Archive for September, 2009

The most common career mistake most young employees make

Career, Corporate finance

This is the first post in a series called “Managing your career – an introductory series“. The main audience I have in mind are analyst-level employees in corporate finance, but I think many parts can be applied more generally to anyone working in US corporations these days.

I work with a lot of people who are in their first corporate job after college, and I’ve been there myself as well. The most common expectation I’ve heard from them is that someone will manage their career for them, and they look to their manager and leaders in their group to do so.

While it’s true that truly great managers will look out for opportunities for you and push roadblocks away to give recognition to employees who deserve them, the sad truth is that in most corporations, there are usually very few leaders of this sort, and the corporate system makes it extremely difficult for exceptions to be made.

So, how do you go about managing your career?

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It’s a big jump from real estate theory to real estate practice…especially in the Bay Area

Housing, Personal finance

Last week, we made our first actual bid on a house, and boy, was it a roller-coaster ride. Up until then, we had been browsing and MLS listings, looking at open houses in the area and not really seeing anything we liked or that was remotely within our price range.

Then we happened across a house in a neighborhood we hadn’t been considering. It was as close to what we were ideally looking for as we had seen, and it didn’t need any obvious changes or upgrades. Believe it or not, that’s rare on the . For readers who are unfamiliar with Bay Area housing, you just have to trust me on this one. It’s been a shock to understand just what sort of housing inventory and pricing there is around here, even in a “down economy”.

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Managing your career – an introductory series

Career, Corporate finance

Thank god the long weekend is here. There have been a lot of changes at my work in recent months. Reorgs seem to beget reorgs, and my finance team this week found itself in the midst of an unexpected leadership change in the group we support.

Although sudden and unexpected job changes reinforce the need, no matter your work situation keeping tabs on opportunities and actively managing your career these days is essential and wise practice.

After all, what you really want are a few options when your hand is forced. Even if you don’t lose your job, being able to have a choice in your next move is freedom worth striving for.

This week, I realized that many of my teammates are younger than me, have less experience, and could use some guidance on career management, so I’ve set up some one-on-one meetings with them. Over the next few weeks, I’ll post steps and tips I’ve learned along the way on this site as well.

‘Til then, though, enjoy the long Labor Day weekend, an apropos way to kick off a series on this topic!