Wealth Podcast Post

Meaningful Work with Gene Rice

George Grombacher June 30, 2022

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Meaningful Work with Gene Rice

LifeBlood: We talked about how to find meaningful work, why it’s worth spending time on, how to help young people figure out their careers, why focusing on interviewing skills is valuable, and how to get started, with Gene Rice, award-winning executive recruiter and author.  

Listen to learn why pursuing a life of gratitude can unlock happiness!

You can learn more about Gene at RiceCohenInternational.com, GradToGrownUp.com, Twitter and LinkedIn.

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Our Guests

George Grombacher


Gene Rice

Episode Transcript

Come on Well, leopard, this is George G. And the time is right. welcome today’s guest strong and powerful Jean rice. Jean, are you ready to do this?

Unknown Speaker 0:18
Absolutely. Judge.

george grombacher 0:19
All right, let’s go. Gene is the co founder and chairman of rice Cohen International. He’s a nationally recognized executive, recruiter, speaker, mentor. And he’s the author of grad two grown up 68 tips to excel in your personal and professional life. Jean, excited to have you on tell us a little bit your personal life some more about your work and why you do what you do?

Unknown Speaker 0:42
Well, I’ve been very blessed George, I have four children and four grandchildren, they all live within about 10 minutes of my wife and I have been married to the love of my life. Now for 38 years, it’s probably my greatest accomplishment. Not only did you know, I started the executive search firm, but my backgrounds kind of a little different. My first career was owning rock and roll clubs in New York. On a couple of those one was very successful one was not I learned a lot from that went into corporate America, I worked for a division of international fortune 100 spent seven years with them and got promoted five times I ended up running east coast operations for them, and made a decision back then to to change my career because I was on an airplane every day. And I wanted to be home. I had young children like yourself, Georgia, and I wanted to be home at night. So I started an executive search firm called rice Cohen International, it grew to be one of the largest in the world. I myself has had the great blessing to have placed over 1000 C level executives and positions. My company has placed 10s of 1000s. So what I bring from the experience point of view is you know, what’s really important, and the executives that I’ve placed that are most valuable to their shareholders and their boys and their staffs are the executives that find purpose in their life and wake up in the morning and are passionate about what they do. You know, so it’s one of the things in the book that I talked about. And one of the sad things I found just from getting to know a lot of young adults myself, and winning my own internship program and starting my own charity the planet students by a Dream Foundation.

george grombacher 2:23
Well, there are podcasts all over the place. There’s podcasts on parenting and grandparents and there’s podcasts on rock and roll. There’s podcasts on corporate America and obviously there’s there’s podcasts on the recruiting piece. And so I think that that’s awesome. Do you miss rock? Are you still a rock fan?

Unknown Speaker 2:43
Well, let me tell you something. I mean, you know, we started an idea, George, you know, we were the first club on Long Island to book only original music bands, right? I remember I heard a Billy Joel interview. He came from Long Island, right? And he was talking about they were asking him why he had to go out to LA to get his record deal. He said, Well, the club owner is all they you know, all they said is you know, you play top 40 Or you don’t play, you play top 40 Music We don’t want to hear your stuff. So we came up with a unique concept where we didn’t care what kind of music you played as long as it was your music. So as a result we got you know, we had bands like The Ramones, Cyndi Lauper, Joan Jett, the stray cat started my club, right? It was exciting. Except it. The first club was in a town that we set very conducive. The Second Club ended up being in an upper middle class where the neighbors were too close and didn’t like hearing punk music. So it was so But thank God, you know, from that failure, you know, I learned a whole bunch and it was a springboard to my corporate career and, and being an entrepreneur, again,

george grombacher 3:49
appreciate the punk rock and neighborhoods, not necessarily a great winning combination. So so you don’t care what kind of music they play as long as it is your music. There’s a tie in there. I don’t know if it’s direct or not to finding purpose in your work. Yeah,

