Thursday, January 22, 2009

Semper Fi

The other day I interviewed a military veteran. He told me that he uses the values he learned in the military in every day life: leadership, loyalty, duty, personal courage and selfless service.

In particular, I think loyalty can unfortunately be undervalued. Every man/one for himself, right?

I see a lot of talented people who jump from job to job to job, sometimes by misfortune, sometimes by misjudgment. I don't think any of us can completely escape misfortune in our lives; times like these make it all the more apparent. At this point, we probably all know good, hardworking people who have been laid off.

What you can guard against is misjudgment.

One of the most common, career-wrecking misjudgments I see is when people make their career choice strictly based on money, strictly on "comp plans". As Lou Adler, my recruiting hero says, "money does not drive day-to-day satisfaction on the job". I am paraphrasing here, but I believe he is right.

When people focus strictly on money in making a career move, they often blind themselves to other equally important matters (products, company culture, stability) and therefore set themselves up for disappointment. Because when the comp plan doesn't pan out exactly the way they thought it would, then what are they left with? Anger, resentment and a job they probably don't like all that much. Like they say, if it sounds too good to be true, it probably is.

They also get a resume that gets choppier and choppier over the years, which hurts them in the end. It is not uncommon for such people to peak early in their careers and have a lot of excuses why this job or that job did not work out- it is never their fault.

I realize there are companies and recruiters out there who overpromise and underdeliver, inflate and maybe even lie sometimes about income potential. Some of this is inherently fuzzy business because the final numbers depend a lot on the efforts of the individual rep. All the same, I don't think I am sort of recruiter, or that ConMed is the sort of company, to exaggerate the potential or cover-up the challenges.

This became clear to me the other day when I heard back from a candidate had just been on an interview in on of ConMed's other divisions. He told me he appreciated the fact that both the opportunities and challenges had been made clear to him- that no one was trying to paint a too rosy picture. I thought to myself, "Well, that's just the way we do it at Linvatec." I gotta say, I am kinda proud of that.

In the end, I think people who are loyal often save themselves a lot of heartache and turmoil. They are "stickier". They usually don't make a move unless it is a well-considered. In the end, their decisions benefit both themselves and the companies they work for.

I call that a win-win.

No comments: