Career Coach


Life Lessons from an Unexpected Source

UntitledThe week after Thanksgiving, feeling remorseful after all the gluttony that ensued over the holiday weekend, I decided to drag myself to my favorite spin class. I expected to feel energized and accomplished from a nice, intense workout, but I didn’t expect that I would also come away reminded of some of life’s most important lessons.

Jogging on that bike jogged my memory of four key life lessons!

Continue reading "Life Lessons from an Unexpected Source" »


Warning! Don’t make these interview mistakes

So you landed a fantastic interview opportunity, and now you need to seal the deal to get the job offer. Whether you are interviewing at a bank, asset manager, hedge fund or any other type of financial institution, it’s hard to predict the type of interview you will have. 

As an executive and career coach, I work with many clients on preparing them for high-stakes interviews. Having interviewed several hundreds of finance professionals throughout my career either as a coach or, formerly, as a fixed income sales professional at investment banks, I have started to notice the following patterns. These three behaviors are surprisingly common and detrimental to your success:

Thinking that if it’s on your resume you don’t need to mention it

I can’t tell you how frequently I hear, “It’s on my resume, so I figured I don’t need to say it again.” Your resume on average will have about 400 words. I can guarantee that even if your interviewer was thorough when reviewing your resume, they paid attention to no more than 100 of those words. Don’t let your resume jewels fade into the background. Make sure you have a method for bringing them to the forefront during your interview. Preparing and practicing your stories with a mock interview is a great idea! 

Not engaging in casual banter with your interviewer

What is it about interviews that make people throw their awesome personality out the window? Think about it. If you were interviewing someone, would you prefer to hire a robot with no personality or a charismatic and engaging person with whom you share common interests? We spend more time with our colleagues than we do with our family and friends. Your interviewer is trying to figure out if you would fit the culture of the firm and if you would be fun to sit next to on a plane for six hours. Next time you are asked “What do you like to do for fun?” don’t over think the answer and let your personality shine through. Also, if at the mention of tennis, your interviewer starts to talk about his high school tennis years, indulge him. Don’t worry that your interviewer isn’t peppering you with technical questions, instead see this as a bonding opportunity. The more shared interests you and your interviewer have, the greater your chances of getting hired!

Not asking the interviewer about themselves

Most people are quite selfish in their interviews.

“I did this…”

“My background is this...”

“My weaknesses/strengths are these…” 

Yes, the interview is a meeting where the sole agenda is for you to talk about yourself. However, if you want to land this job, you will make your interviewer feel that he/she is the interesting one.  Most interviews end with the dreaded question of “Do you have any questions for me?” This question is the interviewer’s chance to shine after having to listen to you for 30-60 minutes. Don’t disappoint them with generic questions such as,

“What are the next steps?”

“What is the culture here?” or

“Tell me about the needs of role for which I am interviewing.”

Instead, I encourage you to ask a question directed at the interviewer and about the interviewer. Here are some examples: 

“What are some of your favorite projects you have worked on here?”

“What has been your path at the firm and prior?”

People love to talk about themselves. As Dale Carnegie teaches us, by encouraging others to talk about themselves, we are ultimately getting them to like us more. And isn’t that the point of your interview?

-Helen Dayen is the founder and CEO of Dayen Group. She is a career development & communication coach.

NYSSA is proud to announce that we are launching a new interview prep coaching package in collaboration with the Dayen Group - an executive coaching company focused on the financial services industry. Please click here to explore our coaching packages and schedule a mock interview appointment.


Shocker! When you self-promote you actually help others

As a career coach, I work with clients who are top professionals in their fields. Despite their accomplishments and the desire to have more visibility in their careers, many struggle with self-promotion and self-advocacy. They come to me hoping to learn to articulate their value proposition and accomplishments to key stakeholders (i.e. managers, prospective employers, clients) without being perceived as boastful or bragging. 

