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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Readable and packed with good advice on job search and career management, November 17, 2010
This review is from: The Wall Street Professional¿s Survival Guide: Success Secrets of a Career Coach (Hardcover)
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THE QUICK TAKE: Roy Cohen's The Wall Street Professional's Survival Guide: Success Secrets of a Career Coach is well worth the money and (much more importantly) the time you will invest. Anyone thinking about a professional job in financial services should buy this book - whether you give the book a quick look or a careful read, it will reward your efforts. And even those who aren't currently looking to change jobs should use this book to think about how - and if - they are managing their career.

FULL REVIEW: Roy Cohen has been a career coach in New York for many years, and in this book you can hear his voice and feel his experience. The book is full of real knowledge and a great deal of practical, usable, and specific advice. The style is easy to read and encouraging. If there's a particular topic you're interested in, it's easy to find what you need, when you need it.

The book is also very timely - the last two years have wrought major changes in financial services, so it's helpful to have an up-to-date and realistic view.

One of the strongest points of the book is that it talks about the emotional issues many job searchers will need to deal with, and focuses on the impact your own attitude can have on your outlook and your performance in the job search.

Another strength of the book is how it raises and suggests ways to manage a variety of issues and baggage that job searchers may bring. There is a relatively wide range of people and problems discussed in the examples.

Finally, for me the book did a great job of stimulating my thinking in lots of different ways - Cohen covers a lot of territory. It led me to think about quite a few approaches and options that I hadn't considered before reading the book.

There are a few areas for improvement:

- No book can or should try to cover everything on a topic like this. And it's also a good idea to get different opinions. So a list of other resources - books, websites, etc. - seems like it should always be included. But other than a few suggestions, Cohen suggests very few other resources.

- Web tools like Facebook and LinkedIn are mentioned in passing, but there isn't any real discussion of how to leverage those tools or whether he considers them worthwhile.

- While I'm sure some of the exercises have survived the test of time in his own coaching practice, it's probably worth a harder look and some refinement if there's ever a second edition of the book.

- It might be useful and interesting to add a chapter about how the world looks from the viewpoint of the firms and the people doing the hiring. There are lots of useful insights about this throughout the book, but a more complete picture of your partners in this dance could be useful, especially coming from Cohen.

But that doesn't take away from the value of the book. Read the book, think hard about your situation, then start working to get some results.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Cohen's book will instantly become the GO-TO GUIDE for JOB HUNTING in WALL STREET - FIVE STARS !!!!, April 4, 2011
This review is from: The Wall Street Professional¿s Survival Guide: Success Secrets of a Career Coach (Hardcover)
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Let's cut to the chase, if you are thinking of using or reading a book like this, it's because you need a job, or you are looking for a new job and it's connected to Wall Street. If that is your story, than this is the book to read. You probably want to also read any of the recent editions of the "What Color is Your Parachute" book, which is the finest general guide to job hunting in America and has been for many years.

Roy Cohen the author of this book, "The Wall Street Professional's Survival Guide" is obviously playing at the top of his game, and leaves nothing unsaid regarding what you need to do to get back in the batter's box and achieve the goal of getting the job you want, and the career you want. For ten years he was on the outsourcing team at Goldman Sach's, which means when the firm let people go, or people chose to leave, he would aide them in securing employment, and departing in a peaceful manner.

This alone has to tell you something. Goldman is perhaps the most successful firm in America in the last century. The verdict is out on firms like Microsoft and Google only because of their relatively brief life spans. This is not the case with Goldman Sachs, which has been in business for over a century. If Cohen held this position at the premiere gold standard of corporations, you need to listen to what he has to say.

You have to understand that even very successful people with wonderful careers know NOTHING about job hunting. If you have a 40 year career and spend it with five firms, how much time have you actually spent hunting for the next job or career move? The answer is very little, so how much can you know? There is certainly an art to career advancement, and when you study books like this, you realize that a lot of that art can be codified into a science or the technology of job search.

People like Roy Cohen have it down pat. The man also happens to be a career coach and this aspect of his skill sets comes flying through to you on every page. Make no mistake about it. Would you go to war without being trained as a soldier? Would you step into a race car without taking advanced courses in driving? Well then, why would you attempt to switch jobs without jump starting yourself by reading and absorbing what a man has to say who has spent a life time working on this very issue.

