07 Sep “To Grab Opportunity, You Must Let Go of Security”
A few weeks ago as I was scrolling through my LinkedIn feed I saw the following quote from one of my friends, a fellow recruiter:
“To grab opportunity, you must let go of security.”
I Googled that quote but nothing came up, so I assume these are his original words. Based upon his current career situation at the time it makes sense that he would come up with those “words of wisdom” himself.
All too often I speak with professionals in the civil engineering field who tell me that they are “quite comfortable” where they are in their career, and won’t even peek through the crack of a door that I have slightly opened for them. I am sure this holds true for many people in many professions. As I have grown and developed over the course of my career as a search consultant, this type of comment leaves me scratching my head. My thought is, the moment that one becomes “quite comfortable,” or even worse, “complacent,” the paths to success greatly diminish. Being knee deep in the security of your current career situation will make it very challenging for you to step through a door of opportunity when it opens. We are all spread pretty thin these days, and I’m not suggesting that you accept every invitation to explore every new opportunity that is presented to you, but don’t be so quick to discount them either.
My first exposure to the world of executive search was a great one, and as successful as I was working for the firm that gave me the opportunity to enter the profession, I never became complacent. I was astutely aware of my professional surroundings and with one eye on the goal immediately in front of me, I always kept one eye on the future…looking ahead. I took great satisfaction in meeting and exceeding the needs of my clients, and though I was often at the top of the “leader board” I knew the moment I decided to kick back and put my feet up would be the moment the rug got pulled out from under me. In 2001 I left a very secure role with my employer to hang my own shingle and start Precision Executive Search. It would have been very easy for me to continue working for my employer, but through the suggestion of some of my clients, and after doing some due diligence, I took the plunge. I put myself in a position of actually being uncomfortable, a position where I was greatly challenged. I believe that by stretching yourself, and actually creating a level of discomfort, you actually propel your career forward.
My point being in all of this is that there is SO MUCH opportunity in front of all of us…it is ours for the taking! So if the thought of starting your own consulting civil engineering firm excites you, than go for it! Let go of the security of the regular pay check and grab the opportunity – you will be amazed at how you respond! If you receive a call out of the blue from an old college friend, a previous colleague, or a headhunter like yours truly who tries to recruit you, don’t turn down the opportunity to explore it further because your are “quite comfortable” where you are. By grasping tight to the security of your current situation you may be letting a career altering opportunity slip through your hands! If you see a business opportunity within the confines of your current employer, or have an idea that is worth exploring or a new and unique way of solving an age old problem, SPEAK UP, let go of the security that exists by staying behind your computer screen all day and following only the daily direction of those above you and groveling under the philosophy of “this is the way it has always been around here,” and grab the opportunity!
You remember Linus from the Peanuts cartoon, right? Charlie Brown’s best friend who carried his security blanket with him wherever he was?
Don’t be like Linus!