Don’t Sweat The Small Stuff… Or Should You?

Are the little things worth considering making a move over? They may be.

We have all heard the expression, “Don’t sweat the little things,” and I believe that is excellent advice in general.  If you let yourself get bogged down on all the little petty annoyances that we all face day to day, nothing would ever get accomplished; would it?  But if you look at all those annoyances in the aggregate, are they just too much?  Are you sublimating them as you look at how happy you are in your current role?  Today’s blog is going to address that exact question.

What’s The Reason Behind The Call?

When we get a phone call where someone says to our recruiters, “I am just looking to see what’s out there in the marketplace now,” or…“What’s the temperature out there?” or… “Are firms looking to add new people?” or… “Is there a future in public finance?” or…

There is always something that is stimulating the person to pick up the phone and call a recruiter.  Usually, it’s little things.  It’s not the big things such as money, lack of a robust platform, or inability to get deals done under their current system.  Because these calls are dealing with the above questions and topics, they know they are ready to make a move.  Candidly speaking when someone calls me with these issues, unless they have already been reduced in force (REF), I usually do not work with them because chances are they are going to have the same issue at another firm.  Realistically they have decided, have already called other recruiters, and reached out to firms already on their own.

But…The Little Things…

What I do find is that when someone is just thinking about making a move it’s the small things that are becoming irritants.  The call usually goes something like this, “I am generally happy in my current situation. I like my team but…”  The “but” is the real reason for their desire to have the conversation.  It’s the “but” which equals the little things.  Very candidly determining how strong that “but” is – that is what makes a recruiter good at their position.  Here’s a secret I am going to let you in on: Examine your “but”, and I am willing to bet that there is more than one “but” which is at the heart of the call.  It’s the cumulative small things that most candidates tend to put on the back burner when having the thought of making any move.  The result is they continue to stay the course as most are not aware that the little things can be resolved easily. How so?  By extricating themselves from their current situation and going to a place where there are no but’s left.  The people that tend to fall into this category are public finance bankers and bond counsels that have been at their current firm for a long time.  Many of them have been at only one firm their entire career, so they have no idea of what a smooth working environment can consist of at other firms.  It is those “job kickers” that make the best candidates for a company to pursue and hire.  Those candidates get the best compensation packages.

The Railroad Family: How Little Things Can Affect You

Let me share another secret.  After someone does leave their current situation, the first thing they share within the first ninety days with most recruiters is, “I did not know how much those little things were really annoying me until I am not dealing with them anymore.”  It’s like the family that moves next to a railroad track. The noise of the train at first is overwhelming; however, after they settle down, they do not hear the noise anymore until they are fortunate enough to move. They realize how much they were conditioned to a bad situation.  Please do not ignore those signs of petty consistent little things. That is the key. Consistent little things are telltale signs of an underline problem that can easily be eradicated by taking the steps to look for a new situation in 2023.  We are here for you to help you make that transition to a more peaceful and enjoyable firm where you will not be taken for granted and will be treasured and greatly appreciated.


If you would like to discuss your options, please reach out for a confidential conversation at 760-477-1284 or email at [email protected]. He can also be reached on LinkedIn. Harlan publishes a blog every Thursday here. Subscribe to our monthly newsletter here, which is a compilation of our weekly blogs, so you never miss one. You can find our listing in the “supplier and services” section of the Red Book under the title of “executive recruiting.”

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 levels Public Finance Bankers, Healthcare Bankers, Municipal Advisors, Compliance Officers, Issuers, and Bond Counsels.