Unknown Speaker 4:06
yeah. Well, let me let me share one thing with you know, I, I believe George, one of the goals that human beings should have. And if you can accomplish this, it will change your life. I believe every human being should find something that they sincerely love doing, and then doing it well enough that they can create a career and make a living doing it. Because my own personal experience has been if you can find that your personal health is better. Your personal relationships are better. The glass isn’t half full, it can be overflowing. Right? And one of the reasons why I wrote the book grad to grown up is for the last 25 plus years, George had bring in four college interns every summer for eight weeks into my company. And I felt that they were in my company for eight weeks. I wanted to spend a little time with him every week so it started off with me spending a couple hours sharing with them jeans life lessons. The things I wish I knew going into my senior year in college. And what came out of that was all of their questions. And, and being blown away How ill prepared they were to start not only their professional lives with their personal lives. And one of the things that, you know, that I really want to talk about, and the message I want to send is, I believe you have to have purpose. And you have to, you know, go after your passions, and a lot of these really bright young college students, when you ask them, Why are you majoring in engineering? Why are you Why do you want to be an accountant? Why? Why do you want to go to law school choice, my experience is when you really have that conversation, somebody in that young adults life who was influential to them, a parent or grandparent, a teacher, or a coach, kind of pointed them in that direction. And they pointed them in that direction, because they felt that they can make a living doing it, right. But my experience has been a lot of them start these careers. And they have no idea what they’re getting into. And they come back and they’re unhappy. And they have no job satisfaction. Now what I want to share with you, the Conference Board recently came out with a survey where they interviewed 2000 male executives. 51% of them said they had no job satisfaction, they woke up and went to went to work for a paycheck. And I think that’s extremely sad. And with these college interns, let me give you an example. There’s two that I knew that went to phenomenal law schools. One took an awful lot of college loans, you know, college loans in America $1.6 trillion, right? They went to they went to NYU, one went to NYU, one went to Boston College, they both graduated the top 25% of their law class, they came out and they started working in big law firms. Within two years, they absolutely hated what they were doing hated. Now, listen, I don’t care. There’s a lot of lawyers that are happy. But the message I’m trying to send is right, is if you’re passionate about something, I don’t care if you’re a senior person or a young adult, I think it’s important that we encourage people to pursue their passions, to see if they can figure out how to get a job. In the book grads have grown up, a lot of these young people had no idea Well, how do I pursue that? I give them a roadmap in the book, I tell them exactly how to do it, how to go about it, how to get not only interviews, but once they get the interview George how to capture the job, right? So the message I want to send and I’ve seen this with the senior executives, your life can change if you can somehow figure out how to take that thing that you’re that gives you purpose and that you love pursuing right? And then find a way to make a living doing it. So to go back to that last story. My daughter who I wrote the book with right, she went to Lehigh University. She graduated with two degrees, one in economics and one in English. And at Lehigh, George, if you graduate with a 3.75 GPA or higher, they will pay for your master’s degree. Wow. Well, they paid for her master’s degree. She thought she wanted to be a lawyer right. Now after my experience what I experienced, I said, Courtney, let’s see if we can find a small boutique law firm that will take you in this summer. We’ll tell them that you’re willing to work for free, right? So she reached out we found a small boutique law firm. She was volunteering her services. This partner in a small firm took her in that summer, George he exposed to everything involved with being a lawyer, the administrative piece, the research piece, he took her into the courtroom multiple times. At the end of that summer, she came out and she had no desire to be a lawyer anymore. Her passion was always teaching, but she thought coming from Lehigh with all of the all of her friends that what that wasn’t a career that people would respect, which you know why? She goes into that classroom and she loves working with those students every day. I had an opportunity to walk into a Wawa with her to get a sandwich in the town that she teaches. And four or five of the kids that were in a class, were working at Wawa, and to see how those kids reacted to her, and how she reacted to them. I’m like, Oh, my God, you found purpose in your life, you know? Now, I’ll give you an example. My son went to University of Maryland. He wanted to go into the financial financial services industry, George like just felt.

Unknown Speaker 9:48
He found a small boutique Ria, where he worked for free. He drove an hour and 15 minutes one summer each way. I shared the cost of the guests with him that summer. Right now he finished that summer George, and he loved the financial services industry. That free internship allowed him to apply to Vanguard. Now Vanguard high is probably 1000 kids off the campuses everywhere, but they hire 20 kids and what they call their high potential program. These are the globe, the best 20 Kids globally, because of that free internship. He was one of the 20 kids in the first kid from the University of Maryland and got hired into Vanguards high potential program. Awesome. They were in there. So the message I want to send is, and what a lot of young adults don’t understand is reach out to senior people. They’ll help you they’ll guide you, right. You know, like, George, my own career, because I was put on a lot of these top executive recruiter lists in the world, I would get 80 to 120 resumes a week. If I could help one person out of those 120 resumes is it was a lot. Because in the executive retained industry, you specialize in a vertical market. We were the largest search firm that worked in the management consulting any edtech vertical, you could be the CEO from the top consumer products company in the world, I couldn’t help you. But a couple of times a year, George, I would get an email from a young person. And the email would say, I am passionate about the executive search or the human resource industry. I’ve done some research. I know you’re a thought leader, would you spend a few minutes with me and give me some guidance? George, I tell you, I always responded to those emails. I always scheduled a call with those emails. And I know for a fact other senior people will do the exact same thing. Young adults are intimidated. In the book, I give them the email to Write Right? and for no other reason, because I’ve asked the senior executives, I place 90 plus percent would do the exact same thing. You know why? For no other reason, they’d want someone to do it for a family member of this church. So that’s one of the things I wanted to talk about. Hopefully, I answered your question.

george grombacher 12:10
For sure. It’s all it’s all music to my ears for sure. I know, how few of us actually enjoy our work. And you gave us those statistics. And so if if I don’t have that, or I don’t know that I’m passionate about teaching, or I totally get and CMS value in doing the free internship and actually figuring out is this something I want to do. But if I’m for lack of a better term, sort of rudderless, I just don’t know, how do I start exploring?

