October 27, 2021
I have finished the final draft of my next book, Never Search Alone, which is on the mid-career job search, but I do *not* recommend that you buy it.
Let me explain.
I have a contrarian point-of-view on this topic.
I think most people should *stay* in their current roles.
I know we are in the midst of the so-called “Great Resignation”, but I see too many people making too-quick decisions to leave and get a new job.
In the last few months alone, my team and I have helped *many* CG Council members stay and get promoted/be more effective (their bosses should send us chocolates and roses – or a big retention bonus 😉
- A VP of Product
They wanted to potentially leave their larger company and join a startup. Fair enough. We assembled three startup CPOs and convened a Peer Coaching Call. Within minutes of beginning the conversation, several things became obvious: 1) he was doing work he liked and had a great budget to build new AI products he was excited about; 2) he liked his boss; and 3) he liked his relative work-life balance. The startup CEOs assured him the grass was NOT greener on the other side and by the end he realized the startup world was not for him. He was simply feeling FOMO but it did not correlate to the reality of his life. He’s now content and more focused (and got promoted to boot!).
- A Director of Product
This member had a bad conversation with a peer and wanted to leave. She was fed up. She and I had a good 1:1 coaching call where I probed what happened and introduced her to the power of “positive politics.” Most importantly, I suggested she ask her boss for the long-promised promotion, which she did and weeks later it came through. Now she’s energized.
Having said all of this, there are some leaders who have been fired, or have left their jobs, or definitely want to or need to leave.
For those, Never Search Alone is powerful.
Over the last 5 years as I was writing the book, more than 200 mid-career leaders used it to find great jobs and negotiate more money and support – $15 million more in salary this year alone.
Core to my method is discovering what I call your “candidate-market fit” – the intersection between what you want and what the market wants. This means doing discovery work on yourself (you are the “product” after all). That is hard to do, which is one reason I strongly suggest readers form “Job Search Councils” (JSCs) made up of peer job seekers who come together to support each other every step of the way.
I don’t have an official pre-order page up yet for Never Search Alone, but if you’d like to be on the pre-order list, just reply and I’ll add you (current plan is to have Never Search Alone out in January 2022 – more on that soon).
Final note: If you are struggling in your current job, and you are a CG Council member, then get in touch.
Let us help you figure out what to do beginning with how you might stay and be more effective (and less burnt out).
P.S. I have not only tested this book with mid-career leaders but also with college students, folks in their late 20s or early 30s, and those nearing retirement age.
- The Hows and Whys of Hybrid Work – Thu, Nov 11 @4pm ET
Jaime Teevan, Chief Scientist for Microsoft’s Experiences and Devices
with moderator Ron Pessner, Vice President of Product Microsoft Office
To register: Click here to email Britany Chism (register your teams to join too!)
Jaime Teevan, Chief Scientist for Microsoft’s Experiences and Devices, is charged with creating the future of productivity at Microsoft and for its customers. As part of that effort, she helps lead the New Future of Work: the largest research initiative in Microsoft’s history with hundreds of researchers from across Microsoft, LinkedIn, and GitHub. Their task is simple (and very hard): make this new future of work – in office, remote, and especially hybrid – possible and productive. Jaime Teevan, and moderator Ron Pessner, will provide an overview of what Microsoft has learned and will offer tips for effective and inclusive hybrid work.
Jaime Teevan is Chief Scientist for Microsoft’s Experiences and Devices, where she is responsible for driving research-backed innovation in the company’s core products. Previously she was the Technical Advisor to Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella and a Principal Researcher at Microsoft Research, where she led the Productivity team. Dr. Teevan uses AI to help people accomplish their goals, developing the first personalized search algorithm used by Bing and introducing microproductivity into Office. Her groundbreaking research has earned her numerous awards, including the Technology Review TR35 Young Innovator and Karen Spärck Jones awards. She holds a Ph.D. from MIT and a B.S. from Yale, and is an affiliate professor at the University of Washington.
Ron Pessner, a longtime CG Councils member, is in charge of collaboration across the Microsoft 365 collaboration suite (th that span across Word, Excel, PPT, etc). He has spent 18 years at Microsoft and has done a number of things including GM for Games for Windows, senior role at Xbox, led Windows 10 for Window Phone, and multiple roles in the Office organization. Prior to Microsoft he worked with a number of startups in the early days of the web and mobile internet.
First Two Fall Keynotes
- Heartwood: The Art of Living With the End in Mind
Barbara Becker, Author
To access recording (Council members only): Click here to email Britany Chism
For our second Fall Meeting keynote, Barbara Becker, author of Heartwood invites us into a conversation about the art of living.Members of our Councils are facing difficult life moments now, as they have in the past and as we each will in the future. With this talk we help to further deepen the trust and safe space needed for members to be vulnerable, to find support and connection, and, of course, to ask for help throughout the meetings and beyond.We also hope to reveal, for your own reflection, the individuals and events in your life that shaped who you have become as a person. In work, and in our daily lives, we aren’t often granted the opportunity to name and to process the people we love, the challenges we face, and the difficulties that become part of us – that become our own Heartwood.Bio:
Barbara Becker is an ordained interfaith minister and has sat with hundreds of people at the end of their lives. Barbara speaks on a wide range of topics, including deepening our sense of meaning and spirituality and mid-career pivots. She has dedicated more than twenty-five years to partnering with human-rights advocates around the world in pursuit of peace and interreligious understanding. She has worked with the United Nations, Human Rights First, the Ms. Foundation for Women, the Grameen Bank of Bangladesh, and teaches at Columbia University.
