical, NY, NY

We are also currently performing search work for the same client:

Alliances/OEM Business Development Manager, Eastern region

Enterprise Sales Manager, Seattle, WA

Director Marketing Communications, East Coast, virtual office

In many ways this firm is the profile of our ideal customer.

  • Committed to hiring the best available candidates.
  • Well-written and detailed business objectives, job descriptions and competitive compensation.
  • Sense of urgency and ability take action,
  • Does not generally have continuous volume hiring to justify a dedicated internal recruiting resource. 
  • Human Resources, Executive and Line Management, dedicated time and resources to the screening process.
  • High degree of trust and respect for the value of an executive recruiter.
  • Strong deal-making and closing skills by hiring managers, working in concert with recruiters.

We have replicated this experience with many other clients, in many industry verticals.  The elements for success have to be in place and the client has to participate in the process.

Do you have an assignment like this?

Let us know!

Tags: Information Security, Career Strategies