Can FOMO In Public Finance Professionals Exist?

FOMO in public finance professionals exists. Here's how you combat it to make smart career moves.

Due to this pandemic I have my intelligent daughter across the hall to me.  Not something I had ever contemplated upon her completion of business school at a top university, but I digress. I am still a proud father.  As I read an article the other morning, there was the funny four-letter acronym I had no idea what it meant. I went to Lianna to ask her if she knows the meaning and she informs me that “FOMO” stands for “Fear Of Missing Out.”  Candidly, I had never heard of such an expression, but I was intrigued. Could this concept apply to my business? Does FOMO in public finance drive career decisions? In this blog we are going to explore that idea, whether you are a candidate or as a hiring manager, and how this mentality affects the candidate. Could “fear of missing out” be an underlying motivation for one’s activities?

Headhunters And Recruiters With A Dash Of FOMO In Public Finance Professionals

When I think of FOMO in public finance as to how it relates to the recruiting process, I have to wonder if that is why otherwise happy people in their current position take a call from a recruiter or hiring manager. There are various times when I will receive a phone call from a prospective candidate who is asking me to either represent them or fill them in on the job market. Most headhunters (unlike myself as I consider myself an executive recruiter, not a headhunter) would jump on a call like that and would already be circulating resumes to any company that they are currently representing. I take a completely different tact and question their background intensely to determine if it makes any sense for them to leave their current situation. More times than none I highly recommend for them to stay at the current position. I am baffled as to why they would even want to engage a recruiter when things are going well for them at their current company. Is the answer “fear of missing out”? And if it is, why is this so prevalent?

What Are You Really Missing Out On? Anything?

In our current state of affairs, why would the potential of missing out cause somebody to derail their career? As I have discussed previously, job jumping in the field of public finance (unless caused by a merger or an acquisition) is somewhat frowned upon. Why would the “fear of missing out”/FOMO in public finance cause you to negate such an apparent fact? What are you missing out on? Is it the old adage that “the grass is greener on the other side of the fence” driving you to have conversations with potential new employers? What you must be aware of, due to the smallness of our cottage industry, is when somebody is looking for a new home their current firm (not always but sometimes) can get a whiff of the activity in the air. Why subject yourself to that just to kick the tires of a new firm if you are not serious about making a move?

Sensing Your Own FOMO In Public Finance? These Are Your Next Steps

Let us look at what would cause you to seriously entertain a new opportunity. Over the last couple blogs, there have been lots of questions that either you are asking yourself or questions to ask about a new company. In my humble opinion there needs to be a major reason why you would want to leave your existing relationship, and FOMO in public finance is not one of them. My greatest hope when I work with a candidate is that I will never have to think about them making another career move. All recruiters and hiring managers like myself strive for this. We are not always successful, but this is our ultimate litmus test. Before you pick up the phone and call a recruiter or reach out to a potential new employee directly, really dig down deep and ask, “Is my current situation shortfalls lacking enough that I need to find a new home to make up for this tenuous situation?” If the answer is yes, by all means reach out to a recruiter or directly to a company to remedy this immediately for yourself. However, most likely it is not and you should not derail your current path. Do not let the “fear of missing out” be the reason you move on.   Make your reason one which will economically benefit you across the board, give you the firm culture that you may so desire, and a desk which performs for you. These are the reasons you make a move, not FOMO! 


If you would like to discuss your options, please reach out to me for a confidential conversation at 760-477-1284 or email me at [email protected]. He can also be reached on LinkedIn

About Harlan Friedman, JD & Founding Member, H. Friedman Search LLC. Harlan is a thirty-year veteran Public Finance Banker turned recruiter who specializes in the placement of all level Public Finance Bankers, Health Care Bankers, Municipal Financial Advisors, Compliance Officers, Issuers, and Bond Counsels.