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The Downside of the C-Suite

Have you ever wished you were the top executive in your department? For many, becoming a C-level executive can be a lifelong goal. Whether it’s Chief Executive Officer, Chief Marketing Officer, or Chief Financial Officer – the C-suite has real perks.

Let’s start off with recognition. Making it to the C-suite means that people respect you. Not only do you know about the subject matter at hand, but you’re a strong leader and you make a big difference to the company. Then, there’s the pay. C-level execs often make exponentially more than other employees.

Making it to the corner office can often take years of hard work and sacrifice. When you make it there, it’s like you’ve found your destination. You’re where you were always meant to be. The climb is over. It’s time to get to work, making a lifelong contribution.

I suspect there as a time when this was true. But, generally speaking, that was a time before me. Over the years, I’ve worked with a number of C-level executives at work. And, as I reflect back on those great folks, they’ve all switched jobs since I first met them.

According to the Wall Street Journal, the average tenure for a Chief Marketing Officer was 3.5 years in 2016. The average tenure of a CEO was 7.2 years and the average tenure of a CFO was 5.7 years.

These tiny numbers make some sense. As companies are pressured to make money, they constantly revise their business strategies. And, new strategies require new strategists.

The problem is, when a company changes their corporate guard, the executives left without a job are hit hard. It can take them months, or years to find new employment on the same level. It most certainly leaves the impacted executives wondering what’s wrong with them.

In reality, nothing is wrong. It may have taken them ten or twenty years to land the title of Chief. That period of hard work was like a long interview. And really, each company only needs one CEO, one CMO, and one CFO. They are both the most coveted roles and the rarest.

So, what’s the point of all of this? I don’t want to discourage you from a corner office dream. But, if this is part of your future career, take today’s business environment into account with your personal career plan. The C-suite has changed. Once you do land a top spot, carefully plan your financial future. By living below your means and creating a financial safety net, you loosen the corporate handcuffs that can otherwise hold you hostage.

If you’ve already made it to the top and you find yourself without a job, remember that you’re not alone. This is a phenomenon that many executives are facing today. To make it through with the least number of bumps and bruises, give yourself a generous amount of time to land your next big gig.

Angela Copeland, a career coach and founder of Copeland Coaching, can be reached at

Job Seeking: The one last taboo?

In the age of oversharing online, it seems that searching for a job is one of the last topics that anyone wants to share. The world’s largest job site,, recently commissioned a study by Censuswide, surveying 10,000 job seekers around the world – in the U.S., Australia, Belgium, Canada, France, Germany, Ireland, The Netherlands, and the United Kingdom.

As you would expect, 65% of job seekers worry that others may find out they’re looking for a new job. 24% of job seekers ranked their job search as the topic they’re least likely to share on social media. This is right up there with personal finances.

And, this makes sense. In much of the U.S., workers have limited employment protections. Simply put, an employer can fire you for a reason. Or, they can fire you for no reason at all. If they know you’re looking for a new job, they may perceive you to be disloyal. And, disloyal employees are at risk for being let go.

They don’t have to give you advanced warning. We’ve all had a friend who has been walked out of the building of their workplace with a small box of their personal things. That horrific thought is enough to cause you to never speak about your own search, ever again.

Professor Paul Dolan, Behavioral Economist at London School of Economics also pointed out the need to be seen as successful. “Admitting that we are looking for a job means exposing others to our potential success or failure. To avoid embarrassing ourselves, we choose to hide our searches.”

This also holds true in romantic relationships. Researchers found that half of job seekers don’t tell their partners when they’re applying for a new job. Those over age 55 are even more likely to keep searches hidden.

Although surprising, this finding makes sense. If you’re searching online, you may apply to a large number of jobs before landing a first round interview. If it takes thirty applications to land one phone interview, who wants to have that conversation with a spouse thirty times? Rather than feel like one successful phone interview, it may very well feel like twenty nine failed applications. Often, a new job requires a lifestyle change of some kind. Waiting until things are more firm allows the job seeker to avoid some level of judgement and conflict.

That said, keeping career changes from your partner isn’t recommended. Your career greatly impacts your personal life, and if you’re sharing that life with someone else, your decisions will impact them too.

But, when it comes to colleagues, there really is good reason to be cautious. Even if you’re doing a great job in your current role, your boss may have second thoughts about you if they know you’re looking. When you tell others about your search, you risk losing control of your search. As it’s clear, job searching really is the last taboo.

Angela Copeland, a career coach and founder of Copeland Coaching, can be reached at

2017 Year End Review of Copeland Coaching

I’ll say it again – I can’t believe it’s 2018! 2017 flew by so fast. First, thank you to everyone who helped to make 2017 such a big success for me and Copeland Coaching – especially my awesome clients!

Now that we are fully into 2018, let’s take a look back at a few highlights from the last year. If there’s anything you missed, click through to learn more.

I’m so happy to kick off 2018 with you – let’s make it a success!