The shocking thing is that most of my clients are confident individuals yet they get stuck when it comes to talking about themselves. Shying away from self-promotion prevents them from getting assigned to desirable projects, obtaining greater responsibility, and earning more money.

Continue reading "Shocker! When you self-promote you actually help others" »


Interviewing Tips

Ok, your resume and cover letter have gotten your foot into the door – exactly what they are supposed to be used for. As for getting the job – well that's entirely up to what happens during the interview.

Do your research! And be prepared.

Prior to the interview, you need to do research on the organization and the position your are interviewing for. Only by doing your research can you ask and respond to questions in an intelligent and informed manner. The research will also allow you to assess how you “fit” with your potential employer.

Continue reading "Interviewing Tips" »


Cover Letter Tips

Screen Shot 2015-06-16 at 4.08.10 PM
The cover letter is probably the most underrated component of the job search. If written well, it can pique the curiosity of the employer and motivate him/her to carefully read your resume. If written poorly, the resume may never get read.

Basic Tips

  1. Write to a specific individual - never Dear Sir or Madam.
  2. Tailor your letters - don't mass produce them.
  3. Keep it brief - 3 or 4 SHORT paragraphs will suffice.
  4. Make sure to use terminology that is not too technical - this might come off as arrogant and demonstrates insensitivity to the audience.
  5. Use paper and print which match your resume. Use the same header.

Continue reading "Cover Letter Tips" »


Résumé Tips

WallStreetTrainingThis page is intended to serve as a reference for corporate related information, stressing the necessary preparations before the job hunt. This page is NOT intended to teach you how to find a job or where to look for a job. This page has been built with two assumptions in mind. Please keep them in mind as you read this page:

  1. The audience has a clear idea of the type of job they want
  2. The audience is aware of the skills that they possess, but would like tips on how to communicate this across in the job search.
Resume Rule: Never Lie
That's right – never lie on your resume. This cannot be stressed enough. It's the easiest way to lose an interview and is sufficient grounds for dismissal once on the job.

Continue reading "Résumé Tips" »


Beware! These Toxic Thoughts are Success Killers

No matter who you are or what you do I am willing to bet that if you are having any of these thoughts below, then you are holding yourself back from achieving great success. As an executive coach, I am fortunate to work with and get into the brilliant minds of the brightest and most successful executives on Wall Street and beyond. Like the rest of us, my clients have insecurities that we work on recognizing and banishing from their minds. Here is the list of thoughts that are surprisingly common and are the greatest offenders to our success.

Beware of these toxic thoughts.

Continue reading "Beware! These Toxic Thoughts are Success Killers" »


Four Ways to Follow up without Being a Nag!

No matter who you are and what you do, your success relies on your ability to effectively follow up with people. Do you dread having to follow up and make up excuses to avoid doing it? It’s time to stop!

If you are a salesperson in the midst of a deal – you have to follow up in order to close the deal. 

If you are looking for a new job you have to follow up to stay relevant and top of mind to the potential employers.

If your work requires you to collaborate with others in or outside your team – follow up is just part of the game.

Continue reading "Four Ways to Follow up without Being a Nag!" »


NYSSA TV™: Executive Presence

How would you rate your executive presence? You may not think about how others perceive you, but each encounter can make a lasting impact on every individual you meet. 

Your presence is both visual and audible. Eye contact, a firm handshake, and a warm smile are important, but what about your conversation style? For some, their chosen style is overly assertive - which can be inferred as agression; or about being heard - which may be interpreted as interrupting others. Here, Expert Executive Coach Nina Fiddian-Green shares strategies that can help you build and develop executive presence to help you succeed in your career transition or development.


Young, Fabulous, and Unemployed: Strategies for Survival, Part I

The graduation-party balloons are drooping, and so are your spirits. If you are among the thousands of recent college grads who haven’t landed a job yet, take heart. No, you did not waste time going to college. Research shows that, in the long run, more education translates to higher income.