- The What & Why of Continuous Discovery
Teresa Torres, Author, Speaker, and Product Discovery Coach
Most product teams are starting to adopt discovery best practices (e.g. interviewing customers, usability testing, experimenting). However, many of us are still stuck in a project world. We do research to kick off a project, we usability test right before we hand off to engineers, and our primary means for experimenting is a/b testing. These methods are better than nothing, but the best product teams are shifting from a project mindset to a continuous mindset. In this talk, we’ll explore the key differences between project-based discovery and continuous discovery and give your team a clear benchmark to aspire to.
Bio: Teresa Torres is an internationally acclaimed author, speaker, coach, and longtime friend of the Councils (she was a moderator of one of our Product Councils at one point). She’s coached hundreds of teams at companies of all sizes, from early-stage start-ups to global enterprises, in a variety of industries and has taught more than 7,000 through her Product Talk Academy. She’s the author of the recently published book, Continuous Discovery Habits, and blogs at ProductTalk.org.\
Previous 2021 Talks
- Clubhouse and the Audio Revolution (not recorded)
Jonathan Ehrlich, Partner, Foundation Capital
Two things to know about Jonathan Ehrlich:
1) he co-led the seed round in Clubhouse and was thus the first venture capitalist to spot its potential;
2) he’s a Councils alum with an interesting career arc.We held an informal conversation with Jonathan about Clubhouse, the future of audio, and Jonathan’s career journey from a mostly offline retailer in Canada to relocating to Silicon Valley and reinventing himself.
Jonathan Ehrlich is a Partner at Foundation Capital who invests in early early-stage consumer, marketplace, commerce, and SaaS startups and technologies. He joined Foundation Capital in 2013 as a partner after spending nine months with the firm as an entrepreneur-in-residence. Before joining Foundation Capital, Jonathan spent 17 years as an operator during which he founded three companies, built a $100M+ revenue business, and ran marketing for Facebook. He is the first institutional investor in Clubhouse and currently sits on the board of Bulletin and Chord. His Foundation and personal investments include Shelf Engine, Mainstreet, Truepill, Hooked, WayUp, League, Front, and Flexport. When not working, he can be found on his bike or chasing his four kids around.
- JTBD in Large Distributed Environments
Jay Haynes, Founder & CEO, thrv.com
Jobs To Be Done has proven to be an effective methodology for building much better holistic end-to-end products and customer experiences.
*But* CG Council member companies with large distributed environments are finding it difficult to apply JTBD in effective ways.
Jay Haynes, CEO of thrv, and a global expert on JTBD will come and speak to the Councils community on this specific challenge of using the methodology in large, complex technology environments.
- Groundwork: Get Better at Making Better Products
Vidya Dinamani and Heather Samarin, co-Authors of Groundwork
Product leaders are all too familiar with the one to two-year period it typically takes to train and coach PMs. Product leaders hire smart people and then work with them individually, guiding them through how to think about product management, and watching them develop. Vidya Dinamani and Heather Samarin wanted a much faster way to help cultivate efficient and effective product managers that consistently create products that delight customers, regardless of the industry, the environment, and the development methodology that the team employed. They took years of experience as product executives and working with hundreds of teams as product coaches to create a framework to Get Better at Making Better Products.
The design philosophy and methodology behind Groundwork was created to help product leaders be confident that their teams were committed to solving the right customer problems, minimizing costly rework by using individualized needs, and leveraging actionable personas in big and small product decisions. Vidya and Heather want Groundwork to help product teams have a much higher chance of success in the market—and help every product manager shine.
Join Vidya and Heather as they share the background, principles, and methodology behind the Groundwork to help you, and your team, get better at making better products.
- Making the Case for Empowering Your People
Marty Cagan, Partner, Silicon Valley Product Group
Talk Type: Product, Leadership Development, Culture
Audience/Roles: All Roles
From Marty: “I have long been interested in the difference between how the best companies work, and the rest. Working with both types of organizations for so many years, there are many differences ranging from culture to process to staffing to roles to techniques. But at its core, strong product companies empower their people, and most of the rest do not. My focus over the past few years has been tackling this issue head-on, which means the product leadership. In this talk, we’ll discuss why this model consistently yields better results, and what’s necessary to transform to work like the best.”
Marty’s Bio: Marty Cagan is the founding partner of the Silicon Valley Product Group, which he created to pursue his interests in helping others create successful products through his writing, speaking, advising and coaching. Before starting SVPG, Marty served as an executive responsible for defining and building products for some of the most successful companies in the world, including Hewlett-Packard, Netscape Communications, and eBay.As part of his work with SVPG, Marty advises tech companies of all sizes and stages, stretching far beyond Silicon Valley. Marty is the author of the industry-leading book for product teams, INSPIRED: How To Create Tech Products Customers Love, and the upcoming book EMPOWERED: Ordinary People, Extraordinary Products. Marty is an invited speaker at major conferences and top companies across the globe.
- See talks from the last month and beyond here.