Career Tips by Fisher Investments

Whether you’re interested in an opportunity at Fisher Investments, or simply looking to further develop your current career path, our career tips can help you stand out from your peers.

Do You Have Character?

By, 09/30/2011

In my daily reading, I typically come across an article that triggers a sense of introspection. I feel asking myself and then answering honest questions allows me to grow. Often times this knowledge highlights areas to improve on. This can be extremely helpful in a career search, as a candidate is typically asked to talk about themselves extensively. Truly knowing who you are as a person and having a strong understanding of how you would fit into a prospective role allows both you and the recruiter to quickly determine if a fit exists.

The title of the New York Times article, What if the Secret to Success Is Failure?, caught my eye as a potential learning experience to share with you, the Fisher Investments Careers Blog readers. I quickly realized that the article was geared more towards education policy (something I am not very knowledgeable about) and confess I did not read all nine pages. I did find interesting, however, the trigger for the studies discussed – a book about character. It contains a list of 24 character strengths, which lends itself nicely as a sounding board to generate introspective questions. I share it with you here in hopes that it will help you learn more about yourself and your career development.

Excerpt from the New York Times

“And here’s a list of the 24 character strengths identified in “Character Strengths and Virtues,” the 2004 book by Chris Peterson and Martin Seligman that was the origin of this initiative.

The 24 Character Strengths

Zest: approaching life with excitement and energy; feeling alive and activated

Grit: finishing what one starts; completing something despite obstacles; a combination of persistence and resilience.

Self-control: regulating what one feels and does; being self-disciplined

Social intelligence: being aware of motives and feelings of other people and oneself

Gratitude: being aware of and thankful for the good things that happen

Love: valuing close relationships with others; being close to people

Hope: expecting the best in the future and working to achieve it

Humor: liking to laugh and tease; bringing smiles to other people; seeing a light side

Creativity: coming up with new and productive ways to think about and do things

Curiosity: taking an interest in experience for its own sake; finding things fascinating

Open-mindedness: examining things from all sides and not jumping to conclusions

Love of learning: mastering new skills and topics on one’s own or in school

Wisdom: being able to provide good advice to others

Bravery: not running from threat, challenge, or pain; speaking up for what’s right

Integrity: speaking the truth and presenting oneself sincerely and genuinely

Kindness: doing favors and good deeds for others; helping them; taking care of them

Citizenship: working well as a member of a group or team; being loyal to the group

Fairness: treating all people the same; giving everyone a fair chance

Leadership: encouraging a group of which one is a valued member to accomplish

Forgiveness: forgiving those who’ve done wrong; accepting people’s shortcomings

Modesty: letting one’s victories speak for themselves; not seeking the spotlights

Prudence/Discretion: being careful about one’s choices; not taking undue risks

Appreciation of beauty: noticing and appreciating all kinds of beauty and excellence

Spirituality: having beliefs about the higher purpose and meaning of the universe”

Fisher Investments at BYU

By, 09/28/2011

Fisher Investments’ corporate recruiters have traveled to Provo, Utah for the latest career fair stop in Fisher Investments campus recruiting season. The Fall 2011 Career Fair at Brigham Young University (BYU) is one of two general career fairs scheduled, but the only one Fisher Investments currently plans to attend. This marks a unique opportunity for students to meet with recruiters and learn about the opportunities at Fisher Investments. If you are in the area – come out to meet us! If you happen to know someone attending BYU that you think would be a great fit for the firm, pass along the information. The firm looks forward to meeting as many eager candidates as they can during their short visit.

To learn more about BYU campus recruiting, please visit the BYU Career Center.

Fisher Investments Campus Recruiting

By, 09/26/2011

The campus recruiting season is now in full swing. This month marked the beginning of what is scheduled to be a busy year for the Fisher Investments corporate recruiters in terms of visiting campus recruiting events. In order to keep candidates informed as to where the recruiters will be and when, we have made some updates to this site. I’ve promised of course to keep you updated here on the blog as these events come up, but now there is a designated section to view all scheduled events in one place on Fisher Careers. Fisher Investments Campus Recruiting not only contains scheduled event details, but also helpful information potential candidates may be looking for as they research the firms attending their school’s career events. Extremely helpful is the section on entry level roles typically available at Fisher Investments. I can attest to the fact that this is the number one question asked at a career fair. Researching ahead of time will allow you to make a bigger impression on a corporate recruiter and ask specific questions. Both will get you closer to finding the right fit as you navigate through the recruiting process.

Ken Fisher - Forbes

By, 09/23/2011

For new and even existing employees, it is always neat to look back into a firm’s history to see what the leaders of a company where thinking in prior years.  Unless you have been at Fisher Investments for over 27 years, there is inevitably something to learn by looking back at the Forbes columns by Ken Fisher, Fisher Investments’ founder and CEO. Ken has been writing for Forbes for over 27 years. Given Forbes was founded in 1917, the information contained in Ken’s columns is part of almost a third of Forbes’ history as well. It isn’t surprising to learn that Ken is the fourth longest running columnist for the magazine. I personally have referenced articles all the way back to the beginning of Ken’s Forbes career. The articles are a part of Ken and Ken is a part of Fisher Investments.  Being an employee of Fisher Investments, I feel it is a part of me as well and I like knowing about my firm.

