Read Goldman Sachs Response

March 14, 2012
Our Response to Today’s New York Times Op-Ed
By now, many of you have read the submission in today’s New York Times by a former employee of the firm. Needless to say, we were disappointed to read the assertions made by this individual that do not reflect our values, our culture and how the vast majority of people at Goldman Sachs think about the firm and the work it does on behalf of our clients.

In a company of our size, it is not shocking that some people could feel disgruntled. But that does not and should not represent our firm of more than 30,000 people. Everyone is entitled to his or her opinion. But, it is unfortunate that an individual opinion about Goldman Sachs is amplified in a newspaper and speaks louder than the regular, detailed and intensive feedback you have provided the firm and independent, public surveys of workplace environments.

While I expect you find the words you read today foreign from your own day-to-day experiences, we wanted to remind you what we, as a firm – individually and collectively – think about Goldman Sachs and our client-driven culture.

First, 85 percent of the firm responded to our recent People Survey, which provides the most detailed and comprehensive review to determine how our people feel about Goldman Sachs and the work they do.

And, what do our people think about how we interact with our clients? Across the firm at all levels, 89 percent of you said that that the firm provides exceptional service to them. For the group of nearly 12,000 vice presidents, of which the author of today’s commentary was, that number was similarly high.

Anyone who feels otherwise has available to him or her a mechanism for anonymously expressing their concerns. We are not aware that the writer of the opinion piece expressed misgivings through this avenue, however, if an individual expresses issues, we examine them carefully and we will be doing so in this case.

Our firm has had its share of challenges during and after the financial crisis, but your pride in Goldman Sachs is clear. You’ve not only told us, you have told external surveys.

Just two weeks ago, Goldman Sachs was named one of the best places to work in the United Kingdom, where this employee resides. The firm was the highest placed financial services company for the third consecutive year and was the only one in its peer group to make the top 25.

We are far from perfect, but where the firm has seen a problem, we’ve responded to it seriously and substantively. And we have demonstrated that fact.

It is unfortunate that all of you who worked so hard through a difficult environment over the last few years now have to respond to this. But, our response is best demonstrated in how we really work with and help our clients through our commitment to their long-term interests. That priority has distinguished us in the past, through the financial crisis and today.

Thank you.

Lloyd C. Blankfein
Gary D. Cohn

Finding a Job in 2011

Global recession is over and the job market is on a rebound while employers are starting to hire again. However the rules of engagement has changed.  Do note that there’s still a lot of competition out there and you’ll need to use every available resource and skill to get a foot in the door.

In the post-recession job market, submitting your resume and cover letter is not going to get you a job alone. I have had the privilege of perusing my colleagues resume over time and one thing I’ve observed is the inability to give a voice to resumes and cover letters. Your resume and cover letter should project your kind of professional person and what you’re bringing to the table. Often times, we leave out our achievements and accomplishment at our workplace because we think it’s inappropriate to do so. I totally disagree because trumping your achievements in your recent and past jobs is a sure way of being noticed and considered for the post in view.

Secondly if  you have saved the company extra bucks through an initiative of yours or done things differently,  prospective employers should learn about it through your resume.  So what works? Experts say making connections, adapting to each potential employer and promising results are the only ways to get hired. For instance if you’re applying for a position you think does not reflect your current job role, I always suggest you adopt a functional resume that chronicles the various skills you’ve acquired within your present job role.

Making connections is also vital in securing a new job because everything is built on personal connections. With large unemployment figure as we have in Nigeria and job openings still relatively scarce, employee referral is one way to increase your chances of getting a job. Potential employees should connect with people within a company and ask them for a referral. “It may be as mush as 10 times more effective” than simply applying (Gerry Crispin, co-owner of Careerxroads).

To that end, social networking has carved out a crucial spot in today’s job market. Job seekers must be on boar with LinkedIn, Facebook and Twitter as well as smaller industry-specific sites in order to connect with more people, and employers, in their industry.  Social media tools should be used to make real connections not just virtual ones. Lots of people use social media all day long and they are communicating with tons of people but they’re not connecting with anybody. Build the relationship from there so it becomes a real world relationship.

Stretch to fit: Once job seekers connect with a company, then the real work of getting hired begins. Gone are the days of impressing a hiring manager with experience and education. These days it’s identifying what results you can deliver that will ultimately get you an offer.  In the current world today, the employer cares about one thing: what can you do for me today, how are you going to solve my most pressing problems, how are you going to take away my pain?

I usually suggest a potential employee finds out more about the company and what the company’s needs are via the websites and annual reports. Once you are well versed in the company’s particular constraints within the current economic climate, identify what you can bring to the table. Focus on the results you produced in your career so far: “here’s how, here’s when, here are the percentages,”. If you can’t add value, they’re not going to hire you. Experts also recommend being open to the pay, position, location and schedule of any position that is offered. Think more broadly, look at all the possibilities otherwise, you’ll be looking for a long, long time.

Waiting!

It’s 1.40p.m in the afternoon and i’m sitting here at a warehouse typing on my laptop. Today, I took off from work cos I wasn’t in the mood for any kind of serious work. Have you ever felt you were waiting for something you are entirely clueless about but your intuitive self knows that this wait could possibly make you? I was talking with a friend of mine today and I remember telling her that I was bored with my job…and I wanted something more, which I can’t define right now. So here I am, typing on this blog and I decided to check up on a company I had approached last year to become their front line brand ambassador within West Africa and to my pleasant surprise, I find that I’ve been included as one of their brand ambassdors specifically for the West African market. How exciting is that?

Does that mean I’m giving up on my day job? Not yet, but it means I have the chance to put the skills and experience I’ve mastered on my current job role in making this brand a success within the Nigerian market when we roll out next month. I’m a creative and analytical person who has recorded a lot of success within my present job role but I’m at the crossroad where I realise it’s time to move on to the next chapter of my life. I want to make use of all the opportunities I consciously seek out to make a difference for myself and the community in which I live. Life is an interesting journey depending on your personal perspective…I’ve been waiting consciously and unconsciously and I know that 2009 is the year when I have to jump off the cliff to reach out to the world.