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Class of 2015 Is Summa Cum Lucky in the Job Market

Josh Zumbrun | The Wall Street Journal

May 28, 2015


Adam Quade worried his younger sister would have the same trouble he had landing a job after college. He started looking his senior year and by graduation in 2010 he had been rejected by more than a dozen companies.


Mr. Quade, age 27, who studied biology at Saint John’s University, a liberal arts school in Collegeville, Minn., said he was stressed out, nervous and scared until finally he was hired by a dental sales company in Des Moines, Iowa. He didn’t want to move to another state but counted himself lucky.

We Asked An Expert To Help Us With Our Post-Graduation Job Search Angst


Rachel Paoletta | MTV News

May 27, 2015


Class of 2015, are you already feeling the post-graduation angst? I know the struggle can be real. Thankfully, James Citrin, CEO of Spencer Stuart, a consulting firm, shared some of his insight with MTV News. He does know a thing or two about careers — I mean, he literally wrote the book on it, titled “The Career Playbook.”


“Here’s the thing with jobs,” Jim told us, “You want it all and, actually, the good news is you can have it all. The bad news is you can’t all have it at once. I call it the career triangle.” 

How to Know What Career Phase You’re In

If you don't know, you should really read this.


James M. Citrin |

May 12, 2015


Your value to your employer changes following a pattern strikingly similar to how physicists describe the properties of energy. They refer to potential energy – energy at rest, and kinetic energy – energy in motion. Careers follow similar patterns.


As you prepare to enter the workforce you are building up your store of potential value – the value you will be able to add in the future based on exercising your intellectual and interpersonal energies, applying your education and academic achievements, bringing your enthusiasm, work ethic, and energy to an organization. As you land your first few jobs and begin to gain experience, this potential is translated into momentum, as you become increasingly more valuable based on your professional expertise, reputation, and track record. Picture a kid on a swing, kicking his legs and causing him to swing higher and higher. That is how your career takes off. You launch your career with the scale registering heavy on potential, and light on experience. 

Unemployed? Swell! 4 Surefire Ways to Stay That Way

James M. Citrin | Biographile

May 15, 2015


It’s graduation season again and all those newly minted college graduates will start looking for jobs. There has been a lot written about how to get a job, the planning, the resume writing, the meetings to take, the consideration of what you want to do with your life as you "follow your passion!" It is also true that the job market, especially for the great jobs that are highly desired, is fiercely competitive.


But what about the people who don’t want to get a job? What are the best ways to avoid getting hired? I’m not talking about those intrepid iconoclasts that walk to their own drumbeat and want to find themselves in a far away land, or those focused on starting their own company. This is for the deadbeat that wants to ensure that they continue to live at home with their parents and don’t have to do anything. For this group of tepid individuals I offer the following.

What Parents Should Tell Their Kids About Finding a Career

James M. Citrin | Harvard Business Review

May 20, 2015


“After board dinners, we inevitably sit around and talk about our kids and their careers,” Dave Calhoun recently told me. “Frankly, we’re often at a loss with how to help them.” If someone with Calhoun’s experience has trouble with this – he’s chairman of Nielsen’s board, sits on boards of Boeing and Caterpillar, and is on the management committee at Blackstone – I know he can’t be alone.


The truth is, it’s difficult to advise kids about how careers really work today and how to get any job, much less a great job. All parents love their kids and want to set them up for a life of self-sufficiency, meaning, and happiness. But at the same time, your advice may be heavily discounted – the world has changed since you were job-hunting as a new grad, and your kid may not see that you realize that. Moreover, whether you intend it or not, chances are your kids will perceive that you expect them to surpass your own success, which can make even the most well-intentioned conversation feel fraught.

[VIDEO] Here’s everything you need to know to nail that job interview


Gil Kaufman |

May 5, 2015


It’s more nerve-wracking than a first date, your French AP final or hitting that clutch free throw in the playoffs: the big job interview. You know (okay you think) you’re qualified, the gig sounds awesome and there’s no way they’ll find someone better than you to fill the position.


But then there’s, you know, the actual sitting across from your potential boss and not sounding like a mess when he or she asks you what your strengths are. “I’m decisive?”


But there’s hope for you in the form of MTV’s latest “Rock Your Brain” video, “Nail That Interview.” Sit back, relax and take a few notes as expert James Citrin, author of “The Career Playbook,” walks you through the process and offers some seriously helpful tips on locking it down.