And, yes, today’s job market is merciless and frustrating. Employers require on-the-job experience, but how are you going to get that experience if they won’t hire you? Plus, summer is here. Companies both large and small postpone hiring decisions from about mid-May until after Labor Day. Hiring managers take vacations. And as hard as it is for us Type-A Americans to admit it, business slows down a bit when the weather gets warmer and the days longer.

Continue reading "Young, Fabulous, and Unemployed: Strategies for Survival, Part I" »


Tips for Telling Your Story

Whether you’re launching a job search, lobbying for a promotion, taking over as the new team leader, or bonding with colleagues and customers, you may want to tell your story. Doing so builds people’s trust in you.    

The ability to tell your story is vital in your life, both personally and professionally. Below are tips to help you tell your story in today’s business world.

Continue reading "Tips for Telling Your Story" »


Smart Career Move: Recruiting Your Personal Board of Advisors

If you’re serious about managing your own career, you already know that no one can do it for you. As the saying goes, YOYO: You’re on your own.

Yes, rugged individualism can be wonderful, but it’s not appropriate when it comes to navigating the 21st century job market. What you need, instead, is an informal board of advisors who will personally give you insights and perspectives regarding your long-term strategy as well as your next career move.

Who are these people? What they have in common: They’re all people you know and like and trust. Like any truly effective advisory board, collectively, their knowledge is broad and diverse. Here are some tips for recognizing the people in your life who you want on your personal board of advisors:

Continue reading "Smart Career Move: Recruiting Your Personal Board of Advisors" »


My Big Newsletter Mistake’s Lesson for You

When’s the best day and time to send your e-newsletters? My January mistake upset my beliefs about this topic.

Continue reading "My Big Newsletter Mistake’s Lesson for You" »


Writing Investment Research Reports: Elements of Style

The security analyst profession is changing, and that's because your clients' needs are changing. Clients today are more demanding than ever. They want useful information, and they want it now. They want your report's recommendations in a clear, concise, and compelling style. They want information that's logically presented and easy to understand.

Continue reading "Writing Investment Research Reports: Elements of Style" »


Thinking Globally: Your Career Advantage

Looking at the big picture is imperative these days, both in our personal lives and in our careers.  But, too often, juggling the myriad of responsibilities of our daily lives—including racing to meet work deadlines—obstructs our view.    

A focus that's too narrow is dangerous to our personal happiness, in terms of missed opportunities or wrong turns.  And it’s a career killer. Not seeing the big picture can lull us into staying in a dead-end job, getting hired by a company that's unethical, or land us in a dying industry.    

All organizations today need people who think and work globally.   

Continue reading "Thinking Globally: Your Career Advantage" »


"You're Hired!" Now What?

Congratulations on your new job.  Your skills, experience and credentials have brought you success in your job hunt.  Enjoy your triumph.  Take your victory lap. 

And get busy.  

Continue reading ""You're Hired!" Now What? " »


"You're Fired!" Now What? Survival Strategies

Chances, are, you saw it coming.  You no longer have a job.  Technology, globalization, and fierce competition have created a tough job market. Downsizing. Re-aligning. Right sizing. Regardless of the cold corporate rhetoric, to protect yourself you must have an action plan.

Here are survival strategies to help put you back in charge of your career.

Continue reading ""You're Fired!" Now What? Survival Strategies" »


Leaders (Desperately) Wanted: Bad Bosses Need Not Apply

People today don't trust banks, Wall Street, or government. We need men and women with the leadership skills necessary to fill the leadership vacuum of our times. 

Many bosses think they're leaders. But they're wrong. They're merely bad bosses.

Continue reading "Leaders (Desperately) Wanted: Bad Bosses Need Not Apply" »


The Keys to Writing: Investment Research Reports That Stick

If you want to enhance your reputation as an analyst, your aim is to write reports that stick, that is, reports that your clients will remember.

Face it: Today's multi-tasking readers are busy, sleep deprived, distracted, and—most likely—reading your report on a mobile device while rushing to the next meeting.