TEDx Worthington

Possibly my proudest moment of 2017. I had the honor to give a TEDx Talk about my own career success in Ohio. The talk, titled ‘How I broke the rules & found my perfect job’ outlines my own career transition from engineer to marketer to career coach. I also talk about how I made it through the unexpected economic change of the dot com crash with a computer engineering degree. Check out my entire talk on the TEDx YouTube channel here.

Breaking The Rules & Getting The Job

In 2017, I also released the print version of my book, Breaking The Rules & Getting The Job! We had a book signing at the South Main Book Juggler. The book provides practical, useful advice for those looking to improve their job-seeking outcomes. Whether you’re a seasoned professional or just starting out, the book can help you to jumpstart your job search. If you’d like to get your copy, you can still purchase the book on

Forbes Coaches Council

In 2016, I also accepted an invitation to become part of the Forbes Coaches Council. Being a part of the council gave me the opportunity to both be a contributor on topics related to careers, and also to author guest columns. Here are two of my guest columns.

LinkedIn Unveils New Product Offering: LinkedIn Talent Insights
Three Rules To Break During Your Job Search

Career Corner Column

I’ve written my own Career Corner Column every week now for four years! It’s hard to believe that I’ve written over 200 columns now. Wow, time has flown by! And, over time, more news outlets have picked up the column. In addition to The Memphis Daily News, the column is now in 12 more outlets, including It’s now in Tennessee, Mississippi, Oklahoma, California, Washington, and Arizona. That’s pretty exciting stuff! If you want to check out any of my old columns, you can find them all on the Copeland Coaching website here.

Copeland Coaching Podcast

This year has been such an exciting one for the Copeland Coaching Podcast! I’ve now released over 150 episodes. These episodes include interviews with industry experts on topics centering on how to get a job! Below are a few guest highlights for the year. Please check out the podcast, and be sure to subscribe! It’s free and it helps people to find my show.

  • Jennifer Shappley, LinkedIn – Using LinkedIn
  • Dr. Shirley Raines, University of Memphis – Career Reinvention
  • Austin Graff, The Washington Post – Social Media Career
  • Raj Mukkerjee, – Indeed Prime
  • Howard Behar, Starbucks – It’s Not About The Coffee
  • Paul Wolfe, – Human Resources
  • Dr. Alex Korb, UCLA – The Upward Spiral

Expert Interviews

2017 also brought with it the opportunity to be interviewed and quoted as a career expert. I’ve been humbled and grateful to be included in pieces by The Wall Street Journal, Society for Human Resources Management, Glassdoor, CNBC, Monster, Forbes, Business Insider, Marketwatch, and Fast Company.
You can check out all these great pieces and many more on my website. You can also view all of my television interviews here.

Thank You!

Thank you again for a wonderful 2017! The year was so special to me for so many reasons that there’s not enough room to share them all here. Thank you for making it great! I look forward to another awesome year in 2018!

I hope these tips have helped you. Visit to find more tips to improve your job search. If I can be of assistance to you, don’t hesitate to reach out to me here.

Visit to find more tips to improve your job search. If I can be of assistance to you, don’t hesitate to reach out to me here.

Also, be sure to subscribe to my Copeland Coaching Podcast on iTunes or Stitcher where I discuss career advice every Tuesday! If you’ve already heard the podcast and enjoy it, please consider leaving a review in iTunes or Stitcher.

Happy hunting!

Angela Copeland


If interviewing were dating

Interviewing for a job is a nerve racking process. When else do we want others to judge us? We spend so much time preparing – finding the perfect clothes, organizing our resume, and sneaking out of our job. We ask for recommendations from our old bosses.

Not only are we judged during the interview process. But, if we’re rejected, the company doesn’t even owe us any explanation. And, very often, they don’t give any additional information about why we weren’t picked.

That leaves our brain to wonder what happened. We spent so many hours preparing. Where did we go wrong? Did the hiring manager not like us? Did we fail a test? Were they looking for someone with more experience or a better education? Trying to sort through these possibilities is stressful. It can take days, and have no answer.

In reality, it’s possible we weren’t selected for reasons that had little to do with us. Really, this can happen. For example, the hiring manager may have already had a candidate preselected. Or, perhaps the job has been put on hold — and nobody was hired. Rarely will the company fess up to these details.

But, an equally important (but less considered) question is — what did you think about the company? Did you feel that you were a good fit with the hiring manager? Are you excited about the job? Do you want to work for the company?

Think of interviewing a little more like dating, and a little less like taking a test. Sure, you’re not looking for someone to marry, but you are looking for people you’ll spend a considerable amount of time with. You may even see them more than your spouse.

We would never go on a first date hoping the person might marry us – without knowing much about them. Then, why would we ever approach a job interview this way?

If you already have a bad job, why would you want to potentially find another bad job? The best job is always one where there’s a mutual match. The company likes you, and you like the company.

So, rather than spend all of your time worrying about whether the company likes you, shift your focus to whether or not you like them. Decide if you really do want to spend more than eight hours a day with these folks.

And, if you do get rejected, don’t assume it’s the end of the line. The company probably doesn’t really dislike you. Maybe the timing wasn’t right. Or, perhaps they see you in a slightly different role than the one that was available when you applied.

