Year-End Tip: Update Your CV

With consolidation wiping out so many positions, I caught up with James & Co. founder Michele James, the self-anointed “Yours in Search,” to get her take on the job market.

James has some sound tips for the unemployed and for executives and employees itching to make the next move. And that’s to evaluate yourself every six months just like going for those dental checks. Pain: Yes. Necessary: You bet.

In other words, make the time to write down all of the new launches in which you might have participated, as well as other accomplishments that you’ve likely forgotten, as you swirl through this rapidly changing world of convergence.

James debunked some sacred cows. First, the holiday season is no time to even attempt to find a new gig. Wrong. It’s the best time, she countered. That’s because as companies wrap up the numbers on the outgoing year, and get ready to dole out bonuses in the first quarter of the new one, they also plan for attrition. Many executives take that bonus money and run.

For media companies, the first quarter is one of the most robust for hiring, and you’re not going to even be in the game if your CV has been languishing on your computer, said James.

Those were among the nuggets gleamed from an interview the This Week in Cable crew had with James in her new digs at the baroque setting of the Helmsley building. (Watch it online at

Honestly, you could almost feel the presence of hotelier and realty queen Leona in that New York landmark building.

Leona might have paid a lot of attention to thread counts in her sheets, but she sure stinted on the infrastructure in this building. Midway in set-up, the TWIC camera crew tripped a fuse and we went dark. Power was soon restored and we began the “real” interview.

So where are all those jobs? Just about everywhere, but also in another sector. The telcos are serious about video, and they’re looking for cable people with transferable skills. But today, all employers are pickier than ever, James advised. If you’re planning on making a move, count on extensive financial and criminal investigations of your background is this new era of transparency.

James debunked another sacred cow: If you’re 50-plus, “forget about it.” Not so, she said, because companies have learned some hard lessons from over-promoting young talent and are now looking for seasoned vets with track records. Amen.

Here’s another gem: Many companies that don’t have chief operating officers now think they might need them. And those searches are the toughest, according to James.

The search involves a total examination of the soft spots of the CEO and his team, and finding someone who can make the trains run on time.

So catch my streaming video interview with James at And happy holidays to all of you from all of us.