Organization of the Book

Cohen's book is divided into 11 separate chapters, each one dealing with a different aspect of the search process, or skill set necessary towards its success. Let's look at them:

Chapter 1 - The Wall Street Job Search: Winning in Any Market:
The search is divided into three aspects. Stage one is The List, and stage two is The Plan of Action, while stage three is The Wagon. By Wagon the author means staying on the wagon. Job search is about REJECTION. If you let rejection completely drain the energy out of your body, you will then pause in the job search and that is getting off the wagon. Continuing to search which is EVERYTHING means staying on the wagon, or staying FOCUSED.

Chapter 2 - You've Been Fired, Now What:
The crucial part of this chapter is learning from the author how to explain the separation. There are ways that you can explain just about anything.

Chapter 3 - Self Assessment: the Secret Weapon of Job Search:
Here you are taken through a series of self assessment exercises which will aide you in clarifying who and what you are and what you want to do and why. It will help you write a very TARGETED resume that will get results. As the author points out, do not under any circumstances think it proper to send the same resume to everyone.

Chapter 4 - Stick the Landing: How to Move Successfully from the Sell-Side to the Buy-Side:
Here you realize why you are reading this book, because sell-side and buy-side are intrinsic aspects of Wall Street only, and you will never have the same understanding of them after reading this section. You can successfully move back and forth, but not without engineering it in the best light possible. Perception is reality.

Chapter 5 - The Art of the Bear Market Resume:
In a job market that has destroyed itself where thousands are out of work and you are competing for work in a declining economy, the search and resume have to be different than in a rip roaring bull market. That's common sense and Cohen gives you the skills you need to navigate this most treacherous of business environments. Don't proceed without reading this chapter. You will be spinning your wheels, and lacking focus in where you put your energy.

Chapter 6 - Networking: Just Do It, Please:
Here we go through 3 case studies and more importantly at the end of the chapter is a vital CHECKLIST that by itself is worth the price of the book. It's on page 129.

Chapter 7 - In the Arena: Mastering the Interview:
Interviews are the equivalent of battles in a war. You must master techniques before you go into battle, and this is no different. If you want to know how to deal with job hopping questions, or lifers, maybe challenges or being fired, embarrassments, and even questions to ask the interviewer that will benefit you, it's all here, and more.

Chapter 8 - Write On: Effective Career Correspondence:
The author takes you through several case studies, all of which are worthwhile. In addition he takes you completely through thank you notes which are so important (very few do them), how to begin a short thank you, and how to move from sell-side to buy-side and back.

Chapter 9 - Win-Win Negotiating in Job Search:
There are universal rules in negotiation and you need to know and apply them, as well as how to manage multiple conversations. How to deal with the offer, and most importantly a negotiation checklist on page 225. Think about this. As job hunters we probably know less about negotiation tactics appropriate for closing the job offer than any other aspect of our career lives, simply because we have so little experience at it. Don't be one of those people who are not armed during the closing process. Remember, the people offering you the job are the experts at negotiating the job offer merely because they do it all the time. You have to even up the odds and even place them in your favor.

Chapter 10 - References, Skeletons, and YOU:
Who doesn't have stuff in their closet that they do not want to talk about. There's nothing that author Roy Cohen hasn't seen or dealt with, so let him bring you up to snuff about dealing with the bones in your closet, and how to bring to light what you would rather have buried. Don't sabotage yourself but not being prepared with sharp detailed answers towards negative aspects of your life. Employers are not hiring the Pope here.

Chapter 11 - Conclusion:
As the book points out, at the end of the day, you are what you make of yourself. The perception becomes the reality and positive, optimistic self talk wins. If you go into the interview talking like an undertaker, it isn't going to happen for you, unless of course you are interviewing for that job.

CONCLUSION

If you are in Wall Street, if you are suffering in your current employment situation there is HOPE, but the hope must be coupled with YOU ACTING. Thinking about it is not enough, contemplating it gets you nowhere. You have to MOVE on what you have to do to effectuate change in your world. This book will give you the vital skill-sets, and action steps so desperately needed and for so many, missing in their every day movements toward career fulfillment. You need a plan of action steps. Stop talking about it, and do something about it. Run to buy this book, and read it with a note pad next to you, and annotate every page to make it your own. You will save countless hours, frustration, depression, and you will move yourself faster towards the career success that each of us so deserves, and thank you for reading this review.

Richard C. Stoyeck
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Wall Street Shepherd, September 12, 2010
This review is from: The Wall Street Professional¿s Survival Guide: Success Secrets of a Career Coach (Hardcover)
A couple of months ago I began my search for a new job.

As I was beginning this important job I was also feeling anger with my previous employer, bafflement that my old boss didn't give me this one job I really wanted, and frustrated that I would have worked harder than any of my colleagues at it. I also haven't let go of how I never actually landed my dream job, either, and I counted and re-counted my degrees and recited my (high) GPA, memorized to three decimal points.

