I'm Touring The United States! Starting in June, I'm conducting private events in 23 American cities. Click here for full details.

Post Reply 
Making Money A Newbie's Guide to Navigating the Corporate Finance Environment - Part II
Author Message
Cobra Online
True Player
*****
Gold Member

Posts: 2,562
Joined: Mar 2011
Reputation: 162
Post: #1
A Newbie's Guide to Navigating the Corporate Finance Environment - Part II
Firstly, my apologies to the forum membership. I was planning on turning this out in August of this year. However, I have been hit with a lot of personal issues and challenges that have been difficult to manage. It has been one of my toughest periods in life personally. I didn’t give up and am now emerging from this successfully. So I thought nothing could make me feel better than giving back to the forum again. I know a lot of you have been requesting this from me, so here is Part II. Happy New Year!

I don’t do this for marketing and I’m not selling anything. I enjoy helping others. All I would like in return is a show of feedback telling me how it is helping you and what you would like to clarify.

**********************************************************************

A Newbie’s guide to Navigating the Corporate Finance Environment

**********************************************************************

Part II - Your Navigation within the Corporate Business World

In the last part of the data sheet, all I did was provide an overview of how the Corporate Finance world functions with regards to the hiring process. That data sheet included information about the sources that companies hire from and also information about what you should do to position yourself in order to get hired into a Corporate Finance team. However, it did not go into depth as far as what YOU should do to get into a great Corporate role and be successful. That will be my goal this time.

So this data sheet will provide a framework as to what you need to do in order to win the interview, build political capital to succeed over time once you land the job and how to use game every step of the way to get there in a shorter period of time. In short, this is a “how to succeed” piece. People in the non-Finance world that generally work anything from professional jobs to basic cubicle jobs or desk jobs can also learn a lot from the content here because Corporate desk environments all around can be very similar apart from the technical skill aspect.

In the next data sheet, I will cover “Recruiters and Mobility.” The reason I wanted to dedicate a whole data sheet to this is to better explain market movements of candidates from one job to another and more clearly describe what the value of each role is whether it is a Senior Financial Analyst or a Project Manager. It will get deep with actual technical knowledge but I think it was best to build the framework from Part I and II before I got there.

Before you partake in this, what I will ask is that if you are serious about success, I want you to buy a small notebook that you can carry with you all the time at work. Something sturdy that won’t fall apart. You can call this a LIFESTYLE notebook. You will see why once we get real deep.

Summary so far from Part I

Larger companies always hire from an existing pool of either “trained” or “educated” individuals. The trained individuals can come from larger Professional Services firms or internal “fast track” programs that large companies have to “groom” the next generation of leaders. For example, GE has such a program commonly known as the “Internal Audit Rotation” program. As far as educated individuals, what I mean is guys or girls from Ivy league schools or really top notch business schools, which do not need to be private by the way. There are plenty of State Universities such as SUNY Albany or University of Illinois - Champagne that gets recruited by very large companies for the best talent.

Hiring process starts from the Board of Directors and ends with the hiring manager. HR is involved but if you ever have to deal with an HR person, don’t believe they are doing you any favors. That’s because HR exists primarily as an administrative function that does not add much value to the actual quality of the individual that is being hired.

Setting Career Goals and Lifestyle Goals

You may have set some extreme goals as a child as to what you wanted to be when you grew up. It could have been anywhere from Fireman to Pilot. At that time, you were bright eyed, bushy tailed and just saw the world as a big ass dream. Then, reality hit and you realized that some dreams cannot be true realities. As human beings this “realization” can automatically trigger some negative outlooks in us that cause us to abandon those aspirations we had as children. If everything was peachy instead and you had amazing parental guidance and great mentors, you would probably even set goals yourself without me telling you how. However, I know that if you are reading this data sheet, you are most likely not one of those people.

Goals are not easy to set; but they are not going to be set for you through some system in college. LIke I alluded to earlier, if you are a guy that has a father or uncle or someone close that is in the Finance or Accounting world, you can extract more knowledge than your Joe Blo that was the first college graduate in his family. If you are like Joe, you need to find information. Reach out to people in networking groups, business fraternities etc. Take people out to lunch. Use your social skills. This includes reaching out to people like me. I talk to guys over the phone as much as I can to give them guidance as long as my schedule allows and if I believe they are worthy of my time. All I mean by that is if you register on the forum and have zero posts, it is not the right time to reach out to me for advice. Get active on the forum, and contribute a little first. Otherwise, you likely will not hear back from me. That being said, for guys that contribute, a half hour of my time if I’m driving is free. By that same token, people in or around your circle should not be such dicks that they don’t have time to talk or even have a coffee with you if you are genuinely asking for help. I assume most of you reading this are like Joe Blo.

Before you set any kind of goals, you need to gather information about the profession you are getting into and possible career paths in those professions. Your information gathering should involve certain components that I already mentioned in Part I but I will break down for you here so it fits within the context of what you should do.

***Understand career paths for different positions and the types of companies you want to consider working for. As far as a career path goes, understand if you’re fit for a Business Analyst (Management Information Systems majors) versus a Financial Analyst (Finance majors) versus a Investment Banking analyst (Finance majors) versus Internal Auditor (Finance or Accounting majors) versus a Treasury analyst (Finance or Economics majors) versus Accountant (I covered Accounting career paths in a separate data sheet). It would be difficult for me to cover these paths in this data sheet but can may be address them later as would make this sheet massive.

***Understand the basic requirements for the job AND company like GPA and school. For example, if GE hires only from Ivy league and good State Universities, you may not get in if you went to a lesser known school no matter how amazing your game is and how impeccable your pocket square looks in addition to your GPA. However, if you qualify and fit the basic profile they look for, then by all means keep pursuing. You can actually get this information from the University career center sometimes or even through some basic internet research. However, you can also go through more effective mediums that I will discuss in the next step.

