Sklover & Company, LLC

Employment Attorneys

Serving Executives, Professionals and Senior Managers​

ExecutiveLaw Career Brand

1. Your Unique Career Brand

“Either you are distinct, or you will become extinct.”
– Tom Peters

We are enthusiasts when it comes to the practice and pursuit of branding and, of course, when it comes to employment, the notion of “career branding.”

Each of us has a unique personal brand, namely what others think of when they think of us. It is their sum total view of what we offer the world, our value to others, and to our clients, customers, employers and colleagues. Your brand precedes you, empowers you, and follows you, wherever you go.

Your “career brand” is what your present employer and all potential employers think of your potential value to them, and thus what they need to offer you in return for your working for them. Your knowledge, skills, relations and reputation have taken a great deal of time and effort to learn, acquire, and develop, and is a reflection of your personality, character and the standards you have set for yourself.

You create your brand each and every day, whether you know it or not. If you don’t proactively create and enhance your career brand, you leave that critical task to luck and chance, or worse, permit others to define it for you.

The employment marketplace is an increasingly competitive place. New York Times columnist Tom Friedman has written “Good enough is no longer good enough.” We could not agree more. If you don’t have a distinctive, attractive, outstanding career brand, in the employment marketplace you are likely perceived as little more than an easily replaceable commodity.

Most of our clients have devoted and continue to devote significant effort and imagination to creation and enhancement of their own, distinctive career brand, and enjoy the multiple and varied “fruits” of their efforts. Their experiences are as inspiring to us as they are rewarding for them, in the broadest sense and spirit of those two words.

One-Hour Confidential Telephone Consultations with Mr. Sklover, including document review, are available, after which the Executive, Professional or Senior Manager can assess and address the opportunity or problem by themselves. Representation in the matter is available, as well. If interested, call our office number – 212.757-5000 – or email Mr. Sklover’s Admin at Vanessa@ExecutiveLaw.com

(If you have any thoughts, comments or suggestions about these Insights, please consider sharing them with us, by forwarding them to us at Vanessa@ExecutiveLaw.com. Thank you, in advance.)

© Copyright 2019 Alan L. Sklover. All Rights Reserved and Strictly Enforced.

ExecutiveLaw Career Brand

1. Your Unique Career Brand

“Either you are distinct, or you will become extinct.”
– Tom Peters

We are enthusiasts when it comes to the practice and pursuit of branding and, of course, when it comes to employment, the notion of “career branding.”

Each of us has a unique personal brand, namely what others think of when they think of us. It is their sum total view of what we offer the world, our value to others, and to our clients, customers, employers and colleagues. Your brand precedes you, empowers you, and follows you, wherever you go.

Your “career brand” is what your present employer and all potential employers think of your potential value to them, and thus what they need to offer you in return for your working for them. Your knowledge, skills, relations and reputation have taken a great deal of time and effort to learn, acquire, and develop, and is a reflection of your personality, character and the standards you have set for yourself.

You create your brand each and every day, whether you know it or not. If you don’t proactively create and enhance your career brand, you leave that critical task to luck and chance, or worse, permit others to define it for you.

The employment marketplace is an increasingly competitive place. New York Times columnist Tom Friedman has written “Good enough is no longer good enough.” We could not agree more. If you don’t have a distinctive, attractive, outstanding career brand, in the employment marketplace you are likely perceived as little more than an easily replaceable commodity.

Most of our clients have devoted and continue to devote significant effort and imagination to creation and enhancement of their own, distinctive career brand, and enjoy the multiple and varied “fruits” of their efforts. Their experiences are as inspiring to us as they are rewarding for them, in the broadest sense and spirit of those two words.

ExecutiveLaw™ Insights

  1. Your Unique Career Brand
  2. Managing Employment Risks
  3. The Recruitment Phase
  4. The Negotiation Phase
  5. Equity “Trap Doors”
  6. Climbing the Ladder
  7. If Difficulties, Disputes or Allegations Arise
  8. Navigating Employment Departures
  9. Continuing Restrictions
  10. Extending Career Longevity
ExecutiveLaw Career Brand

1. Your Unique Career Brand

“Either you are distinct, or you will become extinct.”
– Tom Peters

Job Candidates often don’t fully appreciate how they can work to their best advantage with their Employment Attorney as they navigate to new employment, and in particular, during the Recruitment Process. Simply put, even at this early stage, it is wise to begin to identify, assess and reduce the many risks in a employment relation, and that is the Attorney’s primary role.