My job hunt began with my sending out a standard resume in response to a smattering of loosely-related jobs posted on Internet sites.

No interviews, of course.

Then I noticed a volume at the local bookstore on searching for a new career on Wall Street. Flipping through its pages I got a sense it was a practical, down-to-brass-tacks guide to getting back to work, and so I picked it up.

At the very outset, "The Wall Street Professional's Survival Guide" by Roy Cohen explains that you are not alone. Not alone in all your emotions, not alone in how your last job - or career - ended, not alone surrounded by what is a very competitive job market - or, finally, in how you must respond to what happened to you in a focused and methodical way.

Cohen explains that you must take stock of your past experiences, genuine capabilities and honest desires and then march toward the career you really ought to pursue. He then walks you through how you must craft not only your resume but your message, your 10-second story, which you must use to explain why you're looking, and why you'll be valuable in your next job.

The author explains how networking is absolutely crucial for almost everyone to getting that next job. And, for those of us who never liked sales, Cohen shows us not only exactly how to do it but, curiously, how the process can be less painful and even rewarding. And it is.

And so it was, with the "Survival Guide" in one hand, and the pen, the keyboard and the phone in the other, I (re)embarked on my job search. I am very close to the right job now. It is rewarding to meet with people - strangers, indeed - who are in the job I will soon have. I have simply done exactly what Roy Cohen has told me to do.

"The Wall Street Professional's Survival Guide" is outstanding, and it is re-positioning me on Wall Street, an industry that has over three years capsized in front of my eyes. I have recommended this book to several others - including some who are not even in the financial industry. A good 85 percent of "Survival Guide" is relevant and valuable to job seekers in all industries, and even to recent graduates.

As we close in on that next job, "Survival Guide" shows us how to ace those minefield-ridden interviews, manage the tricky reference-checking process and, finally, negotiate the terms of a new position. Jobs are lost even in the final hours of the journey, and so you do well to read very carefully to the last page of this great volume.

The career search is a difficult odyssey but one that ends in success. And so Roy Cohen is deadly honest about this job market, and how we must, without any reservation, make our value proposition known, both in specific terms, and to many. Cohen is frank and utterly practical with us in every regard. And in my industry, and likely yours, we wouldn't want it any other way.

- R

New York
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars This book helped me prepare for finding a new job., May 27, 2011
This review is from: The Wall Street Professional¿s Survival Guide: Success Secrets of a Career Coach (Hardcover)
Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
Like other reviewers, I really have nothing but positive things to say about this book. Roy Cohen offers great insights into how to experience a more successful job search. Ironically, in hindsight, his suggestions are very much common sense, and, yet, it really helped to have someone spell it out for me. I particularly liked his advice on how to create a (positively-spun) story for interviews--even after, and especially after, you've been fired. His self-assessment tools were also extremely helpful, and I was glad he offered something beyond "If you had a million dollars and could do whatever you wanted..." Overall, this book is a thought-provoking and results-oriented read that will undoubtedly help you get the job you want.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Great advice from an industry insider, June 26, 2012
This review is from: The Wall Street Professional¿s Survival Guide: Success Secrets of a Career Coach (Hardcover)
Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
Cohen is about as close as you can get to having a career coach on your bookshelf. He goes over it all: networking, resume writing, and goal-setting. I can see how the book can help those living among the many who were laid-off by big Wall Street firms during the 2008 crisis. However, I find it a stretch that this book will do much for those wishing to break into Wall Street as a new career path. The job market is brutal right now and it's nearly impossible to get hired without either a.)experience, b.)family connectioms, or c.)graduation from a super-elite prestigious school. When the market heats up, this will certainly change, but for now things are tight.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars This book has a wealth of practical advice regarding a job search!, March 11, 2012
By 
Roger (Arlington, VA USA) - See all my reviews
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I am actually still reading this book and have just completed Chapter 7. Even though I have not yet finished it, I felt compelled to write a quick review. First - even though the author uses examples from the financial industry, the book is 100% relevant to anyone making a career move. He is refreshingly blunt about the realities of undertaking a job transition. At the same time, he offers valuable advice on how to conduct an effective job search.

One reason I believe this book is so effective is because the author has worked with people in one of the most brutal industries out there regarding career stability. He pulls no punches and makes every effort to help the reader be successful in attaining their next career move.