***Connect with PEOPLE in these positions at the companies you are interested in. Why is this important? It’s because the lame information that you are surrounded with in college gets you internet or hearsay information that is useless because it doesn’t necessarily come from the people doing the jobs. I hope that makes good old common sense. In order to get good information, it could be as simple as using Linkedin to reach out to people randomly if you need to. People crave that kind of attention and if you come across as a cool person looking to network, people will not say no. An even better way is to use resources available to you like attending Business Fraternity meetings (they’ll allow you to attend their meetings but may hassle you to join) as well as local networking events that are held by Finance and Accounting organizations that are established locally. These are usually FREE and you are already in a circle of people that are in the professions that you may be targeting or really close to them. Seek out these events. Once you get to the event, it’s time to put on your game hat. Socialize and eventually make it a goal to grab a drink with those that you find valuable or as I mentioned at the very least, buy them lunch or coffee. Few questions I want you to ask every single one of these people: (1) What are their career goals as in where do they want to be in 10 years and (2) What are they doing to get there? Pay very close attention to these responses. If you can, jot them down in a LIFESTYLE notebook. I will come back to them later. Most people don’t ask these types of questions so they don’t get any value from the interactions.

***Deduce career paths through the above steps. I will explain. Once you have talked to enough people within certain professions, you will understand the “nitty-gritty” of how things work beyond some internet literature or bullshit coming from your professors (who by the way have most likely not worked in a professional setting most of the time). Remember that LIFESTYLE notebook I told you about. Maybe write in there what your path looks like or draw it out. You can also draw out multiple paths. It will be very valuable for you to draw this out.

The above steps are not easy to carry out and it takes time and effort as well as social ability. I’ll try to make this simple enough for everyone to grasp. You approach girls to get poon don’t you? That satisfies one need, but what about your Lifestyle. Why wouldn’t you put the same effort in to build a good one so you can be secure in the question? Good question right?

Interviewing

Dressing well, grooming well and having a few copies of your resume on hand are basics; you can read about that anywhere else. There are tons of books, articles and information regarding these basics. So it would be useless for me to delve into that and cover the same exact shit. So what I’ll do instead is break down what I think you should do and how you can use game to win a job. So what is this other stuff you ask? Do you just need to sound smart and excited about the job? Do you need to neg and make them qualify themselves to you? For a young dude that just got into the manosphere and reading this, they are relevant questions or at least questions that come top of mind since you have been exposed to game and the manosphere. So it would be prudent for me to address it from that perspective of game rather than the blue pill wisdom that you can find everywhere else.

Confidence and inner game are key in an interview just like they are with approaching women. You cannot walk into an interview SOUNDING excited. You have to BE excited. I’ll explain. You are not interviewing to get a job. You are interviewing for a LIFESTYLE. This is your LIFE. You will be spending a lot of time there. Period. Get that through your head now before I move on because if you do, the rest of what I say here will make a lot more sense. The reason I emphasize this is because some of you reading this are so desperate to find a job that you will come off as too tryhard. This is not necessarily your fault but it is your fault if you don’t recognize it even after I tell you. The desperation can result from a lack of confidence, not doing well on interviews or having personal issues. However, the reason that you are not doing well on interviews may likely not be exactly because YOU did bad. The market for your profession or skillset could just be diluted or the timing of when you are looking could be just wrong. It may behoove you to understand these components because it’ll help you see that it’s not always YOUR fault. Compare this to approaching women. They reject you a lot of times because of factors beyond your control. So why blame yourself? Rather, why not understand those factors before beating yourself up with the empty bag of cheetos you just ate from?

So when you show up at an interview, don’t try to be alpha and think about all of this alpha vs. beta shit you have heard mentioned on the forum and articles. While these are theoretically great concepts for forum banter, they are absolutely NOT to be fucked with if you are a guy that lacked guidance growing up and have a lower level of self confidence. Guys getting into game with a lower level of confidence that do negs and act over confident around women are the same as guys coming in for an interview that exude “green” body language but act like they know it all. Another words, it looks retarded. When your body language and voice tonality are not congruent, the hiring manager will immediately notice. It just means you are not genuine. This is not red pill vs. blue pill wisdom. So it is actually basic shit that will even throw the HR feminist off because she is a human being after all and human beings pick up very easily on this stuff; especially women. Instead I’ll suggest to you what you should do.

First of all, go for jobs that you know you can perform based on your education and experience and ALSO know will drive you to your career goals (see Career Goals section above where I have explained this; it’s crucial). Do not go for the jobs that you think you should apply for because that is what someone told you or that’s what everyone is doing. There is a thin line between driving your career goals and doing what the industry wants you to. Remember that LIFESTYLE notebook? Don’t buy into someone else’s frame.

Game the receptionist when you get into the interview. A simple “You’ve got to stop working so hard” will do. But go for similar indirect comments. Don’t try to be overly flirtatious but smile and exude this from your body language. There are enough threads on the forum that tell you how to adjust your body language for this. The reason I say you should do this is very simple; it will get you in the mood and frame of a high value man that will grease the wheels if your confidence is low or you have even a little bit of fear.

Once you get in front of HR or the hiring manager, do not, I repeat DO NOT try to game them with such concepts as negs, qualifiers, cocky/funny and asshole game. I have mentioned this before but I feel I need to reiterate at this crucial point. That shit will not work unless you are a game jedi master and know the subtle differences in people’s personality that will allow you to adjust each of the concepts to fit the conversation. Best thing to do is avoid this type of stuff because it can hurt you rather than help you for the most part. So I will get into what actually works.

Confident body language (e.g. lean in) WILL WORK. Talking slowly in a succint manner WILL WORK. Getting to the point WILL WORK. I’ll throw a few more specifics out there. If a hiring manager asks you if you have done something and you have not in the past DO NOT just say I haven’t and let them move to the next question. This is a common mistake I run into every fucking day. It shows that you are a follower not a leader. Instead what you should be doing is to ask them to explain it further so you fully understand the question first. Then and only then do you provide your response. When you do respond, do it in a way where you can tie your own experiences into that task to provide them a reason as to how you can do it even if you have to learn it. You do not EVER say NO. EVER. Another similar thing I see is that a candidate asks a question but before finishing the question, disqualifies him or herself by saying something along the lines of “I’m asking but you don’t have to answer if you don’t want to.” That is utter bullshit. You ask. They respond. Just give that silence a fucking hug.

