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Making Money A Newbie’s guide to Navigating the Corporate Finance Environment - Part III
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Cobra Offline
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A Newbie’s guide to Navigating the Corporate Finance Environment - Part III
I think I promised the final part of my data sheet on Corporate Finance over a year ago. It's been stuck as an "open item" on my list for that long. While the forum is going through changes, I thought it would be nice to offer this right now. I've gone through a lot of changes and learned a whole lot in that time. So maybe that's a good thing to be able to share more. Here are the links to the other parts so you can get the full effect: Part I, Part II.


I've thought about bringing back a podcast to discuss some of these topics as well and that has also been an "open item." I'll hopefully have more bandwidth to get to that now that this is done.


Please offer your comments and questions. I enjoy those and would like the forum to have an opportunity to address them as well. Enjoy!

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A Newbie’s guide to Navigating the Corporate Finance Environment

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Part III - Mobility within the Corporate Business World

Gents, so it’s time to drop my final data sheet on mobility in the Corporate Finance world from the relationship brokers of the candidate market in Finance and Accounting. I have been successfully serving the client base in my market for almost 4 years now as a relationship “guy.” The space that I operate in is commonly known as “recruiting.” I want to explain why it’s much more. That name somehow does not lend it the credibility it deserves and the value it entails. When I started my first datasheet (Part I), I was only 6 months into this role. That was about 3 years ago! I now have more perspective to offer from a different point of view that is a lot more developed.

Summary from Part I and II

Part I talked about the hiring process and how you can place yourself in the right place. Part II was more about how you navigate your existing job and build capital. Part III is different because I'm attacking it from a different perspective, MINE, as a career development coach and business development person in the space. That perspective can be important because you will see how myself and hiring managers see the market place and adjust yourself accordingly, especially through one of the most important tools out there, NETWORKING.

Why care about “brokers” or “recruiters? All they’re trying to do is make a quick buck by placing you, right? Most are, yes, but there are an elite few in every market that you need to get close to, and by doing so, get close to their relationships. Why? Because they build relationships with those that hire. It is what I do and how I make my daily bread. That networking I do is with top leaders that hire in our space; imagine getting access to that. Now, the caveat is that you likely only get into this circle if your value is high. On the other hand, if you’re a C or D player, it’s not going to work, as no Career Broker will want to waste his time with you. I’ve written about how to be an A player in the previous parts of the datasheets. Being an A player is not, however, enough in and of itself if you don’t use all avenues of networking available to you. An A player with horrible networking and blind loyalty to a shitty company is a B or C player in the view of the market.

So the purpose of this datasheet is to explain the process of how these Career Brokers assess value, how you can increase this value by getting along well with them, how to build your own value chain through networking as well as why and how to avoid the low value “cucks” of the professional finance world (e.g. HR).

Your Value Chain in the Market

Think about this. Until you step into a recruiter’s database as a finance or accounting candidate, your only value is determined by your college, your GPA and a prior employer’s references. Understand that these are limited indicators of your value. When compared to other candidates that more people have met and vouched for, yours will be pale.

Our firm (or any firm of similar presence to ours) has dedicated interviewers that meet candidates in person, face to face. This is where the value chain of a candidate begins (if not already with other face to face meetings), beyond the points mentioned above. The way candidates dress, the way they talk, how humble they are, and how confident they seem all starts being judged by us from this point on. We actually use a scale to determine if they are below average, average or above average. We likely come across only about 10% above average people, that we want in our network directly and our competitors also go after. Majority of the volume seems to be B and C players and the rest which also are about 10 – 20% appear to be D players and below. I believe that in the Permanent Search market (not consulting), there are more above average candidates whereas in the consulting market there are less. Depending on how sensitive and complex the skillsets are that could bump up and down 0 – 10% in that above average category.

Here are some professional tips:

• Do not try to show a recruiter how you are a game hero and should be treated well. You absolutely need to earn that. Just like over gaming women, it is easy here to label as a dick. Myself and my colleagues have a “red flag” board of these people.
• Do not become high maintenance to your recruiter or consulting practice, fucking ever. This can be done by calling them incessantly or expecting them to call you incessantly without building a relationship with them first.
• Do not forget to treat an interview with a recruiting firm or agency as a REAL interview. Remember this: in an interview directly with a hiring manager, you may only make yourself known to that hiring manager. However, in an interview with a recruiting firm, you are permanently memorializing your value across the industry like you wouldn’t believe.

For example, when an interview is complete, I may ask the recruiter, is the guy a douche (straight up), does the woman present well, and even how was he/she dressed. Most of all, how did the interviewee treat you? All very important.