In fact, because they have met you and know you now, they may be even more likely to talk to you again when a future opportunity rolls around. Keep your eyes open for other jobs that may be a better fit. But, if you are called back in, be sure to find out if the company is a good fit for you.

Angela Copeland is a Career Coach and Founder of Copeland Coaching and can be reached at or on Twitter at @CopelandCoach.

Laid off just in time for the holidays

I hate to admit this. I have seen more people let go this holiday season than in years past. It’s a sad and stressful situation. As employers approach the end of the year, they reevaluated their priorities and made business decisions to reorganize. The shift in structure left many people without a job.

If this has happens to you, please know you’re not alone. Honestly, this trend disappoints me quite a bit. The holidays can be an especially difficult and uncertain time to be without a job. Expenses go up with travel and gifts. And, let’s face it. Job seeking over the holidays can be slow and discouraging, even in a good situation.

The first lesson is this. When it comes to your career, think of yourself as your own small business. Be honest. Have integrity. And, don’t forget – make choices that put you first. Very often, we make sacrifices for our company that we later regret. We stay too long, or we allow ourselves to slowly become outdated – for the sake of the team. Do what’s right, but don’t forget that the company will do what they need to do to survive – whether it impacts your job or not. With that in mind, you must also do what’s right for you.

Second, don’t wait to start searching. I know that it’s emotionally exhausting and you may want to take a break. But, when you’re first laid off can be the perfect time to reach out to others for help. A few years ago, my hometown in Oklahoma was hit by a massive tornado. Amazingly, people were extremely interested to help in the weeks right after it happened – giving money, time, and other helpful donations. A few months later, my hometown was still picking up the pieces from this devastation. But, naturally, most people had moved on to the next tragic news story. In other words, folks are more likely to help very soon after any difficult incident. If you can, push yourself to start quickly.

The holidays are a time when you will have a chance to see friends and colleagues at annual parties. It can be a time of renewal and reconnection. Take advantage of these free events. But, before attending, prepare yourself. You may be surprised at how many direct and sometimes inappropriate questions you may be asked about your former employer. Practice what you will say if someone asks why you were let go. Be brief, be concise, and do your best not to knock your former employer.

Beginning your job search now will leave you prepared to start strong in January. Update your LinkedIn profile, revise your resume, and have a draft cover letter ready to go. Be prepared to react quickly when someone lends you a hand.

I hope you don’t experience this type of loss during this season. But, if you do, know that there are many people who will step in to help. Be ready, so you can take full advantage.

Angela Copeland is a Career Coach and Founder of Copeland Coaching and can be reached at or on Twitter at @CopelandCoach.

Best Places to Work in 2018

For the tenth year, has released their Employees’ Choice Awards. For 2018, they’ve expanded the list of best companies from 50 to 100. Glassdoor CEO Robert Hohman explained, “We know today’s job seekers are more informed than ever about where they go to work, researching everything from company culture to career opportunities to pay philosophy and more. To help people find companies that stand out from the pack, the Glassdoor Employees’ Choice Awards recognize employers that are truly Best Places to Work because they’re determined by those who really know best – the employees,”

The Glassdoor top company list is unique in workplace awards. It is based on the input of company employees who volunteer to provide anonymous feedback by completing a review about their company, their job, and their work environment. This year, Glassdoor is featuring six categories, honoring the best places to work in the U.S., Canada, U.K., France and Germany.

The Top 100 U.S. list of large companies (with over 1,000 employees) has a number of very familiar names. Facebook leads the charge with the coveted number one spot. Spots two through six are held be Bain & Company, Boston Consulting Group, In-N-Out Burger, Google and lululemon.

St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital also made the list at number nine. A scientist at St. Jude loves working there because, “The people are fantastic and welcoming! It feels more like a family career than just a job. The researchers and facilities are top notch, and everything is collaborative.”

Three companies have now made the list for all ten years: Bain, Google and Apple. Of these repeat nominations, Homan says, “These employers have shown an impressive consistency and ability to keep their workforces engaged and satisfied. Amount these three employers, the common attribute they share is that they offer company cultures that are unique to them and what’s more, they offer a company culture that their employees truly believe in.”

The Top 50 U.S. list of best small and medium companies (with less than 1,000 employees) includes Silverline at number one. New Home Star, New Century, Acceleration Partners and Zoom Video Communications took spots two through five. Other notable companies include social media tool Sprout Social and digital marketing agency Elite SEM. As one account lead shared, ‘The benefits are ridiculous. They sound too good to be true, but they’re not. Unlimited PTO, free lunch, free dinners if you work late, annual corporate retreat.”

One of the top factors that determines whether or not an employee wants to change jobs is often happiness and job satisfaction. During the interview process, it can be hard to tell which companies are healthy are which are struggling. Sites like Glassdoor provide insight into what’s really going on behind a company’s doors. And, best of all – the reviews are left anonymously, and the companies are not allowed to edit them. This means that you get the real scoop – directly from the employees. They’re like hotel reviews, but much more impactful to your future.

Angela Copeland is a Career Coach and Founder of Copeland Coaching and can be reached at or on Twitter at @CopelandCoach.