With the evolution of online publishing, historical columns are readily available. Even more exciting, though, is that the ease of publishing online content now complements traditional print articles, allowing content to be provided in-between monthly publication dates. This is also true in Ken’s case. His recent post on Forbes won’t be found in the magazine that comes out on stands shortly, but it is timely and welcomed by me—as I am sure by others that are followers of Ken. There are many who will still savor each page turn of the monthly article that will appear in Forbes (I am a self admitting magazine junkie myself), but in the world of instant gratification and knowledge seeking there is nothing more satisfying than new content found on the web. Follow Ken Fisher on Forbes to get notifications as to when similar posts and his print articles are available online. I do and I think it makes me a more informed employee, which is just as true for candidates.

How many degrees from Fisher Investments are you?

By, 09/22/2011

While some argue Facebook has made great strides on career networking, LinkedIn still seems to hold the designation as the primary social networking hub for career opportunities. The philosophy behind networking is often described as the six-degrees-of-separation theory.  LinkedIn looks at your self-established network and quantifies degrees of separation between you and all other users.  A 1st degree relationship means you have indentified yourself as knowing another individual, whereas a 2nd degree relationship means you and that person each share a 1st degree relationship with the same person. Networking (a key to identifying career opportunities) is then easily done across a computer (or mobile app) screen by reaching out to the higher degree relationships. As the number of an individual’s first degree relationships grows, so does their network and the potential career opportunities.

In order to facilitate the efficient growth of your network, LinkedIn provides suggestions as to who you might know. Personally, the people provided to me by LinkedIn are typically Fisher Investments employees, as expected given I have worked at the firm for over nine years. Last week for the first time I was shocked by a suggestion – someone was recommended to me that was a first degree relationship to five of my first degree relationships – all relationships from different parts of my life. I was shocked and convinced that we really are all connected somehow.

Curious as to how many degrees you are separated from Fisher Investments? Follow Fisher Investments on LinkedIn and you might be surprised by who in your network is connected to Fisher Investments. Here at Fisher Investments we encourage employees to make candidate referrals should they know a potential candidate and to keep potential candidates informed on the job opportunities available.It never hurts to send the connection request!

Fools Rush In

By, 09/16/2011

During my time as a corporate recruiter for Fisher Investments, I sifted through plenty of resumes. As I sifted, I was hoping to find golden nuggets--resumes that jumped out at me for one reason or another. Of course, I was ideally looking to “strike it rich” by finding resumes that shone because the experiences and skills were the exact fit for the job. Every now and then, though, my eye caught the flint of something different altogether. Sometimes this was the candidate’s intention, as they decided to include a catchy phrase, quote, or even picture.

But the true fool’s gold was the resume that drew attention from something entirely unintentional. Often I would need to do a double take just to be sure I wasn’t seeing things. I was always in awe someone would decide to use a personal email address that was obviously too personal to be shared with a complete stranger. The quote below comes from a recent Forbes article and reminded me of all those email addresses that had me wondering who the person was behind them – something I just had to share.

“Final housekeeping note: Have a professional e-mail address for prospective employers to email you at that is your first and last name, if possible. It takes a few minutes to set up a free Gmail account. Who is going to take you seriously if your e-mail is partygirl@aol.com?”

Are You in Limbo?

By, 09/14/2011

2010 was a busy year for me as a Recruiter at Fisher Investments. This was the year the financial services industry was just starting to ramp back up hiring, having been the hardest hit industry of the recession. You would think this would be the ideal time for recruiters to have their pick of the crop, and at times it did seem that way. Not as many firms were hiring, but plenty of students were still graduating college, and many of them still interested in pursuing a finance career. There were also candidates looking for an opportunity to continue their career path in finance who had been working in the industry but lost their jobs when financial firms cut back.

The shock came when I would come across a candidate who had graduated in 2009 and was content with the unemployed lifestyle they’d grown accustomed to in the down market. Here I was a recruiter knocking on their door, offering a chance to launch a career in the field they studied, yet they seemed more content living at home than putting effort into their job search. Now as a disclosure, this of course was not every candidate – just a handful. But it certainly struck me as odd, and therefore sticks out in memory.

The New York Times recently posted a story (excerpt below) about the generation I had been interacting with. The article suggests it was a generation in limbo and full of people happy to wait out their career search by taking jobs here and there with little relevance to the profession they once dreamed of entering. It was an interesting read and one I would encourage job seekers to read and then ask themselves “why?” Why do you find yourself in limbo? Is it due to a lack of jobs in your industry, or are you content in not having a career?