Again, Douchebags’ names remain red flags in my head, as do crazy women and other freak shows.

Say then, that one day, I’m at a Private Happy hour for one of my large clients and they say that we need a person with x skillset. Gosh, I remember meeting people with x skillset or I know my recruiters did. Who will I refer? The ones that need a job or the ones that make me look good? Or is it both? Think about it.

How to increase your value by accessing (and holding) private connections and events

I personally hold private events for my largest clients. The only people that get invitations to these are high value people, typically A players. The B players can have access as well as long as they know they are B players and are cool to hang with. Remember, I’m trying to increase their value and also increasing mine in the process. I will also invite the cute girls from my marketing department to these events or other cute girls that work with me. They are good eye candy and keep everyone happy with their femininity. No, they do not give blow jobs to all attendees since those attending are already receiving those elsewhere.

I have held peer group roundtables inviting both hiring managers and candidates to them. By this, I’ll explain what I mean. Say there is a new process, regulation or guidance that the industry is adopting. I identify the people involved and tell them that we are getting together everyone we know that has these struggles, in order to share their challenges and best practices. At these events, I have both gotten burned by candidates and also placed business with hiring managers from those candidates. For example, one hiring manager remembered my consultant when there was a need and we had him assigned to that client for a project. It cost me very little to book a room and bring in bagels.

There are a very few individuals that hold happy hours themselves between their own group of peers. Typically, these are high value upwardly mobile people that are likely going places. One such individual I know, I will meet every quarter for drinks. Initially, it was just me, him and a few people on his team. Eventually, he invited me to meet a few others from his more extensive network that I now do business with. Very good return on investment, and I had fun. Another guy, I placed on a panel discussion that was broadcasted nationally. He has been extremely grateful and recently invited me to his next Vegas trip. Be these guys!

How do you do this? I will give you the most practical tip, since this is, after all, a data sheet. CALENDAR INVITATIONS. Most of you have outlook or some type of calendar tool in your personal email. Once you pick a time and get at least 2 – 3 people to agree to it, send them a calendar invitation to their email. Make sure they accept it. In the business world, this is how you secure meetings and events. If you are still sending emails and texts for a meeting one month out, the likelihood of cancellation is EXTREMELY HIGH. There are at least 3 “Happy Hour” invitations on my calendar every single quarter. Do this.

If I can compile statistics of how much business I have received, between coffee, lunch, golf and Happy Hours, guess what you will find? Happy hours, also known as “Cocktail hours” have given me the most bang for the buck.

Networking consistency and Leaving some Men (and Women) Behind

The purpose of this section is to help you understand how to assess your own value and corroborate it with others’ value in the business world. It may sound harsh but reality can be bitter.

You need to look good, act socially capable and be technically skilled in order to make it up the ladder, period. This doesn’t become untrue in certain professions, including Accounting and Finance. Accounting people are dealing with regulatory issues and Finance people are dealing with telling a good story. These require game and robust interaction with other professionals. The aspects I mentioned earlier are part of this game. If you don’t have it, don’t expect much from your career. Generally, the guys and girls that do not understand the social aspect of non-business game, do not make it to leadership positions in the western world. They may make it to mid-level, but I do not know a single person that has made it to the top above that.

The tactical question then becomes: How do you know who to build and keep a relationship with when you’re meeting so many people? I’ll explain simply. Value given has to at least be matched to value received in some way. The examples I provided of guys that invited others to a happy hour, etc. are adding value to me. That’s why I provide them consistent attention and value in return. Just like in game, certain women add value to you and others are just there to be sluts. Same exact thing.

There is another side to this, which is to know your own value. When I first got into this, and even still, I wonder why someone isn’t taking a meeting with me. Also, after having met them multiple times, I wonder what I did wrong to have them not give me any value, either in the form of business or otherwise. I assess this very closely by making my best attempt to assess their value against others in their peer group. Often, what I find are two sides of the spectrum. Either they have extremely high value, which I have yet to penetrate, OR they have extremely low value. Another words, it’s NOT MY FAULT. Nothing I did before can change this dynamic. No amount of value I add to low value players can increase their value. On the other hand, with high value players, my game can get better as I continue on this journey.