Interview processes at a Professional Services firm like the Big 4 or Accenture is very different from interviewing for a Corporate job. The decision making process for interviews is actually very similar to a “roundtable” for internal promotions within those types of firms. Basically all interviewers of the 20 candidates interviewed that day will get into a conference room and discuss who should get the 5 to 10 positions. There are partners, and managers that interview candidates and some partners can push a candidate that they like very hard.

I’ll cover another few things that are not covered elsewhere. Always ask where they are in the process and how many candidates they are considering or interviewing. You should also ask what your competition looks like. Let them respond to these questions. In addition, also ask if you can clarify anything for them that they missed. Lastly, ask for the next steps and WHEN. Always ask when the next step will be executed as well as far as timing because it will give you an idea of how desperate they are.

Political Capital Once you’re in

Okay so you nailed the interviews and get an offer letter. You giggle like a little girl and accept. That’s cool because you just got in and you don’t give a fuck about anything else. It’s great news. Celebrate. Get really fucked up with whatever substances you can get a hold of. Approach a bunch of girls and bang them. However, do it within the confines of the law. I don’t want this data sheet to be blamed for dick headed behavior.

Once you get over the hangover and the girls have left your bedroom, you need to prepare to start your day. As far as how you dress, people’s opinions may differ. I work in a business casual environment. However, I am suited up and wear a pocket square every day. There may not be one woman in this entire office that has not complimented me on how I dress. It works for me. However, if you are a younger guy that is just getting into the Corporate world, it may come off as odd if you don’t exude the persona as well along with it. That’s okay. You can always slowly graduate to the more mature well dressed look later. All I’m saying is that it is your decision, but if you feel extremely self conscious by dressing up, don’t do it just yet until you build the confidence up and shatter the consciousness down.

So, you are in the company. The HR monkeys have given you your orientation and you are at your desk with your computer etc. You learn what your tasks are and what the training time line looks like. All you have to do is listen to your manager and do what you’re told right? WRONG. I have not met one person that has succeeded from just doing the bare minimum. As a junior person out of college, yes your first focus should be learning the job. However, if you are experienced, you know how long it will generally take for you to learn the job; so you can shift your focus to something more capital building activities which I’ll cover.

When you have learned the motions of your job (should take 3 - 6 months in Finance), THEN and only THEN your next overall goal is to be building Political Capital. I use this as a general rule because you do not want to interfere with learning the nuts and bolts in a professional job. I’ll also continue to explain this later because it’s relevant. However, like I said before, if your experience causes you to trust in a shorter time line and you’re confident about it, feel free to start doing so. The amount of political capital and the way you will build it will be highly dependent on the political landscape of the company. Most people will NOT tell you what that landscape looks like because they are just trying to get their jobs done. They are 9 to 5 desk jockeys whose asses have reshaped the chairs they sit in. You need to get access to the minority of people that understand the political landscape or develop that understanding yourself by gathering information. Once you develop that understanding, you then go forward and execute some actions that will ensure that you turn out to be someone that can add lots of value to the company and your team.

The first thing you need to do is SOCIALIZE. Does that mean get away from your work and dick around? Do you remember the previous paragraph? I said do this once you have learned your job. There is a reason for this. You will not know the ebbs and flows of your job and when you can step away until you learn the basic technical duties you have. The last thing you want to do is to step away from your desk and be seen dicking around when there is a deadline that day. Get my point? The way you socialize will have a lot to do with your personality. Some personalities are extremely good with people and others are not. It doesn’t matter which side of the spectrum you fall from but one thing you have to do is learn about others in your team and your office. Literally spend 20 minutes every day doing this even if it means going home a little late. These 20 minutes you rack up will pay you extreme dividends come promotion time. Trust me. Pay close attention to what each of your colleagues or peers or higher level managers say when you socialize. If it is anything personal, write it the fuck down. Where do you write it? You guessed it; your LIFESTYLE notebook. Hope you didn’t lose it the night you were celebrating with booze and girls.

Why do you write this stuff down? I’ll tell you. Do you know how many times people have spoken to me and they don’t remember where I grew up or how many kids I have. I can count on my one hand how many. Seriously. You take a few minutes out of your day to look over your notebook and you are way ahead of half of the guys at the very least that are going to be competing for the next promotion.

The political landscape of a company can be hard thing to understand. I’ll make it easier by breaking people at a large company, especially Professional Services firms, into two groups. The leaders and the doers. The leaders make the decisions while the doers do the work. Doers are usually employed in highly technical positions sometimes like IT or even some law. Not every lawyer is our own Hank Moody. I covered some of this in the Accounting Data Sheet but I’ll repeat some of the points again. Every company’s Corporate Finance teams need people that work 60 to 70 hours a week. These are the folks that bust their ass for a company and basically miss nothing in the work they prepare. A lot of these people, from experience are just working these hours to show value in appearance. I have reviewed some of their work and realize a few things. Sometimes it is “overdone” through extra formatting I do not care about. Otherwise, it is underdone and missing key strategic points that they did not clarify with me because they wanted to finish the work and “amplify” what they knew. Another words, they were TRYING to impress me instead of having balls to talk to me. Shit, to be honest, I have even done this. What I’m saying is that working a lot of hours does not translate into better quality work. As a matter of fact, I would be extremely careful of complimenting or endorsing people just because they work late. You will see the reasons even more starkly one day when you are a hiring manager yourself. Working that long in an environment where it is not necessary is akin to self validation. People want to feel good that they worked that many hours so they can tell their boss and colleagues. Most people will believe that shit because after all it’s a lot of hours. You, however, read this data sheet so you will not be stupid enough to think that.

Let’s take this a step further to talk about who the leaders are. The leaders are the people that know what’s up. That means, they know how to navigate the political landscape. Walk around the office, you will notice a few people with very confident body language and they may be dressed a bit better than the others. Okay, hang on. Have you read the Body language threads on the forum? Cleanslate has a great one on the forum. Generally, you will see these people walking into an office or out of an office when you do see them. They are the leaders and decision makers. Some look intimidating. I’m now going to ask you something. Remember cold approaching? Have you read the approach thread where a lot of us have memorialized our approaches even if a girl was intimidating? Keep that concept in your head. Now apply it to one of the leaders. Approach them! And try to set up a coffee or a subsequent “date.” You may have to build up the relationship over time to a level where you ask them to grab a coffee or drink but do not, I repeat DO NOT leave without saying these two things: “Where is your office?” and “Great, maybe I’ll drop by sometime.” You just TOLD them you are dropping by. You did not ASK. Why Cobra? Remember, you are a high value employee. Your time is worth just as much as theirs. You dropping by should be a privilege for them as well as it is for you. They’ll appreciate it more once they figure out how cool of a guy you are anyways. They will recognize the confident guy that walked up to them to introduce himself because guess what? You are likely the only confident guy that has ever done that.

