A lesson from Jerry Seinfeld

Timing is everything, too much will kill a deal and too little does equal damage.  Knowing when to "make your move" is critical whether your quitting a job or hiring a new body.  There's no magic formula to calculate the correct alignment of the stars and no soothsayer can predict future success.  There is though, one caveat that always holds true...the best time is when you don't need to.

Think about it.  Jerry had one of if not the top rated shows on TV, he was earning a million bucks per episode and American Express was paying him a pretty penny to boot.  At the top of his game Mr. Yada Yada Yada says adios -- and he's smart enough to know we haven't missed him long enough to risk a comeback failure like Kramer, George and Elaine.

However, in the world wide web of work we usually can't wait for a comeback -- gotta pay the mortgage, gotta file the 10-Q.  But the model still works.  Let's say you're the VP of Marketing who created the "Where's the beef?" campaign.  Do you hang around another year hoping that your next genius will be able to top last years numbers?  Or do you quietly snuggle up next to your favorite head hunter, relationship in place, and ask them to be your agent?

Maybe your title begins with a C and ends in an O.  Your kingdom of finance, technology or everything is hitting home runs every day or at least running smoothly.  Isn't that the best time to raise the bar and plug in that vision that got you in this seat to begin with?  Damn straight it is.  What or who is the weakest link? Goodbye.  Where's the biggest opportunity and who's on the bench to grab it?  If your reach exceeds your grasp, better reach out and call someone (1-800-Ken Loyd) who knows that "Where's the beef?" genius previously mentioned.

Most people wait until there's a void.  Somebody quits, somebody gets laid off.  We spend our time filling empty positions or empty paychecks -- we spend our time filling empty holes reacting to current dynamics or fertilizing what we've already planted hoping it will bear more fruit than last year.  We wait until the season changes, we wait until the market turns around.  We react instead of act.  We put ourselves in a position of pressure where we are forced to make the best decision possible within a reasonable time frame instead of being in the drivers seat able to negotiate from a position of strength.

Yet another example of the irony and contradiction in the garden of work.  It's kinda like insurance.  The only time you really need it ("it" being a job or someone to hire) is when you don't have it.  Contradictions are opportunities in disguise.  I'll be the first to admit it's hard to look for a job when you're busy doing your job; and it's equally difficult to look down the road when you're trying to roll out a new POS system or close last quarters financials.  Quitting or firing someone is like ending a relationship.  But like Dolly Pardon sez: "The best way to get over somebody is to get under somebody."

So quit thinking about your job and think about your career.  Quit thinking about who's on first today and think about whose on the team that could win The World Series.  Knowing when to say good bye is also the best time to say hello...

Of course this is only my opinion, but itís one I value highly.


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