The More Things Change, The More They Stay The Same

What can Napoleon Hill teach us today about the hiring process with both entry-level and seasoned professional candidates?

What Are The Common Factors? Are There Any For Entry-Level And Seasoned Professional Candidates?

It’s time to get a bit nostalgic. I am a follower of Napoleon Hill and have been for many years.  Many of you may know his classic book Think And Grow Rich.  Well, I re-read this great success-oriented classic each year, which many people in all fields do.  As I was re-reading, I came upon a section that I have read over and over again for many years, but this time it hit differently, especially as a seasoned professional. As the author has said in many of his pages, the content does not change but you do.  This content was as plain as can be: How to get a position in the changing economy.

Is It Really The Same? 

What struck me about this particular section is that we as recruiters and you as candidates still go after a position with the same methodology.  Below is the classic guide from Napoleon Hill on how in the forties he suggested to people to get a position.  Granted this was for an entry-level position, but his advice here can be used by any seasoned professional as well.  He used the term “man”, today it would clearly refer to both sexes.

Napoleon Hill’s chapter “How To Get A Job” as shown in Think And Grow Rich on page 168:

“First: Decide EXACTLY, what kind of a job you want.  If the job does not already exist, perhaps you can create it.

Second: Choose the company, or individual for whom you wish to work.

Third: Study your perspective employer, as to policies, personnel, and chances of advancement.

Fourth: By analysis of yourself, your talents and capabilities, figure WHAT YOU CAN OFFER, and plan ways and means of giving advantages, services, developments. Ideas that you believe you can successfully deliver.

Fifth: Forget about “a job”. Forget whether or not there is an opening. Forget the usual routine of have you got a job for me? Concentrate on what you can give.

Sixth: Once you have your plan in mind, arrange with an experienced writer to put it on paper in neat form, and in full detail.

Seventh: Present it to the proper person with authority and he will do the rest.  Every company is looking for men who can give something of value, whether it be ideas, services, or connections. Every company has room for the man or woman who has a definite plan of action which is to the advantage of that company.

This line of procedure may take a few days or weeks of extra time but the difference in income, in advancement, and gaining recognition will often shave from one to five years of time in reaching a chosen goal. Every person starts or gets in halfway up the ladder does so by deliberate and careful planning.”

The Keys To Your Future: Entry-Level Or Seasoned Professional

What was the takeaway that I want to share by quoting the above? It is that the same process that we as recruiters provide is exactly what is needed to help you get your next position.  Notice the opportunistic approach: if there is no position, create one.  That is exactly what our opportunistic approach allows to happen for the confident candidate and seasoned professional.  The key is confidence in your abilities, which clearly means confidence in your ability to move your business.  Being a generalist just does not work in today’s economy from the public finance professional.  Specialization is the key.  Confidence is the key, proper communication during the interview is the key.  All the above steps are needed today more than ever to secure that next position.  Your plan as Napoleon Hill must be secured and then shared with the proper authorities (in our case, that’s us).  Once we are sold on you, then we can sell our clients on you, get you into the hiring process, and be on your way to your next coveted position. Like Napoleon says at the end, “Shave off one to five years waiting time.”


If you would like to discuss your options, please reach out for a confidential conversation at 760-477-1284 or email at [email protected]. He can also be reached on LinkedIn. Harlan publishes a blog every Thursday here. Subscribe to our monthly newsletter here, which is a compilation of our weekly blogs, so you never miss one. You can find our listing in the “supplier and services” section of the Red Book under the title of “executive recruiting.”

About Harlan Friedman, JD & Founding Member, H. Friedman Search LLC. Harlan is a thirty-year veteran Public Finance Banker turned recruiter who specializes in the placement of all levels Public Finance Bankers, Healthcare Bankers, Municipal Advisors, Compliance Officers, Issuers, and Bond Counsels.