Building lifelong careers for our employees at Fisher Investments is something we strive for because we know how rewarding it can be to have a career you are proud of. I can’t help but wonder what would be possible if all those in limbo decided to take the plunge and really seek out a career that could fulfill them. If you are one of those – you have found a great opportunity with Fisher Investments.

“The Heldrich survey also found that the portion of graduates who described their first job as a “career” fell from 30 percent, if they graduated before the 2008 economic downturn (in 2006 and 2007), to 22 percent, if they graduated after the downturn (in 2009 and 2010).” - Generation Limbo: Waiting It Out, NYTimes.com

Go Bears!

By, 09/12/2011

As the leaves turn and we head into fall – many people think of football.  There are those who are diehard college fans and those dedicated to the NFL. At times, you’ll see people so in love with the game they cannot help but follow both – making for busy weekends of football watching and little time for anything else. Here in the Bay Area, all eyes are on two of the biggest college teams, Cal Berkeley and Stanford. At Fisher Investments, we too have our eyes on these schools…especially Cal as we kick off our campus recruiting season.

Fisher Investments recruiters will be attending the Fall 2011 Career Fair on Berkeley’s campus September 13th. This is an opportunity for both students and alumni to speak with our recruiters and learn first hand about the opportunities Fisher Investments has to offer. As a follow up to the career fair, Fisher Investments will also be presenting an information session on the evening of the 20th. Be sure to mark your calendar if these events are applicable to you. We will also be rooting on candidates at other schools throughout the season, much like the football fans will be cheering for their favorite teams!

The Only Three Questions that Count

By, 09/07/2011

Although too early for a buzz, there is a faint hum starting around the office here at Fisher Investments about Ken Fisher’s next book. Ken is the CEO and Founder of Fisher Investments and one of his favorite pastimes has always been writing. His pastime has provided the followers of his investment principles with many resources to educate themselves on his philosophy and distinct opinions of the financial services industry. Any new book is heavily anticipated, especially given his past four books have gone on to become best sellers.

Planning for the release of this new book, I find myself thinking about Ken’s past books. Over time I am sure we will cover each of them on this blog. Some are more entertaining than others and some are more educational than others. Some are quick reads, while others are great references. For a candidate looking to educate themselves on Fisher Investments or someone interested in expanding their knowledge of investing, reading The Only Three Questions that Count: Investing by Knowing What Others Don’t is the book I often recommend. It has been listed in investing book lists and reviewers have written about this book being a key to their understanding of some basics in personal investing. I personally enjoy the book because I can actually hear Ken speaking through the words I am reading – his voice truly comes across in these pages. When I was an Investment Counselor and spoke to our clients on a daily basis, I also periodically referenced this book and hear Investment Counselors do so to this day. I think it will always be a timeless representation of how Ken thinks about investing and key knowledge for all of those interested in Fisher Investments.

Fisher Creek Campus

By, 09/06/2011

In a previous post I talked about the Fisher Investments campus we are building in Washington state. Recently the Vancouver Business Journal cited the campus, known as Fisher Creek, as the 2011 Top Projects winner.  While it is always exhilarating to be considered a winner – the article reemphasizes what a great commitment this new campus is to the employees of Fisher Investments. While I am a California native and will most likely always work out of Fisher Investments’ California office, I take pride that I work for a firm that emphasizes not only making the lives of the Fisher Investments employees a little better, but also in the way they go about it. The article talks in length about the measures that were taken into consideration to ensure that the natural beauty of the environment was kept intact and made a prominent part of the development. I think this may be one of the many reasons why it is considered a top project.

For those looking to start their career at Fisher Investments, the vision of the firm can physically be seen in this project. Fisher Investments is a firm looking towards growth, supportive of their employees, not afraid to think outside of the typical financial services box when selecting their location, and taking sustainability into consideration.

Fisher Investments - Fisher Creek Campus

Generations

By, 09/01/2011

I recently came across an article on Yahoo! News about incoming college freshmen, which got me thinking. The story is about this year’s Beloit College Mindset List. If you haven’t heard of it – you are probably not alone. I too had never heard of the list, but have often heard common sayings such as, “today’s college students have never known life without the internet” and the like. The list itself ranks unique identifiers that demark a change in the experiences each new generation has had as they start their college experience. Originally the list was created to help college professors understand who their new pupils were, and to alter their teaching style accordingly, but over time it has become an entertaining list for those just interested in random facts.

What does this list have to do with your career search or our recruiting? My opinion is a lot, if you give it some thought. Once an individual realizes the differences they may have before interacting with a recruiter or hiring manager, they can use this to their advantage. Acknowledge these differences and highlight them as positives, but also be respectful to those different from you. A mutual understanding of respect and varying life experiences can help bridge the gap between generations, allowing both parties to focus on the factors that are important to the job itself. Some firms are very innovative, like Fisher Investments.  Others are not. It should be easy to tell from the beginning of the hiring process which category a firm falls into. Use that to your advantage as you prepare for an interview. For a break, take a minute to read the list. Some items may make you smile, laugh out loud, or make no sense at all, but the lesson in understanding generational differences is timeless.

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