Putting all your eggs in one basket

This past week, I received a nice note from a friend.  Out of work for a year, becoming distraught and in disbelief!  How could this happen to me.  Top flight lawyer who had risen up the No. 2 role in his company.  This should not be happening.  I have been employed with one company for 18 years since law school.  I am not supposed to be laid off.

Time to refocus on the career

That was his situation a year ago.  This note was a note of thanks for helping him through a rough year.  We would talk a few nights a week.  We worked on the resume; worked on his LinkedIn prolife, built up his connections, made referrals.  In other words we did things that he had not done since getting out of college if then.  We worked on bringing him into job hunting in the 21st century.

I am career focused and always have been.  Always looking for the edge and how to get to the next level.  I have lived, breathed and tasted career since day 1.  That focus has allowed me to rise to heights that I could never have attained without that mindset.  I was the total opposite of my friend.

Being blind to your career

My friend was like a lot of people, get a nice job, things are good, nice promotions, nice money etc.  No concern whatsoever in what could happen beyond that job. He said he would never test the waters regardless how many calls he would get from headhunters.  Would not even entertain an interview! He thought that he was secure and was above all the layoffs that had been going on around him and throughout the company.

Where are your eggs?

There is one flaw with this line of thinking.  He put all his eggs in one basket.  When he lost the basket, he had nowhere to turn.  He was truly lost in the wilderness like so many people, adrift in sea of disbelief, now knowing what to do.

Job hunting today is totally different that it was years ago and it is not getting easier.  That is why you should spent time each week reviewing where you are, where you are going and as much as you can try and determine how to get there.  This should be part of your weekly routine.  Lots of people spent more time watching TV which brings absolutely no return to you and your family.

Always test the waters

I just returned from the World Human Resources Development Congress in Mumbai where I presented and was awarded the Outstanding Leadership Award for Global HR Excellence.

The reason I am telling you this story was another of my friends saw my update on Facebook.  He said he was amazed and “he wants to be like me when he grew up”.  When I read that I thought of a few times recently that I sent him contact information for 2 high level positions and he did not respond to me or follow up on the lead. 

Being happy and non-responsive

When I reached out to him to ask why, his response was “I am happy where I am.”  So happy that he could not pick up the phone to at least inquire as to what the role was about.  All the eggs in one basket! 

I don’t care where you are, you should always keep your eyes open to see what the market is doing?  You owe it to yourself and your family.  There is no gold watch after 30 years anymore.  Those days are long gone and will NEVER return. 

Think of professional athletes who at the end of their contract will test the waters to see what the market is like.  If you are talented that should be your mindset. 

Remember the habits you have today will bring you the life you experience tomorrow.  That is a career truth.  It will come based on your habits.  So spent a few nights a week getting in touch with where you are and where you are headed.


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