Connecticut is the land of steady habits. That’s a good trait. But I have also noticed that many of my clients play the career game with far too much caution. For football fans, the metaphor would be like running the ball too much due to fear of throwing interceptions.
“You are not serving anyone by playing small.” A friend sent me this quote a few years ago when I was contemplating adding service locations of The Learning Consultants beyond our Connecticut borders. I said something about being modest and needing to focus on our Connecticut clients. She noted that we would still serve our Connecticut clients but we could also be helping others. The career counselor received some great career advice. Our Manhattan and Westchester County, New York locations are thriving.
In relation to our career counseling clients, I am now of the absolute mindset that most play life too cautiously. They overestimate transactional cost and greatly underestimate opportunity cost. When providing career coaching, I am mindful about all the time, energy, and money that goes into career change. These are transactional costs. I am highly practical in my approach. Indeed, giving financial guidance (not about investments but about money management) has become part of my work. But my career changing clients are not just mindful but blocked.
I am more mindful than my clients about opportunity cost. Almost everyone who leaves my office says: “I should have come here a long time ago.” The typical client has been suffering in career confusion, career boredom, and/or career misery for quite a while. Time cannot be rewound. Once you spend it, time is gone.
Playing “bigger” creates stress. That’s understandable. The near exclusive focus on transactional costs, however, makes people play small.