Where are grey hairs valued in the employment world?
In private equity experience is treasured. They are looking for fit/chemistry and experience in a comparable growth stage. Industry experience helps, but good skills are more important. They want people with experience in a resource-constrained environment, a strong understanding of cash flow, best practices knowledge from a large company, and functional experience in the company’s leverage points.
They want people like in the recent Matt Damon movie The Martian: scrappy and can create fast value with scant resources.
Age, gender and race are all trumped by skills in this fast-paced arena. In a recent Master Class on private equity, Mike Lorelli said, “Male, female, white, purple, black… doesn’t matter. We just want the job done. We just want the perfect candidate. This is one of the few places on earth that grey hairs are not a disadvantage; in fact it’s an advantage. We’re not buying you for 30 years. We’re going to turn this company in 6,7,8 years. I don’t care if you’re 60 years old. We’d rather have battle-tested.”
To hear Mike talk about these issues listen to this excerpt from his Master Class, Landing a Position in Private Equity.
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