[VIDEO] Job seeking engineer asks Zenefits vs. Uber

Video | CNBC

May 8, 2015


Discussing one engineer's decision to publicly ask for career advice, with Dan Schawbel, Millennial Branding Gen Y research firm, and Jim Citrin, Spencer Stuart.

Jim Citrin to Host "Career Playbook Radio," New Career Show for Millennials, Young Professionals, and Parents of Recent College Grads, Exclusively on SiriusXM

Press Release | PRNewswire

May 11, 2015


NEW YORK, May 11, 2015 /PRNewswire/ -- SiriusXM today announced the launch of "Career Playbook Radio," an all-new career advice show hosted by Jim Citrin, partner at executive search firm Spencer Stuart and best-selling author on leadership and career success. "Career Playbook Radio" is focused on giving millennials, young professionals, and parents of recent college grads expert insight into getting a great job and laying the foundation for a successful career.


"Career Playbook Radio" will be a weekly conversation with top executives, industry veterans, and thought leaders sharing their personal experience and knowledge with aspiring young professionals who are seeking to carve out a distinctive place with their careers in the first decade after graduation.

Career Tips for the Class of 2015


Caroline Dowd-Higgins | Huffington Post

May 4, 2015


It's graduation season and close to two million millennials will earn a college degree this year. That means the Class of 2015 is seeking jobs in full force. The good news is that the NACE Job Outlook Survey indicates that employers expect to hire more new college graduates this year than they did in 2014. For millennial aged graduates entering the career world, you must be armed with tools and strategies to distinguish yourselves from the pack.


As you begin your career journey Class of 2015, I share these tips to help you find your way in the world-of-work so you can thrive.

[VIDEO] The Today Show: How grads can stand out in today's job market

Video | The Today Show

May 15, 2015


Jim Citrin, author of "The Career Playbook," offers advice to recent college graduates and others who new to the job market, saying that networking is key to landing a position.

[VIDEO] Look for Resume Overload: Class of 2015 Graduates

Video | Bloomberg Business

May 20, 2015


Spencer Stuart CEO James Citrin discusses employment opportunities for the graduating class of 2015. He speaks on “Market Makers.” (Source: Bloomberg)

[VIDEO] Why you should NOT follow your passion


Video | LinkedIn Pulse

May 5, 2015


It's the career advice we've been told over and over again: Just follow your passion, and success will follow. Too bad it's wrong. One of the world's top recruiters, Jim Citrin, explains the real formula for building a career today as part of a discussion tied to his new book, "The Career Playbook: Essential Advice for Today’s Aspiring Young Professional."

[PODCAST] Jim Citrin on the Beaks & Geeks podcast series


Podcast | Beaks & Geeks

May 12, 2015


James M. Citrin sits down with Amy to discuss his new book, The Career Playbook. They discuss how to get an interview, how to improve your chances of getting a job with a humanities background, and much more:

This Career Strategy Is the Closest Thing There Is to Guaranteed Success
Hint: It's not all about you.

James M. Citrin |

April 28, 2015


If there is a single piece of advice that can guarantee career success, it is this: Make those around you successful.


Richard Branson, billionaire founder of Virgin Atlantic Airways, offered me this advice to pass on to aspiring young professionals: “Always look for the best in others,” he said, “Be compassionate and praise the people you work with.” Those who conduct themselves like this, he said, “will get on with others and, by extension, get the best results.”


Branson doesn’t just do this himself. He has built that ethos into the culture of his entire enterprise. Caring about the success of others is something his highly successful companies look for in their employees.

The Right Job or the Right Company? That Is the Question


James M. Citrin | Read it Forward

Book Excerpt


What is more important to you: getting into the right job or getting into the right company?


The right job is one that pays well, offers meaningful work, puts you under the direction of a good boss, and includes opportunities for advancement. The right company is one that is well known and respected, offering good training and a brand that you’re proud to be associated with.


A majority of the young professionals we surveyed believe that getting into the right job, regardless of the company, is more important than getting into the right organization. But when their answers are compared to those of senior business leaders, the answer is not as clear. On the basis of our survey results, a mentor or parent is likely to advise you that the organization is more important than the job. And more than three-quarters of the top leaders we surveyed advised that the right company or organization is most important for young professionals starting out in their careers.

Recent News & Articles

An aggrigate of the latest insight, advice, and trends surrounding the job market as it applies to today's aspiring young professional.