I wanted to add this for Professional Services firms. If you are working in a large or even small CPA firm, consulting firm or even a law firm, you want to get in front of the partners. These people are the leaders of these firms after all. Guess when they’re in the office? That’s right, Fridays! I used to work in one of the largest CPA firms in the world. I eventually learned that the people that succeed go into the office on Fridays because the Partners are in. It is also very easy on that day to just walk into their office to have a conversation. The people that don’t come into the office on Fridays or come in and avoid the partners DO NOT get promoted beyond a certain point. Face to face communication guys.

All of the above steps, rinse, repeat and document any relevant information about the leaders in your LIFESTYLE notebook. Keep going.

Dealing with your boss

I just went over how to build political capital overall. However, when you’re asked to do something, it’s a bit different because now you have to concentrate on the quality of your work. If your manager asks you to do something, DO NOT just do it. I don’t care if you don’t feel like asking or if you already know enough about what to do. Don’t do anything until you are absolutely clear as to why you are doing it. Don’t try to be a billy badass. Even if you are clear, spend just a couple minutes to ask a few clarifying questions to your boss. However, be careful to not sound like you didn’t understand what he said. You are just trying to understand beyond what he said; another words, the “big picture” of how your specific work product fits into the bigger project or task. He or she will appreciate this because guess how many of your peers are doing this? You may be shocked to hear the answer. What your interest here conveys is not only your curiosity about the bigger picture and also provides you value by allowing you to see potential opportunities where you may be able to step in and help your boss by taking more stuff of his or her plate.

I’ll explain. Your manager will have a lot of shit going on especially when a deadline is pending. What you do not want to do is interpret the stress on your manager’s face as “they want to be left alone.” DO NOT do that shit. Instead, come in to the office like a man and ask them if they just have 2 minutes for you and have them explain what they are doing. If you did what I said and asked them earlier when they came to you with a task, this step may be easier or even unnecessary. Once they tell you what they are doing or what the reason is for you to be performing your portion of the project, you will find opportunities where you can help. Pay close attention to these because they are gold. Take this knowledge and firmly insist that you would like to help. You will be staying a bit late that day or maybe the next few weeks. However, what you have now done is break down the barrier of an intimidating person and make them feel better. I think your peers will be able to do this too but the majority of them will think that they should leave the manager “alone” due to him ripping his hair out in the office.

Now there is also going to possibly be a manager that manages your manager. Likely in a Director or Vice President type role. They also need to be gamed. Same way as I explained in the political capital section but this should be more nuanced. For this leader of your team, you want to be in front of them and ensure they know who you are. Another words, ensure you are on their radar physically and visually. You can do that by simply saying hello and walking into their office like I mentioned before. However, it is tough to just grab a coffee or drink with the highest level leader in the department. So you will supplement this with something else that may end up being just as effective. You will watch their movements as to where they go to lunch and where they get coffee. You will try to time your breaks to coincide with theirs. You will “run into them” more often than they run into their own managers. You will demonstrate your value every time by asking about their guitar lessons, Timmy (their kid), or how the ski trip was because all that shit is written in your LIFESTYLE notebook.

How to be Alpha and SCREW yourself over


The reason I’m including this as a separate section is because of a misunderstanding I see on the forum regarding red pill at work. There was a thread some time ago started by a guy that was enjoying life and partying while his co workers and team knew about it. He also mentioned that he has co-workers that are married and they are jealous of his “lifestyle” because they probably have a landwhale at home. Something along these lines.

What I want to tell you is that these types of individuals that act alpha, party a lot and tell their co-workers about their adventures are losing political capital by the minute. People are starting to lose respect for his ability to be serious every minute. On top of that he is drawing conclusions about other human beings just because they have a wife and kids they want to support.

I’ll tell you this. Those betas can one day be the boss or key influencers that may need to collaborate with you. You would be creating unnecessary friction by bringing your personal life into work and possibly alienating normal people by making assumptions about their character (e.g. beta) based on a few attributes. That is not cool and a smart person will see through that. It doesn’t take the red pill to figure out that someone is a dickhead.

In short, do not try to be some alpha male at company you just started at or have a lower level job at. If you get fired, go back to the beginning of the data sheet and read over.

Promotions - Corporate non-Professional Services


This section strictly covers a job at a Corporation, not a professional services firm. I’ll cover that later.

You’ve been in your position/role or the company about 1 year now or maybe 2 years. You see a position open up that is a higher level. You want it, really bad. Do you just apply? Fuck no. If you did all the things I previously said you should do to build political capital, with any luck you should already know about the position from the hiring manager. Why? Because you cold approached her in the cafeteria or the hallway and she told you about it when you grabbed coffee with her or stopped by her office for a 2 minute conversation. The position showing up in the company database is just an afterthought. Look, you are already interviewing. What HR is going to call an interview will be a formality. Get it?

There is another category of promotions where you have done a great job and you get really good at what you do. You have been there a few years and no one is moving out and no positions are opening up. This is very typical of mid size or smaller companies. Now you’re wondering when you’ll get promoted. When you ask, you will be told “soon.” So what do you do? Stop ASKING. Instead, you end up exploring the job market and go on a few interviews. They are well worth a few days off at this point. They will help you understand your value. You then will tell your manager that “You were approached by another company with a job that will let you expand your skillsets. I just wanted to be candid with you.” Notice their reaction. Notice the desperation levels. If the response implies that you are expendable, it is time for you to go. If they want to know more about your interview, it is game on. You have now triggered negotiation for a promotion. “I like the challenges they offer, but I think I can add more value to this company if you give me the chance to take more responsibility at a higher level role” should be the next thing out of your mouth. The manager’s response should tell you if they will consider it or not. If they respond like they are confused. “I have to let the company know by xx date for next steps; so can you please give me an answer by yy date?” should be your next response. Of course this scenario can only be executed if you actually interview with other companies and make traction. In these cases, also ask the interviewing companies when they will get back to you. Go back to the beginning of the data sheet and read the interview section again if you need to. You are leveraging your value to negotiate for what you are worth. That’s what this is.