A. Risks in Employment Need to be Managed

Commonly, only after the proverbial “final handshake” has taken place, and the written employment agreement (or job offer letter) has been presented for signing, does the Job Applicant contact his or her attorney to “review the papers,” and in particular, to address these three basic concerns:

“What are the risks in the papers?”
“How dangerous are the risks in the papers?”
“Can we limit or remove the risks in the papers?”

Unfortunately, by then it is often too late to effectively manage job-related risks of the new position, in large part due to the limited timeframe provided by Management Representatives. At times, sufficient opportunity to obtain all necessary papers, review them carefully, and request appropriate “risk limiters” is denied nearly entirely. There is a better way to impart thoughts about needed “risk limiters” into the eventual “papers” . . . to incorporate them into the conversations early on.

Risks in the employment relation are ever-present and varied. Wise Job Candidates maintain a keen watch out for risks in their careers, and do what they can – at every opportunity – to reduce those risks arising, and that includes from “day one” of recruitment discussions. If identification and reduction of risk is treated as a mere afterthought, chances are simply greater that they might arise later on . . . at the worst time, in the worst way, with the worst effect on career relations and reputation.

B. Risk Management is the Employment Attorney’s “Job 1”

Recruiters do not address Risk issues; rather, they tend to focus on the Job Candidate’s suitability and compatibility for the available Relation.

Job Candidates do not focus on Risk issues either; rather, their focus tends be on the available position, its advancement opportunity, compensation and important benefits, in other words, the Rewards.
 
Attorneys, though, focus on Risk analysis, which should begin as early as possible, informally, during the early discussions with Recruiters. Why? Because Risk reduction efforts are (a) undeniably critical to the Job Candidate’s long term success, (b) nearly always left for last, as if a mere after-thought, and (c) often denied sufficient time, attention and opportunity, once an offer is made. Once the proverbial “final handshake” has taken place, the parties become quite eager to execute agreements to finalize the entire process. This is especially the case when Management Representatives have another Job Candidate “waiting in the wings,” and do not want to lose that fall-back option.
 
The Attorney customarily focuses on the “Legal Issues,” which are essentially ones of Risk. If Risk limitation issues are not discussed early in Recruiter discussions, and the opportunity to do so with Management is fleeting, they may never receive the attention and efforts they are due. If not begun with the Recruiter, and not continued with Management Representatives, who will reduce risks on thorny “legal issues?” As examples:
    • Will the position be “at will,” that is, carrying significant risk of job loss without any “risk limiters” in place, such as required notice, accelerated vesting of equity, or guaranteed severance?
    • Might the position be relocated, without notice, from New York to, say, Nebraska, or New Delhi?
    • What resources, including critical support staff, will be made available to the hired candidate?
    • Are long-term awards, such as equity grants and supplemental retirement benefits, once earned, potentially lost upon termination without fault of the employee?
    • Will resources, authority and mandate, critical to the success of the position, be made available to the hired candidate?

There is list of needed Risk Limiters that apply to all candidates, positions, and employers; rather they are unique to each person, role and team.

C. Resignation-Related Risks Require Attention, as Well

Finally, there are risks, too, that arise from the Job Candidate’s resignation from his or her present position that early-stage discussions with the Recruiter might be best to begin to address, as examples:

    • If a non-competition covenant exists, how might that be worked around?
    • If a “garden leave” requirement for, say, 90 days’ notice exists, might the new employer be willing to wait?
    • In the event resignation from the present position will result in significant loss of unvested equity and/or deferred compensation, might the new employer make the Job Candidate “whole?”

Here, too, the concerns and possible issues are unique to departing employee and existing employment relation.

D. It is Never Too Early to be Duly Diligent; It Can Be Too Late

Attorney-client discussions regarding issues of risk identification and limitation during the Recruitment phase constitutes useful “due diligence,” a prerequisite to sound risk management and, thus, greater success, in any endeavor.

Do you need to retain an Employment Attorney during the Recruitment phase? No, not necessarily, but for these reasons and others, early and robust due diligence can only best serve the Job Applicant’s overall career interests. This is why we suggest retaining the Employment Attorney shortly after recruitment first begins, and beginning the risk identification process at that time.

Additional Insights Available