Unknown Speaker 12:45
Here’s the thing is, is there things in your life that have gotten you excited? Right? Are there things in your life that you are drawn to? Right? If not there, are there people because everyone has their own journey? George sometimes it happens later in life. But But the bigger message is when you find that thing, right, that gives you purpose that you’re passionate about. Every great dream begins with a dream. Go for it. And I want senior people like myself to encourage the heck out of that. Right. And it’s okay to talk to that person about plan. And it’s called the planner seat inspire a Dream Foundation. Right? And what the charity does is it takes we had four children of our own George, right. Three of our four kids found that thing that they were passionate about. My one daughter never found that thing. And she probably struggled the most during the teenage years, right? My oldest daughter was into acting, she would go to acting camps. She was an older play. She became the president of a drama club in high school. My son was a basketball player. He got married two weeks ago George for the issues in his wedding. Well guys that he played traveling you basketball with since fourth grade, right? What do those things do? Those things that when you’re young, and you’re passionate about something? Sometimes it’s that one ray of sunshine on a cloudy day, right? It connects you with positive role models, right? It builds your self esteem, depending on the passion. It also connects you with like minded kids. So it creates it creates friendships, right? So the charity has helped over 800 kids pursue their passions from underserved communities. A lot of single parents whose kids have the same passions, whether it’s sports, whether it’s the arts, dancing, singing, you name it, right? We step in, we find them the mentor, we put it together we interview and we give them a scholarship. But the reason why I’m sharing it with you, first of all, every financial reward that comes from the sale, the book read the grown up, is going directly to the charity from the publisher to help more kids. But I’m going to give you the story that might relate to another charity that knew about my charity reached out to me a couple of years ago. And this was a charity enjoys, it helped foster kids that never knew their parents get into college. And then once the foster kid graduated from college, if they were having a hard time getting that first job, they would reach out to business leaders in the community see? So I get a call from this charity. So would you help this young man? He said, absolutely. So I schedule a call with the young man. And the first thing I asked him, you know, I said, What was your What was your major? Sports Management? Sports Management? Okay. What have you done so far? Well, I’ve sent my resume to the Philadelphia Eagles, the Phillies, the 76. The Union, I said, what’s happened? He goes, No one’s gotten back to me. I’m like, Well, let me explain rule number one, if if the Phillies or the 76 is looking for someone with absolutely no experience, right, they’re gonna reach out to you and the other 1000 resumes they got. So reality is you’re not gonna get a job that way. I said, so I asked him two questions. He said, how passionate are you about this sports management? Because I will help you, but if we’re probably going to strike out, but if we get lucky, you’re gonna end up in Des Moines, Iowa working for a single a baseball team, right? Because I’ll go anywhere. I said, Okay, fine. I said, second question, if we strike out, which we most likely will, because sports management jobs is few of them. And the ones who get them usually have a hook, they know somebody, right? Very hard to break in, when you don’t know anyone at all. I said, I want to know your plan B, if we strike out what you’re willing to do. And he comes back to me says I’ll go into sales, I said, Great, there’s a lot more sales job than there is maybe sports management jobs. And we did I said we’re gonna go on a journey together. And they go back to the story I told you, I said, I want you to identify in 100 mile radius of Philadelphia, he was coming from Temple.