The decision to promote you will be made in the office of the decision maker who may not even be your manager. Get to know him or her really well even if it is just by walking into her office. You are on her team. You are allowed to do that no matter how junior you are. Don’t forget that no matter how frustrated or angry they look, you should approach them. Just please don’t act like a pussy like they are the best thing in the world. Be confident AND respectful. If you are just respectful without being confident, you will look weaker. That’s it. Again, remember how you cold approach? For those that know, same deal.

Promotions - Professional Service “Roundtables”


I separated Corporate promotions from Professional Services for a few reasons. Firstly, upward mobility in a Professional Services firm is more or less a given up to a certain level compared to the Corporate world where you may have to wait till a dude dies or leaves the company before getting a promotion. That’s because Professional Services firms have huge attrition rates (rate of people leaving the firms) and need bodies every single year to fill the gaps and continue to serve their clients. In order to describe this, please keep in mind that I am using my experience from one of the Big 4 Accounting firms. I worked with sharp people and was both subject to and participated in the round tables.

Even though you may get promoted to a Senior Manager level as a given through a “rank” promotion every year (e.g. Staff to Senior 1, Senior 1 to Senior 2), the amount of money you get as a raise will be dependent on what people think about your work. Remember that these people only have a specific pot of money. Most people will be rated average, some below average and a few above average. It is the bell curve concept. However, what happens is that there are more people rated above average by their managers than there is money to compensate them. So what happens is that the managers in that particular practice or industry group in the firm will get in a “round table” discussion. Everything from their billing utilization rates to their licensing qualification to their performance ratings show up. If two people with similar performance ratings are competing (rare but happens at least once every cycle) then, it could be dependent on other factors such as utilization.

I remember the way it used to work. Every person in a Big 4 firm has a counselor that provides an initial rating between below average, average and above average. Then, a higher level manager or a board will decide what the person’s rating should be from what the counselor provided. This is where a lot of adjustments happen because they are now being compared to their peers. Finally, there is a day set for round tables when all the managers (including counselors) got into a room and pulled up the updated ratings on a screen. A moderator from HR will call out each person’s name and the board rating. At that point, the counselors and any manager are able to agree or disagree. If you did a fantastic job, this is where your political capital does you favors. People will speak up for you if they like you. Once you have enough people disagreeing with the “board” rating, the person will get tagged to be discussed at the very end against other “winners.”

Executive Summary

You are venturing into something that is supposed to build not only a better living for yourself, but also something that you can be proud of. Why not be serious about that and actually jot down goals? These goals can only be set utilizing solid market information from people that are in the positions that you are eventually targeting, not from professors or career counselors that have never done the job before or done very little.

Once you apply for jobs, interview like a boss. Once you start at the company, start being social and develop a good reputation. Be the polite but confident guy that will help others when needed. Stay late if you need to if it means taking work off of your manager’s plate. Have coffee with any other hiring managers in the company you think would potentially hire you in the future in case jobs opened up. Keep your ears and mouth open. You do all of this and you will build solid political capital.

When promotion time comes, that political capital will come in handy and you will be able to cash it in. Remember to interview outside your company just to see what’s out there and even to figure out what a competitor may pay you. Go back and subtly start negotiations based on this information.

My podcast with H3ltrsk3ltr
Accounting Career Data Sheet |Corporate Finance datasheets- Part I /Part II/Part III | 5 Things To Do Before You Lose Your Job
(This post was last modified: 01-01-2016 06:10 AM by Cobra.)
01-01-2016 05:48 AM
Find all posts by this user Like Post Quote this message in a reply
[-] The following 22 users Like Cobra's post:
Pareto, MiscBrah, randomakakak, Phoenix, Trabenezer, Sensei Creation, Belgrano, Macklin, Peregrine, the Thing, ball dont lie, , Richiavelli, Dantes, Financial, Irenicus, Aer, NASA Test Pilot, WalterBlack, Slim Shady, JayD, Mig Picante
polar Offline
Alpha Male
****
Gold Member

Posts: 1,449
Joined: Mar 2013
Reputation: 85
Post: #2
RE: A Newbie's Guide to Navigating the Corporate Finance Environment - Part II
Another magnum opus. Bravo.

Data Sheet Maps | On Musical Chicks | Rep Point Changes | Au Pairs on a Boat
Captainstabbin: "girls get more attractive with your dick in their mouth. It's science."
Spaniard88: "The "believe anything" crew contributes: "She's probably a good girl, maybe she lost her virginity to someone with AIDS and only had sex once before you met her...give her a chance.""
01-01-2016 01:14 PM
Find all posts by this user Like Post Quote this message in a reply
[-] The following 1 user Likes polar's post:
Cobra
h3ltrsk3ltr Offline
Wingman
***
Gold Member

Posts: 942
Joined: Jun 2014
Reputation: 29
Post: #3
RE: A Newbie's Guide to Navigating the Corporate Finance Environment - Part II
+1 if I could.

I found a lot of good info on the job feilds that old dudes are retiring from by going to small business round tables. The guys who go to these are typically successful, willing to help, and could be a potential reference if you develop a solid professional relationship.

