You really should work with people who you WANT to work with

*Note* This particular blog entry applies to both Job Seekers and Employers.

It’s been an interesting week.  We have a lot of new business coming in through referrals and a lot of old clients that want to work with us.  That’s a good thing right?  Right.  Well, much of the time yes.  Not always.

So, just as any in any business, we need to make decisions about where we need to focus our time and energy as there are only so many hours in the day.  After several years of taking what came our way in years past, we’ve decided to work with people who are actually fun, cool, smart and most of all they “get” what we do and why we do it.  They respect us and treat us as trusted advisors and they come to us because we do the job better than anyone else they know.

So, why was this week interesting?  It was the first time I had to make a difficult decision on whether or not a client was a good match for our organization, despite the fact that there was great money involved.  It became clear after several go rounds that they were not indeed the best match going forward and we politely parted ways.

Clients are allowed to be particular and even (GASP) forthright about what they want and require.  No problems here on that front.  That said, if they feel the need to re-write your contract, tell you how to conduct your business and generally act like they don’t appreciate you, it’s potentially time to walk away.  There is plenty of business out there (or prospective employers) and perhaps it’s just not a good match.

No big deal, just be respectful, be true to yourself and skip away merrily knowing that you made the right decision because you went with your gut.

I am sure you job seekers can read between the lines here; Go work for someone who you WANT to work with and who respects what you do!  Don’t worry about who is hiring…seek out the organizations that you WANT to be a part of and create a position for yourself or make yourself indispensable to them so they have to hire you. It’s pretty simple and we can talk about that more next time.

I know it’s easier said than done in an economy that can best be described as “tepid” but it’s true.  It’s a lot like dating, as has been said a million times, if you don’t love yourself- who are you going to find to love you?  Got it?  Good.

*Note 2*  Please don’t go off half-cocked and fire clients (or quit a job) because they upset you or you think they don’t “get it”.  Be sure to do your due diligence and give it the old college try to make it work first.  In fact, sleep on it.  For a few nights.  If that doesn’t work and you perhaps involve a colleague to try and smooth out a situation and it still doesn’t work, well, be true to yourself and see what happens next.


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2 Responses to You really should work with people who you WANT to work with

  1. Matt Bernier says:

    I am not in the business of pushing people away, but if it’s them or me, it will be them leaving every time.

    We had the customer from hell, every time we did something, he added to the scope under the generic task definition he gave us to start. Then, he didn’t want to pay us. Because we are the type of guys that we are, we went above and beyond (to the tune of 10x the amount of time on the estimate for free, then cut the invoice in half). He has yet to pay us despite receiving certified letters from our lawyer. What an asshole, right?

    We quickly learned that this was never going to happen again. We learned that we can be the upstanding contractor and go above and beyond, but only when the customer is worth it and we know they won’t screw us.

    We love our customers and hope that they love us. When they don’t, we try to figure out why. If they are inconsolable for no reason, they are no longer our customers.

    Thanks for the thoughts Dave, I really like where you are going with your blog!

  2. db says:

    Couldn’t agree with you more here. I’m an IT Manageral Consultant for one of the Big Four and it’s critical, and often very hard, to know when to say, “NO”. Cutting your losses early on can often save you tons of money, and time, in a situation you may never win. Accomplish this art consistently, you will be very successful in your business as well as personally.

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