Joseph has been with this company for about two years. He’d been on his last job for five years in the job before that, ten. He was first line manager at a pretty aggressive company and had followed a friend of his to the company that he had worked for a number of years earlier. Trusting his friend, when he took the job he may be didn’t get as detailed of an idea of how the compensation plan worked. He trusted his friend I was anxious to go to work for him, and the new company seemed reasonable enough with some positive nuances that his old company didn’t have.
First-line managers jobs are often the most difficult. Those blessed souls have all kinds of responsibility, not a lot of authority and, especially in sales don’t make anywhere near the money that salespeople can make. The influence that these people may have over their earnings isn’t anywhere near as great as it was when they were on first-line. This is especially true in sales but also in other professions.
After about the first eight months of his employment Joseph started realizing that the compensation program wasn’t quite “as advertised.” There were a lot of “if, ands and buts” in the fine lines of his earnings agreement and unless the planets aligned perfectly he was never going to make within $50,000 of what he had made in last job that he left. That’s when he started getting a little irritated.
He loved the job and loved the people, though. He had more responsibility than he had before. He knew when he joined the company that there were some ‘challenges,’ but he just knew he could overcome them and do well. Then his duties expanded and, in his case, his quota went up but his compensation program didn’t. He found out that it was really hard to fire people at this company and almost a lot harder to hire people. Then a “hand tieing” policy for absolutely everything and it seemed like the corporate counsel just about ran the company.
Joseph’s region quickly became the number one region in the country and although he was getting all kinds of accolades, i.e. name recognition in the corporate newspaper, a really nice engraved watch and recognition (applause) at the corporate meeting… It wasn’t affecting his pocket book one bit. At first, he voiced his concern to his erstwhile friend, boss. But as time went on his concern became frustration and then he became downright pissed off. His boss is a really good guy but he couldn’t do much about anything and he certainly couldn’t help Joseph make more money. The longer he worked there more frustrated he became.
So, the other day, Joseph told his boss, in a moment of anger that he just wasn’t going to take it any longer and he quit. Joseph was a client of ours, so he decided to come by and talk about it.
He admits that it was a moment of great emotion when they were having a discussion (argument) about his quote and how he was going to attain it. Joseph has a tremendous amount of emotion and passion and sometimes, gets in trouble.
He quit without a job. He weakly, rationalized the fact that he quit without a jobBy stating that, “I’ve never had trouble finding another job.” But the truth is the guy his only had three jobs in almost 20 years and every time he changed he went to work for somebody that was a “friend” of his. Joseph has absolutely no idea how difficult it is going to be for him to find a job. Hiring managers off the street only happens one out of eight times. The other seven times people are promoted from within, whether they deserve it or not. And in this economy there are fewer managers and there’s ever been. The shock of Joseph’s dilemma was beginning to set in.
Don’t get me wrong. Joseph is an excellent manager. The jobs like that are very, very, very rare. One can’t just raise their hand and say, “I’m ready,” and have the job appear. In between the lines, Joseph expressed, fallaciously, but most people think, that “there’s always a good place for a good manager.” Well this just isn’t so. If Joseph (and me) are fortunate enough to find the opening in his fairly narrow discipline of business, he will have a good chance. That’s a big “if.”
When I explained to him that this could go on for months, (I’m talking, 6 to 8 months) his eyes glazed over a bit. Joseph’s a really good guy and he might get lucky. But it would’ve been a lot more prudent to find a job before he left this one.
Here’s the lesson. No matter how pissed off and irritated you get, don’t leave your (lousy) job for you secured another one. You never know how long it’s going to take to find another one.
We will keep you posted as to how Joseph’s search is coming along.