For example, I am known in this profession to provide quality consultants which often cost a little more BUT are priced competitively with the market (e.g. value). However, there are certain hiring managers that are cucked by their bosses against paying more than x amount and they fall into the trap of hiring a substandard individual. That individual, as I often find later, either fails to do a good job or actually fucks things up. So the low value hiring manager works harder to fix the fuck ups and further decreases his own value. He then also looks bad for hiring a low value person; now it's also his fuck up. Can I say LOW VALUE one more time? Laugh

Another basic example of low value people in our world are in the form of Human Resources (HR). Most companies use them for two different aspects, Talent Acquisition, Talent Management, and Compliance. They are the worst at Talent Acquisition and Talent Management, and worse on the acquisition part. The reason that people like me exist, is because they suck. It’s that simple. Many of them appear to be feminist power sluts that come into the Corporate world for a career and have no idea how to sell the company to a candidate. Recently, a hiring manager at a very large insurance broker in my area decided to hire my candidate. The HR “professional” rubbed him the wrong way throughout the process and tried to cover her tracks by telling the hiring manager that he was being disrespectful. Yours truly stepped in, got him a subsequent conversation with the hiring manager and smoothed it out. She just got in the way. The only practical tip is this: Avoid HR at all costs. Just be nice to them if they are the gate keepers. Get direct access to the hiring managers first either by yourself or through your recruiter. If you do not have that direct access, you will likely not get the job.

Executive Summary

I’m likely done with data sheets on the forum. Consider this a bittersweet farewell. My points in this sheet boil down to the understated aspect of a very important concept in our profession: NETWORKING. Your value does not go up in our profession without it, no matter how hard you try or how smart you are. The smartest people are still at their desks working whereas the most socially capable ones are playing golf and getting more business. One is increasing value significantly more than the other. I’ve given you some tips to increase your value. My advice: Be on the right side of this value spectrum!

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: 07-06-2018 02:21 PM by Cobra.)
07-06-2018 01:46 PM
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doc holliday Offline
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RE: A Newbie’s guide to Navigating the Corporate Finance Environment - Part III
Cobra, I have a question. Should I shave and shower before a meeting or is that overkill? (Seriously though, great datasheet)
07-07-2018 09:18 AM
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CleanSlate Offline
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RE: A Newbie’s guide to Navigating the Corporate Finance Environment - Part III
Cobra, this is a GREAT sheet. At first, I thought this wouldn’t apply to me since I have my own business.

Oh how wrong I was.

This forces me to think about networking in a different light. More specifically, how am I adding value for the people I meet? How will they add value for me? Is there potential for a mutual exchange?

I have done well with networking this year, and my business grew because of it, and I would encourage people to read this datasheet even if they’re not in corporate finance. It helps to focus one’s mind while networking and to drive toward a mutually beneficial exchange, whatever it could be.
07-10-2018 07:53 AM
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Cobra Offline
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RE: A Newbie’s guide to Navigating the Corporate Finance Environment - Part III
(07-07-2018 09:18 AM)doc holliday Wrote:  Cobra, I have a question. Should I shave and shower before a meeting or is that overkill? (Seriously though, great datasheet)

Shave, shower, trim nosehair and chest hair. Some guys have that bear sticking out.

Getting good sleep is also advised. Avoid kegstands or even alcohol the night before. Many candidates have yawned their way out of a job.

Hot women should dress the least slutty possible. There was a chick in the office in one of our other divisions. She had a nice ass but she got meetings because of slut factor not because anyone wanted to buy from her. I made her cry 3 times before she got fired. Don't worry, I'm not an asshole. I made her cry for other reasons than sluttiness.

Lastly, don't be aggressively arguing with a recruiter that is trying to help you. There are ways to ask questions without sounding like a total asshole. There was a candidate yesterday that was borderline, also competing against a candidate that was cordial and respectful. The client was torn between the two because they had great interviews. However, which one do you think I pushed across the finish line?

Long post but felt like responding meaningfully.

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
07-19-2018 07:02 PM
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Cobra Offline
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RE: A Newbie’s guide to Navigating the Corporate Finance Environment - Part III
(07-10-2018 07:53 AM)CleanSlate Wrote:  Cobra, this is a GREAT sheet. At first, I thought this wouldn’t apply to me since I have my own business.

Oh how wrong I was.

This forces me to think about networking in a different light. More specifically, how am I adding value for the people I meet? How will they add value for me? Is there potential for a mutual exchange?

I have done well with networking this year, and my business grew because of it, and I would encourage people to read this datasheet even if they’re not in corporate finance. It helps to focus one’s mind while networking and to drive toward a mutually beneficial exchange, whatever it could be.

Appreciate it CleanSlate! I have really enjoyed your data sheets as well.

Networking is excellent as long as you SOURCE your contacts. It's easy to just head over to an industry event and hope to meet people because of the nature of the event. However, I have a different technique.

I go on Linkedin. I have a license for Linkedin "Sales Navigator." It's a bit extra but it's much easier to manage leads and track them. I spend (or should spend) at least 2 hours a day sourcing contacts that are likely to buy from me based on a number of factors (your factors may be different from mine). I then list them and when I have a 2 hour time block, call them all. Same technique for networking. Source contacts that would benefit from the event; send them messages about it. Maybe meet them there. That 4 hours of up front planning and strategizing will de-risk your effort and reduce the sunk cost in case the events end up having low value people attend.

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
07-19-2018 07:08 PM
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RE: A Newbie’s guide to Navigating the Corporate Finance Environment - Part III
(07-19-2018 07:08 PM)Cobra Wrote:  I go on Linkedin. I have a license for Linkedin "Sales Navigator." It's a bit extra but it's much easier to manage leads and track them. I spend (or should spend) at least 2 hours a day sourcing contacts that are likely to buy from me based on a number of factors (your factors may be different from mine). I then list them and when I have a 2 hour time block, call them all. Same technique for networking. Source contacts that would benefit from the event; send them messages about it. Maybe meet them there. That 4 hours of up front planning and strategizing will de-risk your effort and reduce the sunk cost in case the events end up having low value people attend.

I'm curious that you don't have a data miner procure and do an initial qualifying call with these prospects so you have a pre-qualified list daily instead?
07-19-2018 08:54 PM
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RE: A Newbie’s guide to Navigating the Corporate Finance Environment - Part III
(07-19-2018 07:08 PM)Cobra Wrote:  Appreciate it CleanSlate! I have really enjoyed your data sheets as well.

Networking is excellent as long as you SOURCE your contacts. It's easy to just head over to an industry event and hope to meet people because of the nature of the event. However, I have a different technique.

I go on Linkedin. I have a license for Linkedin "Sales Navigator." It's a bit extra but it's much easier to manage leads and track them. I spend (or should spend) at least 2 hours a day sourcing contacts that are likely to buy from me based on a number of factors (your factors may be different from mine). I then list them and when I have a 2 hour time block, call them all. Same technique for networking. Source contacts that would benefit from the event; send them messages about it. Maybe meet them there. That 4 hours of up front planning and strategizing will de-risk your effort and reduce the sunk cost in case the events end up having low value people attend.

Very interesting. I've never used this technique before, but looking back on some of the events I went to this year, I realize now that some people have used the very same technique on me.

One guy messaged me on LinkedIn saying that he thought I'd be interested in so-and-so event, and I replied with "why yes, that looks interesting, I might go!" So I signed up and we met in person at the event.

I thought it was random, but now that I see this post, I realize that's exactly what he did. Smart.

I've never used Sales Navigator and I admit I don't like the price tag, but they do offer a 30 day free trial so I may try it if my work starts to dry up. I might subscribe to it for a couple months, then cancel it, then 6 months later, reinstate it for a month or two. That way I wouldn't have to pay for it when I don't really need it (during times when my plate is full).
07-19-2018 11:58 PM
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Cobra Offline
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RE: A Newbie’s guide to Navigating the Corporate Finance Environment - Part III
(07-19-2018 08:54 PM)KYT88 Wrote:  
(07-19-2018 07:08 PM)Cobra Wrote:  I go on Linkedin. I have a license for Linkedin "Sales Navigator." It's a bit extra but it's much easier to manage leads and track them. I spend (or should spend) at least 2 hours a day sourcing contacts that are likely to buy from me based on a number of factors (your factors may be different from mine). I then list them and when I have a 2 hour time block, call them all. Same technique for networking. Source contacts that would benefit from the event; send them messages about it. Maybe meet them there. That 4 hours of up front planning and strategizing will de-risk your effort and reduce the sunk cost in case the events end up having low value people attend.

I'm curious that you don't have a data miner procure and do an initial qualifying call with these prospects so you have a pre-qualified list daily instead?

This technique is generally effective for simple product sales but not complex sales. For example, I don't sell anything unless that customer calls me first with a need or I happen to catch them based on a prior conversation where I uncovered a future project. I have to feel out each customer over time as needs develop. For example, a company which does not have a need this year may acquire a business next year which creates new needs. In other words, these sales are a moving target and they are developed by building relationships with the right people as well as keeping an eye on the market. Without that established relationship or specific knowledge, people don't buy the service.

Hence, eliminating or considering prospects from a mere qualifying call can be too detrimental to long term potential as there are many variables to consider over time that a black and white qualification will not be able 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
07-31-2018 03:22 PM
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