Per Ardua Ad Astra | "I have come here to chew bubblegum and kick ass. And I'm all out of bubblegum"

Cobra and I did some awesome podcasts with awesome fellow members.
01-01-2016 01:39 PM
Find all posts by this user Like Post Quote this message in a reply
[-] The following 1 user Likes h3ltrsk3ltr's post:
Cobra
randomakakak Offline
Male Feminist

Posts: 7
Joined: Nov 2015
Reputation: 0
Post: #4
RE: A Newbie's Guide to Navigating the Corporate Finance Environment - Part II
Great read. I just started working at a professional services firm out of undergrad in May. I received very good remarks from the roundtable discussion (I've worked hard to learn quickly and become the point person for one of our million dollar fixed fee projects), but my manager told me that I would not be receiving a promotion. The reason for this was "new hires don't get promotions five months out of school". Can you tell me of any similar experiences you have had/seen and how I can beat this stigma of being too young to advance?
(This post was last modified: 01-01-2016 01:51 PM by randomakakak.)
01-01-2016 01:48 PM
Find all posts by this user Like Post Quote this message in a reply
[-] The following 1 user Likes randomakakak's post:
Cobra
Sensei Creation Offline
Recovering Beta
Silver Member

Posts: 204
Joined: Nov 2014
Reputation: 7
Post: #5
RE: A Newbie's Guide to Navigating the Corporate Finance Environment - Part II
As someone who is about to start an entry level position as a Juniour accountant , this couldn't have come at a better time . + 1 .
01-01-2016 04:22 PM
Find all posts by this user Like Post Quote this message in a reply
[-] The following 1 user Likes Sensei Creation's post:
Cobra
Cobra Online
True Player
*****
Gold Member

Posts: 2,562
Joined: Mar 2011
Reputation: 162
Post: #6
RE: A Newbie's Guide to Navigating the Corporate Finance Environment - Part II
(01-01-2016 01:48 PM)randomakakak Wrote:  Great read. I just started working at a professional services firm out of undergrad in May. I received very good remarks from the roundtable discussion (I've worked hard to learn quickly and become the point person for one of our million dollar fixed fee projects), but my manager told me that I would not be receiving a promotion. The reason for this was "new hires don't get promotions five months out of school". Can you tell me of any similar experiences you have had/seen and how I can beat this stigma of being too young to advance?

I think you should choose your battles but do choose them and choose them well. I know more than one partner who was "early" promoted to both manager and senor manager and made partner in just about 10 years. That is an amazing feat but doable.

It will be hard to fight for an early promotion for you when you have relatively a LOT less time than your peers. For now, you should learn about the people that did get promoted and why. Ask your counselor for this information or an individual close to the roundtables.

Another reason I say this is due to the invisible ego you have. I remember I felt like a warrior in the beginning when I joined the firm. I thought no one was better than me. So when someone beat me to a higher rating I got pissed. I soon realized that the competition is fierce and there are always people that can easily out do me if they tried hard.

Just remember there are many factors at round tables and don't take it personally. Build more political capital and get a valid promotion you deserve when the time comes. Until then figure out WHY you got beat this time and by what type of person. So you know that you didn't get royally fucked over. Knowing this will also give you comfort. If that ends up being the unlikely case, then report back.

My podcast with H3ltrsk3ltr
Accounting Career Data Sheet |Corporate Finance datasheets- Part I /Part II/Part III | 5 Things To Do Before You Lose Your Job
(This post was last modified: 01-01-2016 06:34 PM by Cobra.)
01-01-2016 06:29 PM
Find all posts by this user Like Post Quote this message in a reply
[-] The following 1 user Likes Cobra's post:
randomakakak
randomakakak Offline
Male Feminist

Posts: 7
Joined: Nov 2015
Reputation: 0
Post: #7
RE: A Newbie's Guide to Navigating the Corporate Finance Environment - Part II
(01-01-2016 06:29 PM)Cobra Wrote:  
(01-01-2016 01:48 PM)randomakakak Wrote:  Great read. I just started working at a professional services firm out of undergrad in May. I received very good remarks from the roundtable discussion (I've worked hard to learn quickly and become the point person for one of our million dollar fixed fee projects), but my manager told me that I would not be receiving a promotion. The reason for this was "new hires don't get promotions five months out of school". Can you tell me of any similar experiences you have had/seen and how I can beat this stigma of being too young to advance?

I think you should choose your battles but do choose them and choose them well. I know more than one partner who was "early" promoted to both manager and senor manager and made partner in just about 10 years. That is an amazing feat but doable.

It will be hard to fight for an early promotion for you when you have relatively a LOT less time than your peers. For now, you should learn about the people that did get promoted and why. Ask your counselor for this information or an individual close to the roundtables.

Another reason I say this is due to the invisible ego you have. I remember I felt like a warrior in the beginning when I joined the firm. I thought no one was better than me. So when someone beat me to a higher rating I got pissed. I soon realized that the competition is fierce and there are always people that can easily out do me if they tried hard.

Just remember there are many factors at round tables and don't take it personally. Build more political capital and get a valid promotion you deserve when the time comes. Until then figure out WHY you got beat this time and by what type of person. So you know that you didn't get royally fucked over. Knowing this will also give you comfort. If that ends up being the unlikely case, then report back.

Thanks. It doesn't seem like an issue of getting beat out by others, my manager said it was just too soon. I'll stick it out and not get disheartened. I was told that I would be getting a pay bump, do you know how much top performers are getting bumped by each year? I think this is a perfect example of an instance where solid game could give you an edge, but is 15% too much?
01-01-2016 10:45 PM
Find all posts by this user Like Post Quote this message in a reply
Cobra Online
True Player
*****
Gold Member

Posts: 2,562
Joined: Mar 2011
Reputation: 162
Post: #8
RE: A Newbie's Guide to Navigating the Corporate Finance Environment - Part II
(01-01-2016 10:45 PM)randomakakak Wrote:  
(01-01-2016 06:29 PM)Cobra Wrote:  
(01-01-2016 01:48 PM)randomakakak Wrote:  Great read. I just started working at a professional services firm out of undergrad in May. I received very good remarks from the roundtable discussion (I've worked hard to learn quickly and become the point person for one of our million dollar fixed fee projects), but my manager told me that I would not be receiving a promotion. The reason for this was "new hires don't get promotions five months out of school". Can you tell me of any similar experiences you have had/seen and how I can beat this stigma of being too young to advance?

I think you should choose your battles but do choose them and choose them well. I know more than one partner who was "early" promoted to both manager and senor manager and made partner in just about 10 years. That is an amazing feat but doable.

It will be hard to fight for an early promotion for you when you have relatively a LOT less time than your peers. For now, you should learn about the people that did get promoted and why. Ask your counselor for this information or an individual close to the roundtables.

