You Need Allies

By Jeff Altman, The Big Game Hunter

Professor Emerita Patricia O’Hara of Notre Dame spoke to the Senate confirmation hearings for Judge Coney Barrett. As you would expect, she was eloquent in her praise of the judge and shared stories of meeting her when she was being recruited for the faculty, her professional successes with students, and law publications alike.

Then, she said something that got my attention. She said this was the second time she had the opportunity to communicate with the Committee about a nominee to the SCOTUS. The first time when she advocated for a nominee and now-Supreme Court Justice, Elena Kagan, who she again described powerfully and with enormous amounts of praise for many of the same qualities as Judge Coney Barrett.

I was reminded by her testimony of how powerful an impression an advocate can make, particularly one who presents a non-partisan case for advocacy. I was also reminded that advocates are only a part of the tools a person should have in their professional toolbelt.

There comes a point fairly early on in most people’s careers where you stop hearing the truth. Rise to a level of manager and your staff is trying to persuade you to notice them and advance them to the next level. Your boss may give you advice but is often too removed from your case to provide you with impactful suggestions.

If you’re honest with yourself, you don’t write or present as well as you could if you believed that it was critically important to write and present. You have no one to talk to professionally who has your interests at heart. You need to build a reputation for yourself or remain invisible to the universe at large and always needing to apply for jobs instead of having them seek you out. I don’t mean cold calls to you. I mean worthwhile professional recommendations that allow you to cut the line and get to the front.

I tend to be skeptical of many mentors because too many are focused on your success with your current firm and not your success. Sometimes that overlaps. Usually, it doesn’t because the mentor chooses not to advocate.

My wife and I adopted our son in Almaty, Kazakhstan a few months after 9/11. When we flew back to the US, we needed to make a stop in Moscow to have our son receive papers to allow us to bring him home with us. After a long flight to Moscow made longer by the emergency landing somewhere in Siberia, we landed and approached a customs line that looked a quarter of a mile long.

But something happened that we were told about but as Americans found it hard to imagine. People we did not know, whom we could not understand, started to wave the three of us to the front of the line. No waiting for us! We cut the line . . . with permission!

Often, there are back doors and side doors that allow you to cut lines and advance faster than others. Employing allies, advocates and ideas that made clients come to me, instead of me always pursuing them, helped me to a successful multiyear career in search and now in coaching where I leverage my experience from many many years in recruiting to help people re-position into new roles and new careers.

It has helped me cut the line in front of many other coaches who push resume writing services that have a modest benefit to a person. I accept no corporate money except for sponsorships to my podcast, “No BS Job Search Advice Radio,” which is #1 in Apple Podcasts for job search. In November 2020, we will celebrate our 10th anniversary and 2000th episode. No podcast is even close in the job search category.

I work as an ally to people in the workplace to help you advance your career through a job change, hiring more effectively, managing and leading more effectively, and being your confidential ally in your job search and your career.

Find allies to help you and guide you. Learn from others, rather than figuring it out on your own by trial and lots of errors.

If you would like to learn more about my work and how I can help, schedule a free discovery call at

Ⓒ The Big Game Hunter, Inc., Asheville, NC 2020




Jeff Altman, The Big Game Hunter
Jeff Altman, The Big Game Hunter

Jeff Altman, The Big Game Hunter is a career and leadership coach who worked as a recruiter for more than 40 years. He is theCareer Angles | Jeff Altman, The Big Game Hunter host of “No BS Job Search Advice Radio,” the #1 podcast in iTunes for job search with more than 2000 episodes. He also hosts Job Search TV on YouTube, Amazon and Roku, as well as on for Apple TV and 90+ smart sets.

If you have a quick question for me, you can get it answered with a 3–5 minute video.

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