10. References, Skeletons, and You

“If you can’t get rid of the skeleton in your closet, you’d best teach it to dance,” George Bernard Shaw wrote. That serves as an apt theme for our chapter on references, you, and your job search. Wherever you go, your reputation will follow you, and your former colleagues and bosses hold immense power to shape that reputation in how they speak about you through the reference process. In a job market where there’s increased movement and competition—people and financial institutions are coming and going in record numbers—it’s likely that you’ll find yourself in transition at some point. Even if you’re a top performer with years of great reviews, it’s challenging to keep track of references when former colleagues, ...

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