Wednesday, 26 September 2012

And Here's the Pitch

There's a guy I know, a pro, the kind of guy you want working for you, who has never been seriously recruited by anyone.  Oh sure, he's had off-the-cuff offers that amount to little more than cocktail party chatter.  He's had desperate headhunters ring him up, "do you know anyone who might be interested...?"  He got his current position the same way he has ever landed any job - he applied for it, successfully.  He hears stories of his peers lured away to the competition, but had started to believe it was all exaggeration and rhetoric.

And then he got the call.  The serious call.  The top guy at the competition called my friend at home, after hours, and told him he wanted him to take a serious promotion and leave his current company to do so.  There'd been cocktail party promises from middle management and low-level executives from this company in the past that my friend had acknowledged and ignored, but this was not that.  This was an actual invitation from a decision maker to advance his career in a way that increasingly seemed impossible in his current, otherwise happy state of affairs.

He asked me what I thought, and I called up the only baseball metaphor I could think of.

If it's a perfect pitch and you don't swing at the ball, it's still a strike.  Do that enough times and you're out without ever having moved an inch.  You can take yourself off the market and lessen your market value (even to your current employer) simply by doing nothing.

As an old boss told me wistfully when I submitted my resignation in search of a career growth elsewhere, "sometimes you have to move, to improve."

Best wishes, old pal. 

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