As everyone knows, many locations along the East Coast were recently severely damaged by Hurricane Sandy. As the devastated areas begin to walk the long road of recovery, Glenmont Group sends our thoughts and prayers to all of those who have been affected by this disastrous storm. We were lucky that we have only had to deal with relatively minor issues such as lost power and interrupted cable and internet service. Personally, the only annoyance I have had to deal with was a long wait to fill up my car’s gas tank on Friday night. While this is certainly nothing to complain about amidst such destruction, the five hours I spent in line offered me plenty of time to think.
One thought that popped into my mind was how my situation, in this case waiting for gasoline, was very similar to what most people are experiencing in their current workplace. As I plodded and inched my way toward the gas station, I wondered how many people there are out there inching and plodding their way through their career on a day-to-day basis. While the obstacle keeping me away from my prize was about one hundred cars, how many obstacles are there in your workplace prohibiting you from achieving your ultimate goals? Whether it be highly experienced superiors who have seemingly been at the firm all their life, a recently hired hot-shot who has no intentions of leaving anytime soon, or your company feels that your talents are just too good to be wasted on more of a management position, there are a number of factors which could be keeping you from the job of your dreams.
So why do people stay in situations such as these, where they may (or may not) realize that they are only treading water? The two simplest reasons are that they are comfortable and familiar with their current situation. By hour number two, it had become painfully obvious that I would only be moving about a half of a car length every ten to fifteen minutes. I began to question whether I should continue to wait or leave in the hopes of finding a better fueling opportunity. Of course when making the decision I had to weigh all of the risks. What if there were lines like this everywhere? Am I really going to just throw away the two hours I have already vested in this line? What if I run out of gas by the time I find a new place? What if every other station in the area already ran out of THEIR gas? The fact of the matter was that I couldn’t leave. I knew this line. It was frustrating yet predictable, and besides, I had no way of knowing if a better opportunity existed out there.
Unfortunately for me, there was no person, service or app which could tell me which stations had gas, how long the lines were and how much gas was left to be sold. But the good news is there is something out there which can provide this service to potential job seekers. A GOOD recruiter. Notice the emphasis on good. Just like anything in life, there are good and bad recruiters out there. The differences between the two are long enough to justify a separate blog post so I won’t go into detail but one of the main differences between the two is a good recruiter has established solid relationships with the firm he or she recruits for. A good recruiter should be able to tell you details about the company which go beyond a standard job description. Things such as the work environment, current management team, how the firm compares to their direct competition and what benefits exist in joining the firm beyond the compensation package. Because of this, there is much less risk involved for people to test the waters before deciding to take the plunge of moving to another firm.
The key is to know when to get out of line. The problem many people face is they wait too long before taking action. Just like it would have been foolish for me to begin my hunt for gas with my tank already running on fumes, it is just as bad for people to wait until they become so disenfranchised with their current situation that they allow their productivity to slip or begin to commit avoidable mistakes before beginning to look for their next job opportunity. Don’t wait until your tank is running on empty before deciding to see what is out there.
After five hours in line, I finally had made it to one of the three active gas pumps. Not only was I relieved that the station had not run out of gas one car ahead of me (as I had been paranoid about all night long) but it was amazing to see how many people were willing to lend their hand and help others. Whether it was helping to push a car which ran out of gas or filling up extra canisters to bring back to neighbors who were relying on generators to power their homes, it is always good to see people pulling together in a time of need. This can also apply to the job hunting scene. When looking for a change of scenery, it is more important than ever to lean on the network you have built over the years. Not only can it provide you valuable insights into which places would be great to work for and which you should avoid, but it could also provide you with potential openings which you otherwise would not have known about. Referrals make up a large part of our business. When people are contacted by recruiters, but are not currently looking to make a move, most are happy to pass along a few names of people who might be more open to the opportunity. It is important for you to stay on these people’s radar. Likewise, if you are contacted by a good recruiter with an opportunity you are not interested in, don’t miss out on an opportunity to possibly help out a friend in need.
If you would like to help those who have been most affected by Hurricane Sandy, please consider donating to a Hurricane Relief Fund.