Continue reading "The Keys to Writing: Investment Research Reports That Stick" »


Five Top Career Resolutions for the New Year

Five Top Career Resolutions for the New Year

 Now's the time of year when savvy financial professionals take stock of their careers and create a strategy for professional growth and prosperity in the new year.  Here are smart tactics to ensure you enjoy the career you deserve.

Continue reading "Five Top Career Resolutions for the New Year" »


What Do Hiring Managers Want?

You’ve been invited to interview for a job. Congratulations! Take a moment to savor this small victory. No matter how well the stock market indices have come up from their crisis lows, it’s still a challenging job in itself to find a good job on Wall Street. In this article I am going to ask that you put aside the jobseeking mindset and concentrate on the interviewer’s perspective. We are going to examine what an interviewer needs (to feel) from you before extending you a job offer.

Continue reading "What Do Hiring Managers Want?" »


Video: Similarity as a Tool of Influence in the Workplace

According to Executive Coach Alisa Cohn, there are six major tools to gain influence: likability, similarity, reciprocity, social proof, scarcity, and authority. In this video, Cohn discusses the first point: likeability. Simply put, by establishing similarities or commonground one can gain influence in the workplace.

On finding similarities:

  • Our minds are programmed to sort out "friend" or "foe." In a corporate environment, this means that we naturally seek out like-minded people.
  • A proactive way to find similarities is through small talk. Think of it as a business way to "grease the skids" or establish rapport before starting something.
  • Initially, try to avoid bringing attention to dissimilarity, as this can create a wedge that hinders establishing similarity.
  • When people are in sync, they unconsciously mirror mannerisms and pace. This can be used to create a level of comfort.


Career Coach: Job Search Success for the Finance Professional (Part 2)


In my last column, I introduced a few key ideas to consider when you either find yourself in job search or have been in search for a while.  My intention now is to build upon the ideas presented and to encourage you to understand how to apply this knowledge—selectively and productively—to your own unique situation.

Below are five additional recommendations that have worked for numerous clients over many, many years.  These basic principles will serve as a platform for future columns and allow us to focus on a more in-depth basis on industry specific job search and career matters.

Continue reading "Career Coach: Job Search Success for the Finance Professional (Part 2)" »


Career Coach: Job Search Success for the Finance Professional (Part 1)

CareerCoachFor many highly skilled finance professionals who are unemployed—notably CFA charterholders and those diligently working toward the designation—job search may feel like a never ending process. Over time, it is inevitable that questions will arise and confidence begins to wane: “Who is going to hire me? Will they want someone younger or cheaper? Is my experience growing stale?” The longer the period of involuntary unemployment, the more overwhelming these feelings have the potential to become. And as the job search lengthens, traditional search techniques seem less effective, too.

Continue reading "Career Coach: Job Search Success for the Finance Professional (Part 1)" »


Kaplan Schweser

Kaplan Schweser offers resources, discounts, and scholarships to university students and faculty through their University Partnership Program.


Find NYSSA on Facebook

Follow NYSSAorg on Twitter

Join NYSSA Group

Visit NYSSA on Google Plus

conference rentals


NYSSA Job Center Search Results

To sign up for the jobs feed, click here.


NYSSA Market Forecast™: Investing In Turbulent Times
January 7, 2016

Join NYSSA to enjoy free member events and other benefits. You don't need to be a CFA charterholder to join!


CFA® Level I 4-Day Boot Camp

Thursday November 12, 2015
Instructor: O. Nathan Ronen, CFA

CFA® Level II Weekly Review - Session A Monday

Monday January 11, 2016
Instructor: O. Nathan Ronen, CFA

CFA® Level III Weekly Review - Session A Wednesday

Wednesday January 13, 2016
Instructor: O. Nathan Ronen, CFA

CFA® Level III Weekly Review - Session B Thursday
Thursday January 21, 2016
Instructor: O. Nathan Ronen, CFA

CFA® Level II Weekly Review - Session B Tuesday
Thursday January 26, 2016
Instructor: O. Nathan Ronen, CFA