Is Your Mind Fooling You To Stay At Your Current Firm?

How can you determine when or if it's time to move to a new firm? Here is a simple mind game to find out your next steps.

As we begin the new year, I started thinking about what advice I could give my readers that would shed some insight on the process of making a move to a new firm. Throughout the year so many people call us and want to pick my brain about what is happening in the hiring environment.  I am a little puzzled why these calls keep coming in. Is it because everybody always believes “the grass is greener on the other side of the fence”? Or is it because people really do not want to look at their true situation then do something about it? It is like looking at a picture of a car, dreaming about that car, but never once going to a dealership to look at or sit in the car to see if it meets their expectations. Not to be too simplistic, but I believe we definitely play mind games with ourselves when it comes to thinking about making any sort of move to a new firm. More importantly, mind games can happen when considering why you should stay at a firm that you may not be happy with.

Are You Fooling Yourself In Staying?

I came across this interesting quote that deals with a game salespeople play. It’s from the book The 25 Sales Habits of Highly Successful Salespeople by Stephan Schiffman. As I read it, I could not help thinking about the calls that I referenced earlier with debating on making a move to a new firm or not. Are we just fooling ourselves? Here’s a following excerpt from the book:

“Some salespeople try to play games with themselves. They try to rationalize a situation that is inherently manipulative or abusive and see it as something it is not and will never be. Do not be one of them. Do not set yourself up for a fall. You have to feel it in your gut; you have to believe in your cause. You have to know in the marrow of your bones that all of your efforts are in line with your value system and that that system encourages only productive, straight-shooter interactions. No matter how you identify your goals, you must be certain that it is right for you to pursue them. You must know instinctively the benefit people will derive from working with you, and you must believe in your heart that all your company’s efforts are for the best.”

Believing In Your Current Company Or Make A Move To A New Firm

Although the topic seems to be dealing with setting goals, what really struck me was the last sentence. It states that, “…you must believe in your heart that all your company’s efforts are for the best.” As any investment banker or bond counsel knows that everything we do is sales at the heart. All great salespeople know they do not sell the steak, they sell the sizzle. However, if the company that you are representing does not feel right to you, how do you sell the steak? If you are not proud of the firm you are representing, it has to impact your ability to generate new business as well as maintain your current client relationships. This plays a role in figuring out whether or not you should make a move to a new firm. 

Is Your Current Firm Lacking In Necessary Places? Or Is It Time To Move To A New Firm?

In addition, the second line of this quote that deals with the rationalization of a situation being somewhat manipulative or abusive is probably a bit strong. I do not believe any candidate would call me up and stay in an abusive situation. If we look into this further, maybe abuse is not the right word as it pertains to us. However, it may be the lack of support, lack of resources, or maybe the desks are just not performing. All of these could be substantial reasons why it is time to look at other situations. On the converse, if money or title is the only thing that is bothering you, then categorically you should not be looking for new opportunities (with this as your sole reason). Money and title can always be fixed, but the other items I mentioned sometimes cannot. Those thoughts previously mentioned are excellent reasons why someone should take a move to a new firm.

Questions To Ask Yourself

Lastly, ask yourself what games are you playing right now? What rationalizations are you putting up with right now? If you could fix one thing about your current situation, what would that be? Lastly (my favorite) if you could wave your magic wand, what would your ideal position look like? These are the mind games that you should be playing to find out if it’s time to move to a new firm rather than rationalizing a bad situation into a good one without you taking action.  


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. Subscribe to our monthly newsletter here, which is a compilation of our weekly blogs so you never miss one. 

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.