It is time to address when the right time to move is. We’re not going to look at if it’s the right time to move or if it’s the right company to make a move to; incidentally, we’re going to assume that all of those concerns and questions are already behind you. All of the concerns we are referencing include the following: you have gone through all the interviews, you have received an offer, and you have looked at your existing contract. Now you have to decide when is the right time to move. This is clearly a difficult question and one which, as you will see when you read further, there is no right or wrong answer.
Your Existing Firm & The Right Time To Move
It all comes down to signing the offer letter and determining your start date. This is where it gets complicated. As our industry does not stand still, neither does your revenue contribution at your existing firm. If you have been laid off or were subject to a reduction in force, this simplifies your answer. The right time to move is now! The longer you sit on the sideline, the harder it is for you to get back into the swing of things by being able to generate revenue for a new company. However, this does not pertain to you as it pertains to an individual (or team) that is currently producing revenue every day. They have to determine when to shut off the cash flow faucet and make the move.
Don’t Get Stuck In The Spiral
Various occasions I have worked with candidates that are successful, yet we get into this endless spiral of pushing the “right time to move.” You want to leave but you also know you have revenue coming in. You say to yourself, “I will just stay until this deal closes.” While you’re waiting for that deal to close, another deal comes in. You say again, “I’ll just wait until that deal closes.” All of a sudden, it’s the end of the year where you decide to wait till next year to move. Why? Because you want to collect your bonus since that would be leaving too much money on the table. With the new year, the spiral starts all over again as you sign up a new deal/client.
This may be an extremely frank conversation; however, this is exactly what successful bankers or bond counsels think when they are getting ready to make a move. Paralysis of analysis causes too much angst for the candidate that is only looking at a financial reward and not seeing the big picture. The big picture includes all that a new firm has to offer you. There was a reason you called a recruiter. Let us not forget the problems that you shared still exist and are just masked. Unfortunately, you have to rip off the mask!
Avoid The Spiral:
Set Your Client’s Needs Above Your Own & Create The Right Time To Move
For a candidate that can see the big picture, it is a different analysis. It is not a matter of leaving money behind and getting caught in that endless spiral; but it is leaving your client behind in an awkward situation. Those senior bankers and attorneys who are thinking predominately about their clients and figuring out the best timing based on their client’s immediate needs is the right way to look at things. Closing the deal not because you are going to get a large bonus, but because you believe you’ll be able to move that client to the new firm if you continue to service them to your utmost ability. The investment bankers and bond counsels that move their clients without any concern are those that truly understand the gist of this. They have decided they are leaving, and no additional revenue loss is going to change that. Their emphasis is now on the client’s needs rather than themselves. They understand that these clients will move with them and that they will be better off at a new firm. They do not get caught up in the spiral, which seems to be an endless cycle of avoiding the right time to move.
A Perk For Avoiding The Spiral
If you can see yourself getting off that endless spiral, looking at the future rather than the money you’re leaving on the table, then a new firm will definitely appreciate you. Even better, more than likely they will compensate you to some extent for the bonus money that you are leaving early. Now may be the right time to move for you.
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.