You Must Be Ready to Answer this Question


James M. Citrin | LinkedIn Influencer

April 2, 2015


The interview has gone well. You’ve connected with the interviewer, you were smart and on your game. You’re already imagining that this is place you could be working, the coffee smells a little better and all is right in your career world. Only a few minutes left, shake hands and smile and you are out the door, the dream job offer is in the mail. Your friend, the interviewer says there is just one more question before you leave and you think there is nothing that can stop you now.


“Do you have any questions for me?”

Jim Citrin: You Have To Invest In Yourself To Be A Success

Dan Schawbel | Forbes

May 28, 2015


I recently spoke to Jim Citrin, who is the leader of Spencer Stuart’s CEO Practice and a member of the firm’s Worldwide Board of Directors. In the following interview, he talks about the best way to land a job in this economy, why you should have an entrepreneurial mindset to be successful, why there’s a catch-22 that confronts every job seeker, when to move on from your job and more.


During his 21 years with the firm, he has worked with clients on more than 600 CEO, board director, CFO and other top management searches and CEO succession assignments. In May 2014, he was reelected to the Spencer Stuart worldwide Board of Directors for a fifth term, and has served as a director for 15 years. Citrin is the author of six books, including bestsellers Lessons from the Top, The 5 Patterns of Extraordinary Careers, and You’re in Charge–Now What? His latest book is called The Career Playbook: Essential Advice for Today’s Aspiring Young Professional.

[PODCAST] Career Playbook: Managing the Millenial Generation

Podcast | SiriusXM Insight

June 21, 2015


Were you unable to attend our panel discussion with IUAA on June 9th in Chicago? Listen below for an excerpt from SiriusXM Radio's broadcast of the event.

Two Sentences That Will Help You Get the Job You Want

James M. Citrin | Bloomberg Business

June 23, 2015


If you’ve recently completed college or grad school and are searching for a job, there are two questions you've probably come to dread: “What do you do?” and the related follow-up, “What do you want to do with your life?”


These questions are usually asked by parents, friends, and other well-meaning people trying to take an interest in you. More often than not, the questions just stress you out. You feel embarrassed if you haven’t locked down a job, and you feel judged if you don’t have an airtight explanation of how you want to spend the next two or three decades.

Headhunter James Citrin Tells Millennials How to Land Jobs and Keep Them

James F. Peltz | LA Times

June 11, 2015


James Citrin is a corporate headhunter at executive search firm Spencer Stuart, where he leads the firm's work in finding chief executive candidates. He recruited Marissa Mayer to Yahoo Inc., for instance.


But another Citrin passion is the struggle of the "millennial" generation — the 82 million people born between 1981 and 2000 — to find and keep jobs.


Many millennials were unlucky to come of age when the Great Recession hit in 2008, and they're still dealing with a tough job market despite the economy's recovery. Many also are saddled with college debt.

Indiana University Alumni Association Event

IU Alumni Association | IU Chicago Advancement

June 9, 2015


We were very proud to be part of this IU Alumni Association event in partnership with IU Chicago Advancement and with the support of Kelley School of Business.


Panelists included:

  • Jim Citrin, Moderator

  • Lisa Weinstein, BAJ’96, Millennial Manager Panelist

  • Margaux Herring, BA’07, Young Professional Panelist

  • Daniel Novaes, BS’11, Young Professional Panelist

  • Mike Stephens, BS’08, Young Professional Panelist


To watch a recording of this event, click here.

Here Are The Practical Gifts That Will De-Stress, Motivate and Inspire Grads

Rae Paoletta | MTV News

May 14, 2015


It’s college graduation season, that time of the year when we find ourselves listening to “Pomp and Circumstance” on repeat and writing lengthy Instagram tributes to our grads. But it’s always nice to give them a gift, too, as a send-off into the real world.


As someone who graduated just this time last year, (NYU class of 2014, whaddup), I still have fond memories of the thoughtful tokens that came my way. So I scoured both the Internet and the crevasses of my soul to find the gifts that I think any grad would appreciate. Here’s what I found.

How to Start Being Happier in Your Life and Career This Summer

James M. Citrin | LinkedIn Influencer

July 8, 2015


Ah summer. The perfect time to unwind and find a little more pleasure in your life. This will surely make you happier, right?


Yes, but increasing your pleasure is only half the story.


The other half is finding the opportunity to pursue and appreciate those activities that bring you fulfillment, that bring purpose to life. These two elements, pleasure and purpose, go hand in hand and together they create and improve your level of happiness.

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