Another reason I say this is due to the invisible ego you have. I remember I felt like a warrior in the beginning when I joined the firm. I thought no one was better than me. So when someone beat me to a higher rating I got pissed. I soon realized that the competition is fierce and there are always people that can easily out do me if they tried hard.

Just remember there are many factors at round tables and don't take it personally. Build more political capital and get a valid promotion you deserve when the time comes. Until then figure out WHY you got beat this time and by what type of person. So you know that you didn't get royally fucked over. Knowing this will also give you comfort. If that ends up being the unlikely case, then report back.

Thanks. It doesn't seem like an issue of getting beat out by others, my manager said it was just too soon. I'll stick it out and not get disheartened. I was told that I would be getting a pay bump, do you know how much top performers are getting bumped by each year? I think this is a perfect example of an instance where solid game could give you an edge, but is 15% too much?

But you suspected there was stigma. My response was geared to help address that suspicion. It appears that you now think the reason provided is fine by itself. That's fine but all I'm saying is you can choose to at least understand what type of people did get promoted instead of taking the reason for granted since you worked hard and you're concerned. You asked the question but also your choice to follow my advice or not.

Raises depend on the market but NYC and Chicago can have anywhere from 6% for lowest to 12% for the highest performers. Given the market is a candidate market in finance these days, I would suspect that the rates are at the latter end of the range or maybe even higher.

My podcast with H3ltrsk3ltr
Accounting Career Data Sheet |Corporate Finance datasheets- Part I /Part II/Part III | 5 Things To Do Before You Lose Your Job
(This post was last modified: 01-02-2016 03:43 AM by Cobra.)
01-02-2016 03:02 AM
Find all posts by this user Like Post Quote this message in a reply
[-] The following 1 user Likes Cobra's post:
randomakakak
Richiavelli Offline
Beta Orbiter
*

Posts: 145
Joined: Dec 2013
Reputation: 6
Post: #9
RE: A Newbie's Guide to Navigating the Corporate Finance Environment - Part II
Cobra, got any good stories from round-tables?

At a firm I worked at, seniors were allowed to be in the round-table during staff discussions. It's amazing to see what people say when talking about you. Crazy how speaking up could actually influence the group as a whole - people in accounting are so non-confrontational it's ridiculous. Here's to hoping I have enough political capital this upcoming summer!
01-03-2016 12:27 AM
Find all posts by this user Like Post Quote this message in a reply
Easy_C Offline
International Playboy
******

Posts: 3,739
Joined: Oct 2014
Reputation: 26
Post: #10
RE: A Newbie's Guide to Navigating the Corporate Finance Environment - Part II
Cobra:

Got another question. Speaking as far as the general rule of thumb for transferability and exit opportunities, would you recommend a straight up Corporate Finance job or a treasury role?
01-05-2016 08:37 AM
Find all posts by this user Like Post Quote this message in a reply
[-] The following 1 user Likes Easy_C's post:
Cobra
Cobra Online
True Player
*****
Gold Member

Posts: 2,562
Joined: Mar 2011
Reputation: 162
Post: #11
RE: A Newbie's Guide to Navigating the Corporate Finance Environment - Part II
(01-05-2016 08:37 AM)Easy_C Wrote:  Cobra:

Got another question. Speaking as far as the general rule of thumb for transferability and exit opportunities, would you recommend a straight up Corporate Finance job or a treasury role?

Treasury roles are very unique with a specific career path; and transferability "from" those roles is extremely difficult at a midsized to large company. The other way around may be easier but you're pretty much switching to.another sub field with lower mobility and options.

So my recommendation, for the sheer amount of exposure and upward mobility would be to start as a Financial analyst.

I'll cover the merits and paths of specific fields and roles in the final part of the data sheet kind of like I did in the Accounting data sheet. I just need some time.

My podcast with H3ltrsk3ltr
Accounting Career Data Sheet |Corporate Finance datasheets- Part I /Part II/Part III | 5 Things To Do Before You Lose Your Job
(This post was last modified: 01-05-2016 08:44 AM by Cobra.)
01-05-2016 08:44 AM
Find all posts by this user Like Post Quote this message in a reply
[-] The following 1 user Likes Cobra's post:
Peregrine
Sensei Creation Offline
Recovering Beta
Silver Member

Posts: 204
Joined: Nov 2014
Reputation: 7
Post: #12
RE: A Newbie's Guide to Navigating the Corporate Finance Environment - Part II
In your opinion , how easy is the transition from chartered accountant to an analyst role . ( Specifically Financial and Risk analysis . )

How often have you seen people successfully translation into these roles throughout your career ?

What about transitioning into investment banking ?

I know a couple risk analyst's who tells transitioning from that into trading seems like a natural career progression . Is this the same for accounting ?

The reason for this is because , although accounting is well paid and generally very secure , trading is usually less secure but the pay can be potentially far greater .

I'm thinking of achieving chartered status before transitioning into other less secure but better paid finance positions . So that Ill always have my accountancy skills as a back up plan should my other endeavours not work out .
01-06-2016 12:26 PM
Find all posts by this user Like Post Quote this message in a reply
Peregrine Offline
Alpha Male
****
Gold Member

Posts: 1,493
Joined: Mar 2013
Reputation: 65
Post: #13
RE: A Newbie's Guide to Navigating the Corporate Finance Environment - Part II
(01-06-2016 12:26 PM)Sensei Creation Wrote:  In your opinion , how easy is the transition from chartered accountant to an analyst role . ( Specifically Financial and Risk analysis . )

How often have you seen people successfully translation into these roles throughout your career ?

What about transitioning into investment banking ?

I know a couple risk analyst's who tells transitioning from that into trading seems like a natural career progression . Is this the same for accounting ?

The reason for this is because , although accounting is well paid and generally very secure , trading is usually less secure but the pay can be potentially far greater .

I'm thinking of achieving chartered status before transitioning into other less secure but better paid finance positions . So that Ill always have my accountancy skills as a back up plan should my other endeavours not work out .

Unless you know somebody, IB recruits out of undergrad or MBA schools. Can't remember ever meeting a trader who started as an accountant. Not to mention that trading ain't what it used to be.

