• Somer Hackley

Book journey week 7: What's happening.




You didn’t miss anything.

We’re not starting at week 1. The real week 1 was a long time ago, and now that I’m 7 weeks into the Creator Institute program I wanted to bring you along for the ride. The Creator Institute is making my book a reality. Hundreds of people signed up for this summer’s session, and they divided us into groups that meet weekly, led by Eric Koester who teaches at Georgetown University McDonough School of Business. They paired us each with an editor. We have a publisher, New Degree Press. They also give us a whole lot of homework, motivation, not to mention a cohort of other authors going through the same thing. Many of us have busy day jobs. You know what they say about busy people (I’m somehow getting this done).


I always knew there was a book in me, I just didn’t know which one.

When I launched my search firm in 2020 I reached out to people to catch up. Great things happen in “no agenda” conversations.


I came to realize that people, including very senior people, found the executive search world to be opaque and sometimes frustrating. I became a go-to person to provide transparency and give advice. I helped people position themselves to kick off their search, navigate timing of multiple opportunities, and negotiate offers. I listened and tried to let people know that they’re not alone. If only they could talk to each other, they’d realize that many of them are going through the same thing.


There were two main sets of people who asked questions:

  1. Executives with lots of job stability and have been working at the same company or with the same people for over a decade. They’re now looking for a new position and don’t know where to start, or they’re frustrated with some part of the process.

  2. People who are “new executives”, are used to dealing with transactional resume-oriented staffing firms or agencies, and are now in process for positions with retained executive search firms. Things are different. They wanted to know what to expect, how honest they should be, why things are taking so long, and what’s expected of them.

This book is about demystifying executive search. Title is still in the works. This isn’t an exposé, nor is it high level chat. This is shedding a light on what’s happening, how it works, how you can position yourself, and stay calm/sane through all of it.


The book has morphed from being a book of only my opinions, stories, and perspectives to a book that also teaches lessons and gives advice through the stories of my network.


I’m currently interviewing three sets of people:

  1. Executive recruiters (Partners, Consultants, Associates, any level) who have been referred to me by executives in my network as true candidate advocates.

  2. Executives who have opinions, stories, lessons, and advice to share regarding the candidate side of executive search. There are things they know now that they wish they knew earlier.

  3. Relevant known authors or experts

If you know of any executive recruiters who share my values, who are excellent partners to you as a candidate, please let me know.


If you have personal candidate experiences to share, please reach out and we’ll chat. I’m sure your insights will be valuable to many others.


Stay tuned to the newsletter and blog for more book updates. This article is simply getting you up to speed with a foundation. Next week I’ll share a bit more of the journey. The conversations I’m having are fascinating, and sometimes emotional. I’m honored people are willing to share their stories.


This is going to be great.

Somer Hackley

CEO, Distinguished Search

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