I was sitting in a conference room along with my new colleagues, all of them professors, some of whom were soon to be celebrating 30 years of service to the university.
I saw burnt bulbs, weary and dispirited eyes that had once shone brightly, perhaps as mine did as a freshly minted Ph. D. and their new tenure-track assistant professor.
As if a gloved hand grabbed me from the inside of my body and shook me, a question sprang forth in my bones:
“Do I really want to be sitting in this room 30 years from now?"
And because these folks would be voting on my tenure in seven years, I couldn’t help following-up this question with another:
“Do I really want to work for you?"
Soon after that initial meeting, within a few months, actually, I resigned what most people in my place would have considered the opportunity of a lifetime, a prestigious position at an idyllic institution.
As it turned out, I made the right decision, largely, I believe because I asked those questions.
You may have to work for a living; most of us do, but the one power that separates us from slavery is being able, at least to a meaningful extent, to determine with whom we work and for how long.
Some of us crave a change of scenery and company, literally and figuratively. You might be one such person.
Then again, you could be the rare individual who earns the gold watch.
No matter. When you’re considering hitching your wagon to an organization, after you have discussed everything else such as compensation and perks and expectations; commune with yourself.
Take your own counsel. Listen with your bones. Try these folks, who will be your associates, on for size.
Are they a good fit for you?
Close your eyes while visualizing theirs, and ask yourself: “Do I REALLY want to work for you?"
If the answer that wells up or whispers in you is anything but an enthusiastic “Yes!" move on to another opportunity.
Believe me: the road not traveled could make all the difference, for you, too.
Every minute of every day, someone in the world is reading a book or an article written by Dr. Gary S. Goodman. Best-selling author of 12 books and more than 850 articles, Gary is considered a foremost expert in telephone effectiveness, customer service, and sales development. A top-rated speaker, seminar leader, and consultant, his clients extend across the globe and the organizational spectrum, from the Fortune 1000 to small businesses. He can be reached at: firstname.lastname@example.org .