This is an absolutely wonderful booked filled with examples and real world stories -- nothing from an ivory tower perspective. Finally, the author makes you realize that many others have faced similar challenges and have overcome them through a thoughtful application of his suggestions.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The authoritative resource for a finance career, January 2, 2012
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This review is from: The Wall Street Professional¿s Survival Guide: Success Secrets of a Career Coach (Hardcover)
After being RIF'd, it took me a LONG time to find a new permanent position. This book really pulls together all aspects of a successful job search. I spoke with a career counselor and met with tons of industry professionals, but this book was the single best resource for marketing myself. Whether it involved asking myself the tough questions about how I presented myself or rethinking how to go about applying for a certain position, this book had the answers. A single one line answer from this book helped me get through a difficult question I repeatedly encountered in interviews where the normal textbook response didn't work. The real life case studies could not have been more useful as I found multiple examples that I could relate to and learn from. I give Mr. Cohen a ton of credit for this piece of work, and could not recommend this book more highly. Shortly following my reading this book, I secured a great position and could not be happier professionally or personally.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent practical guide for managing your job search campaign!, April 16, 2011
By 
D. Lee (Atlanta, GA United States) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: The Wall Street Professional¿s Survival Guide: Success Secrets of a Career Coach (Hardcover)
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Roy Cohen offers insight, know-how, and detailed examples for navigating every component of the job search process. And unlike similarly themed books, his goes beyond process -- and delivers both practical, immediately relevant and actionable content plus a good solid kick in the pants to keep you grounded and moving forward.

His 'game plan to a perfect landing' is worth the read by itself, but most of the book is chocked full of examples, samples, and models of what to do, and what you might best try to avoid.

Aimed at the Wall Street professional and laced with appropriate buy-sell-side lingo, this handbook nevertheless is highly applicable to anyone seeking to gain the upper hand in a cut-throat marketplace of competitors chasing a limited number of jobs. And rather than focus on the "what" -- which you can read most anywhere -- this book tells you "how" -- acknowledging that you only gain competitive advantage from relentless and flawless execution.

Read this book, adopt Cohen's success secrets, and your behavior will become more strategic, more effective, and more successful. This book is a gem.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Ideally You Need to Read This Before You Lose Your Job - A Very Helpful Book, April 14, 2011
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This review is from: The Wall Street Professional¿s Survival Guide: Success Secrets of a Career Coach (Hardcover)
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What I'd really like the potential reader to know is to read this book before you think you might need it.

Everyone on Wall Street knows things are different today than they were ten years ago. The instability and changes combined with attitudes and policy being put forth by our federal government leave employees feeling apprehensive and unsteady about their careers. (At the time I'm writing this the federal government is unable to agree on a new budget, we have large deficits and raising taxes on individuals is back on the table.)

Why you need to read this before you think you may need it is because Cohen suggests a strategy for how to react the moment the bad news is given and how to negotiate and what to ask for in the severance package (if you are unable to persuade them to change their minds). If the tactic works, this could benefit you thousands or tens of thousands of dollars in severance pay and more if they agree to add some months of medical insurance coverage to your severance package. Unfortunately, I didn't have the book until that part of the process had already happened to my husband. Wall Street people are often already working hard and long hours actually doing the job to read a book about a topic they HOPE they won't need to know about. My message to you is: READ IT NOW.

Onto the job search...a major take-away is developing your story and how you should market and package yourself. The book also guides the reader through self evaluation to help figure out what positions in which type of companies they would be a best fit for. There are exercises to help you determine your strengths and your interests in an attempt to guide you to look for positions in the most ideal area (versus perhaps just doing the same position you did at your last job).

The tone of the writing is uplifting (which is appreciated because the actual job search can be daunting and is exhausting). There is a lot of useful information here for the price. Depending on what you already know some of this could be old news and some will be new and useful. Consults with resume writers and interview skills coaches and similar consultant services can run hundreds of dollars per hour, so you really can't lose much by investing in this comparatively low-cost book. If you learn just one or two good things from this reading this book, your money will have been well spent.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Wall Streeters' Must Read, December 4, 2010
By 
Sheryl Spanier (New York, NY USA) - See all my reviews
This review is from: The Wall Street Professional¿s Survival Guide: Success Secrets of a Career Coach (Hardcover)
The Wall Professional's Survival Guide: Success Secrets of a Career Coach, by Roy Cohen is an intelligent, inviting and inspiring book full of pragmatic advice, realistic examples and an executable formula for getting and staying on track. Specifically targeted to financial services professionals, the Guide keeps the reader focused and motivated step by step. Roy applies his vast knowledge of the business with his career counseling expertise to create a readable and applicable guide for anyone seeking, advancing or managing a Wall Street career. I enjoyed reading it and recommend it highly.
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The Wall Street Professional¿s Survival Guide: Success Secrets of a Career Coach
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