Sunday, April 10, 2011


What type of industry are you looking for?
OH...DEFINITELY not finance...I'm terrible with numbers.

If I was recruiting actuaries, then a disdain for all things numerical would be a big negative. But since I predominantly place assistants, this answer is stupid. As long as calendar management and travel arrangements don't give you hives, you can work in just about ANY industry. And NEWS is where the money is.

The other day I met a lovely candidate who had only worked in the fashion world. We were talking about her next step and she recited this very line. We got into a whole discussion about why finance wasn't so bad and she started seeing hedge funds, and investment banks and private equity firms (OH MY) in a whole new light. She never realized that just because you work in finance, doesn't mean you're wearing your calculator in a holster and talking about Pythagorean's theorem at the water cooler. Smaller firms (like those mentioned above) have changed the way we see the financial world. Gone are the days of navy skirt suits, pearls, stockings and pin-drop-quiet offices. Hedge funds have made the financial world sexy. To get an administrative job at one of these coveted firms, you need a college degree from a top school, a polished presentation, great computer skills and no ego. And if you don't have prior experience at one of these firms, be prepared to start at reception! In return, you will be offered a TOP salary and an equally impressive bonus. Add in gyms on-site, free meals, 100% paid benefits, profit sharing, and beautiful offices and it quickly becomes evident how fabulous the finance industry can be.

The bottom line is that before you set out on your professional road trip, do your research. It's important to know why you want to work somewhere. It's not about creative vs. finance as these categories are too broad and need to be further dissected. Figure out the way you think and consider all the options. While finance is where the money and perks are, often times you are working late hours and if you want to climb that corporate ladder, you should have an interest in the stock markets, world economics, financial analysis, etc. On the other hand, should you want to venture down a creative path, bear in mind that often times these jobs don't pay very well until you've been in the business for 5, sometimes 10 years, have high turnover due to rigorous work schedules and require a lot of moving from job to job to get ahead. But often times, the creative companies have amazing perks to compensate for the lower salaries - fashion houses offer discounts and ridiculous sample sales; magazines give free subscriptions, celebrity sightings and some have the coveted fashion closet; advertising agencies are often wined and dined by their publishing counterparts and are given everything from amazing dinners to gifts, concert tickets and free trips. And the list goes on...And don't get me whole career was in the creative industry. I was a conference manager at an international marketing company; promotions coordinator at a major publishing house; AND an assistant to a former television personality...and in addition to all the great perks, I was given amazing opportunities, got to travel the world and even found a husband! However, after having a finger on the pulse of the employment market for the past 10 years, there are PLENTY of days that I wish someone had guided me down the financial path.

So don't rule anything out for the WRONG reasons. At the end of the day, this is a big part of your life so make sure you REALLY know what you're getting yourself into...and who knows...maybe calculus wasn't such a bad idea after all.

Good night and happy job hunting,

The Job Yenta

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