I've seen CAs become some sort of financial/risk analyst, but you're not looking at a crazy bump in pay.

http://wallstreetplayboys.com/navigating-wall-street/
01-06-2016 09:02 PM
Find all posts by this user Like Post Quote this message in a reply
[-] The following 2 users Like Peregrine's post:
Sensei Creation, Cobra
Cobra Online
True Player
*****
Gold Member

Posts: 2,562
Joined: Mar 2011
Reputation: 162
Post: #14
RE: A Newbie's Guide to Navigating the Corporate Finance Environment - Part II
I'm not sure how many of you gents care about Part 3.

If I do it, it will be more about my personal journey from Accounting to sales and how the marker works from a hiring market perspective for Finance and Accounting.

I welcome questions or topics you guys would like me to address.

My podcast with H3ltrsk3ltr
Accounting Career Data Sheet |Corporate Finance datasheets- Part I /Part II/Part III | 5 Things To Do Before You Lose Your Job
07-02-2016 10:38 AM
Find all posts by this user Like Post Quote this message in a reply
Financial Offline
Male Feminist

Posts: 3
Joined: Oct 2015
Reputation: 0
Post: #15
RE: A Newbie's Guide to Navigating the Corporate Finance Environment - Part II
Hi Cobra...
I would love to read a part 3

Any advice for older people who are career changing to finance?
07-02-2016 01:42 PM
Find all posts by this user Like Post Quote this message in a reply
Slim Shady Offline
True Player
*****
Gold Member

Posts: 2,163
Joined: May 2013
Reputation: 41
Post: #16
RE: A Newbie's Guide to Navigating the Corporate Finance Environment - Part II
I recently completed a Masters Degree in Finance, and am moving from my original Physics background into the Finance/Banking world. I am currently interviewing for positions and your posts look like a great tool for a corporate neophyte that I will be certain to use.

You don't get there till you get there
07-02-2016 02:31 PM
Find all posts by this user Like Post Quote this message in a reply
Thrill Jackson Offline
Wingman
***
Gold Member

Posts: 936
Joined: Jun 2015
Reputation: 4
Post: #17
RE: A Newbie's Guide to Navigating the Corporate Finance Environment - Part II
A part three would be great. I also want to thank you for your accounting data sheet. When I read that I was a sophmore in college who was very lost on what to do to succeed. Now Im on track to start working for a firm in December.

Growth Over Everything Else.
07-02-2016 02:41 PM
Find all posts by this user Like Post Quote this message in a reply
Cobra Online
True Player
*****
Gold Member

Posts: 2,562
Joined: Mar 2011
Reputation: 162
Post: #18
RE: A Newbie's Guide to Navigating the Corporate Finance Environment - Part II
I may do part 3 before the election to keep the energy level on the forum high. Wink

My podcast with H3ltrsk3ltr
Accounting Career Data Sheet |Corporate Finance datasheets- Part I /Part II/Part III | 5 Things To Do Before You Lose Your Job
11-03-2016 07:52 PM
Find all posts by this user Like Post Quote this message in a reply
[-] The following 1 user Likes Cobra's post:
262
Easy_C Offline
International Playboy
******

Posts: 3,739
Joined: Oct 2014
Reputation: 26
Post: #19
RE: A Newbie's Guide to Navigating the Corporate Finance Environment - Part II
(01-06-2016 09:02 PM)Peregrine Wrote:  
(01-06-2016 12:26 PM)Sensei Creation Wrote:  In your opinion , how easy is the transition from chartered accountant to an analyst role . ( Specifically Financial and Risk analysis . )

How often have you seen people successfully translation into these roles throughout your career ?

What about transitioning into investment banking ?

I know a couple risk analyst's who tells transitioning from that into trading seems like a natural career progression . Is this the same for accounting ?

The reason for this is because , although accounting is well paid and generally very secure , trading is usually less secure but the pay can be potentially far greater .

I'm thinking of achieving chartered status before transitioning into other less secure but better paid finance positions . So that Ill always have my accountancy skills as a back up plan should my other endeavours not work out .

Unless you know somebody, IB recruits out of undergrad or MBA schools. Can't remember ever meeting a trader who started as an accountant. Not to mention that trading ain't what it used to be.

I've seen CAs become some sort of financial/risk analyst, but you're not looking at a crazy bump in pay.

http://wallstreetplayboys.com/navigating-wall-street/

Keep in mind that getting to where you "know somebody" is a lot easier than people think it is. Look for people who have a common connection with you(university, background, race, work experience, etc) and cold-email them politely asking to speak with them about their experiences.

Pro-top: the best network is, by far, the veteran groups. Although not as numerous as any Ivy League school's alumni in investment banking you all will find that they're far more candid and aggressive in supporting other vets than almost any alumni connection is.

Bad news? How feasible actually getting in is depends on the market. Right now a lot of investment banks have hiring freezes in effect which means that the ONLY way to get in is to come in as a summer intern from university and get a return offer.
(This post was last modified: 11-03-2016 09:55 PM by Easy_C.)
11-03-2016 09:54 PM
Find all posts by this user Like Post Quote this message in a reply
Easy_C Offline
International Playboy
******

Posts: 3,739
Joined: Oct 2014
Reputation: 26
Post: #20
RE: A Newbie's Guide to Navigating the Corporate Finance Environment - Part II
Also one long term suggestion:

If you plan at sticking around any particular company in the long term, it's a great idea to be HEAVILY involved in the recruiting process and find high performers that you can get into the firm. Someone owing their job to you is generally going to result in you having a lot of influence with those people.
11-03-2016 10:05 PM
Find all posts by this user Like Post Quote this message in a reply
Post Reply 


Possibly Related Threads...
Thread: Author Replies: Views: Last Post
  Newbie questions crypto thread Roosh 218 57,673 05-11-2019 09:15 AM
Last Post: The White Wolf
  [Style]  Accessories ..advice cologne, good breath, conditioner for Newbie! Blackliter 25 16,113 04-19-2019 04:56 AM
Last Post: TigerMandingo
  Easy jobs I can get with a banking and finance degree? Stakes 11 1,302 12-29-2018 01:38 AM
Last Post: BaatumMania

Forum Jump:


User(s) browsing this thread: 1 Guest(s)

Contact Us | RooshV.com | Return to Top | Return to Content | Mobile Version | RSS Syndication