When I thought I was about to receive my last job offer all I could think of was “what do I do next?” I was so excited… but excitement was one of fifty emotions that were bursting from my emotion center (whatever that is :p). Years ago I had made it that far in an interview process and was sure I had the job, only to get a generic form email that said “we chose someone else…”
It was the lowest, most demoralizing time in my job search back in 2006.
This time, when I was about sure I was going to get a job offer, I kept looking. I kept doing the normal job search stuff. It was hard, for sure, because I was so excited about that job being The One… but I knew that if they chose someone else I didn’t want to be devastated.
So I kept looking, just in case. If I got a bad email, I would know that I still had options.
Over lunch one day, the late Dick Bolles told me that when people see they have options, then they have hope. He had just heard me speak at a job club and said (paraphrased): “Our message is the same. It is to give people hope, by showing them they have options.”
You keep looking, no matter how close you are, so that you continue to have options. Thirteen years ago, when I was sure I had an offer coming, I stopped looking. Later, I needed to start over, almost from scratch.
This principle applies in other places. I have a friend who works on projects… he messages me when he completes one and submits it for billing. He wants to celebrate a bit. I tell him congrats, and then tell him to move to the NEXT proposal. Keep looking, keep working. They all add up. I’ve known people who have companies that were in talks to be acquired… I tell them to get ANOTHER suitor. Having ONE puts them in a position of power. Having more than one puts YOU in a position of power. Keep looking, keep looking.
The reason can be summed up with that old expression, don’t count your eggs before they hatch.