Unknown Speaker 17:17
Every senior level executives will start with the major franchises the Phillies eagles, then we’ll move down to triple A double a single A, then when we strike out will expand in 300 mile radius is okay. And here’s what I want you to do, I’m going to help you write the email to the senior executive on exactly what to say. If any of them get back to you, I will help prepare you for how that call should go. So he sends out the email. And in the book grads are grown up, we give them the email, we go into line by line. So he sends out his email and the Chief Marketing Officer, the Philadelphia 76 gets back to him George and says, I have some time on Friday. I’ll spend a few minutes with you. Alright, so I prepared him for how to handle that. Because you have to be prepared on how to handle that call. So when it’s over, give me a call. So he calls me about an hour late. And I said how did it go? He goes, I think it went pretty well. I said, Well, why do you feel that way? He goes, he’s invited me in on Tuesday to meet four people. I’m like, wait a second, he’s invited you into me for people. That means as a job, he’s not going to waste four people’s time to meet you. And this is a job. Well, the bottom of the story is the Philadelphia 76 has hired him in their corporate sales department, right? He got his foot in the door. Now, when our chief marketing officer sent out information on his kid in a resume, it wasn’t coming from HR talent acquisition, when that senior executive recommend someone to talk to this young person, the opportunities open up and become a lot higher for success. And that’s what I want your audience understand. Don’t be afraid, don’t be intimidated, right, reach out. Now what I also did with him. And here’s the other skill, which I think people don’t understand how important it is. And I’m not teaching them this in a college is judge. But if you happen to be one of these young adults graduating from college in the US today, and you and you’re part of that small percentage that goes to the Career Center and ask for advice, they’re going to prepare you a certain way. Every college prepares the kids exactly the same way for an interview. So what happens they go in the interview for a job, and they’re interviewing the exact same way as four or five other young adults. I believe the second goal that every person needs to understand is you know, in science, it’s called the Nobel Prize winner in the Olympics. It’s called a gold medalist in chess. It’s called the grandmaster. One of the skills that will help every human being is I want everyone to become a grandmaster of interview. I want you to become a grandmaster. Now, why is that so important, George? You know why? When you find that job, you really want the grandmasters, the person who gets the offer and the job. And if you’re a grandmaster, not only do you get offered the job, but you get paid more. So what I did with this young man in the book, we taught them how to become a grandmaster. We took them through the steps involved with that, you know, and that’s one of the things I think that’s really important. You know, I would prepare senior executive CEO candidates, they didn’t really know how to interview professionally. There’s a, there’s, there’s a skill involved. It’s a skill that people don’t take enough time learning, right? And it’s really valuable, because it’s going to determine the job you get and how much you being paid.

george grombacher 20:42
I love it. Yeah. And why wouldn’t there be there are skills involved with everything that we do? So certainly, if I’m intending to have jobs throughout the course of my life, which vast majority of us will, why wouldn’t I skill up and learn how to be a good interview? Good interviewer, so I love it. Well, Jean, people are ready for that difference making tip even though you’ve given us a lot, what do you have for them?

Unknown Speaker 21:11
I’m going to share something with my own personal life, George, I believe, if you can create for yourself a life of gratitude. It can change everything about your life. And people don’t understand well, how do you even start, right? And I’m going to the tip, I’m going to give his thoughts very easily. When you go to bed tonight, and you put your head on the pillow. Just recall three things that happened that day that you’re grateful for. And listen, there’s some days George, where you’re grateful for the lunch you had, you’re grateful for the TV show you watch, you’re grateful that the sun came out. But my own experiences is that if you can create that and start that, there will be days when it’s 567 things that you’re grateful for. Your eyes will change and how you look at things, the glass won’t be half full, you know, it could be overflowing. And if you can bring that into your daily life my experiences and your health enjoy, right? You have some friends where you’re with them, you love being with them. It’s fun, the glass that’s always positive, you know, is a chapter in the book on you know, do you want to be an ER Do you want to be a Tigger? You know, how much more fun is it to be hanging out with the Tiggers than it is with the ER so that’s the last thing I want to leave your audience with? Well, I

george grombacher 22:37
think that is great stuff that definitely gets come up the way more we can shift our perspective and and focus on gratitude and everything you just said I just couldn’t agree more. So I appreciate that. Gene. Thank you so much for coming on. Where can people learn more about you? And how can they get a copy of grad two grown up 68 tips to excel in your personal and professional life?

Unknown Speaker 22:59
Yeah, first of all, if any of your audience wants to go to our website, it’s grad two grown up G R ad two to grown up.com They can download some free chapters. You know, I know you’re a financial guy is actually a chapter that you can download on if you’re young adult and you have your first 401 K you know where to put it so you can when you 30 years later you can end up being a multi multimillionaire right grads are grown up with the book can be purchased on Amazon, Barnes and Noble Walmart target. It came out as the number one job interviewing tip book in the world. But there’s so much more here. There’s five sections in the book, everything from it’s 68 tips on how to create a life both professionally and personally that you’re proud of people can go to LinkedIn, I will connect with them. It’s Jean Rice, rice, Cohen International. I will connect with them. You can send me emails and we have Facebook page and Instagram page and if I can help anyone, that’s why I’m here. Love it.

george grombacher 24:02
All right. You enjoyed this as much as I did so Jr. Appreciation and share today’s show with a friend who also appreciates good ideas go to grad to grown up spelled out gra D to grown up.com. And take advantage of the free chapters. Check it out and then pick up a copy wherever you buy your books and find Jean on LinkedIn and social media. I’ll list all those in the notes of the show. Thanks again, Jane. Thank you, George. And until next time, keep fighting the good fight. We’re all in this together.

Transcribed by https://otter.ai

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