Sunday, March 1, 2009

Better to be lucky than good

This blog should be changed to "Other stuff and poker." I don't really foresee myself blogging much about poker anymore so unless you are interested in my nonpoker posts, really, there's prob very little reason to come back here. On the other hand, if you are here for my nonpoker posts, you are in for a treat.

So my subject line... it's so true isn't it? Now I'm not saying that you don't have to be any good to capitalize on the luck or anything but be it poker or be it real life, the saying seems to hold true and it feels especially true these days in this economy. I mean everywhere you read, there are more people laid off or struggling to find jobs. I'm still not convinced that the market is SO BAD that NO ONE can find a job. Perhaps their standard is still a little inflated from the years of lunacy that we've all be subjected to. But that is neither here nor there and not the point of this post.

One thing that is true is that the economy IS SO BAD that there are layoffs everywhere. And depending on where you are located or what department you are in, sometimes, it doesn't even matter how good you are. It's just like poker. You can get it in good and yet succumb to a sick runner runner or a one/two outer on the river when all the chips went in the middle on the turn. No one is immune to the layoffs and so to those who have been laid off and reading this blog, please don't mistake my previous paragraph. Losing a job is not a reflection of you. It is generally a reflection of the economy. I'm just saying that maybe not being able to find a job might be you. But again, that's not the point.

As for me... I still have a job. As a matter of fact, considering how the economy has been, I've had it better than just having a job. I've been given some serious opportunities, and after going through my appraisal, I am due for an awesome bonus so regardless of what people think about bonuses, since that makes up like 30% of my compensation, not getting that would be a bad, bad beat.

But this post is also not about how great I am at work... because believe me, there are plenty of others who are either just as good or better (there are plenty who are not also). However, I know this. One thing I excel in is my general personal presence and how I conduct myself. The other day, I had a one on one meeting with the VP of our group. He mentioned to me that I carry myself in a way that is very influential (in a good way) regardless of the other person's rank and that that is one of those qualities that all good leaders have. Granted, that's not something I didn't know about myself so as flattering as it was, no surprise there. But I will say this. During my 2.5 years in this company, I have volunteered a lot for HR related functions (I was in the controller's group before, in finance now so I have nothing to do with HR) such as being the interviewer or the one that takes the candidate to lunch. Because of my willingness to do that, I was able to meet many more people and expose myself to a lot more people here in this company. And I know that that has contributed to some of the opportunities I'm getting now.

That set me up nicely to be entered into what's regarded as a fairly prestigious rotation program and so even though it's almost downright silly to say that you're "safe" in this economy, I have to believe that I am in a safer bucket. I am not delusional. So, it could be that I will be typing a new post next week saying I lost my job because of a massive layoff. But my evals were great and my network is very strong so if that were to happen, I would just have to chalk that up to very bad luck.

But see, here's the thing. Somebody (or something) is clearly looking out for me because 2.5 years ago, I got a call from the recruiter of this company and that's how I got here. At the time, I was becoming increasingly disgruntled with my previous employer who I had been with for 8 years and in all honesty, have been nothing but great for me in terms of experience, compensation, and other special treatments that I clearly got over others. But because I was ready to move on, when the call came, I took the offer which immediately bumped my pay up like another 25%.

I recently had lunch with my former boss and heard about how things are going with the CPA firm that I used to work at. The firm is in shambles. Not that it's gonna go bankrupt or anything but in terms of morale and how things are generally going, it just seems like it would be a miserable condition. As a matter of fact, my boss mentioned that they are lucky that the economy sucks so bad because the people who want to leave are probably still there only because they can't find anything better. I mean when a statement is made like that from one of the partners of the firm, you know things are going bad. I could easily have still been there but instead, I am with a company which despite tough times and clearly contracting economy (and LOTS of cost cutting), I am getting great treatment and been given bunch of training classes and programs that are designed for the select few (some of these classes/training programs no longer exist as a result of the cost cutting).

I guess this is just my long winded way of saying that as much as I know that I work hard and do good things, none of this can happen unless I have some luck on my side. So, whoever you are that is out there that's looking out for me... please continue to do so and more importantly, thank you. Whenever I hear about things that have happened to others (and these days, it seems like it's never good), I am always reminded of how lucky I am and I am truly grateful of that.

Sorry for this seeming brag post. It wasn't intended to be that way... I was just in a self-reflecting mood.

Oh yeah, and BBT4 is kicking off. If you want more info, you can go to anyone else's site to check it out. I'll try to play many events but it clearly won't be my number 1 priority for now so good luck to all who are definitely gunning for the seat.


Mike G said... was long winded, I'll give you that. Clearly top management potential.

Riggstad said...

Fuel is gay. Congrats on your efforts paying off. These days it seems that's not always enough. Hence the luck factor.

Did I say fuel is gay?

Ray said...

Not that long winded. choose 3 websites where job seekers got the best results - (networking for professionals) (aggregated listings) (matches you to the perfect job)

For those looking, good luck!

pokerpeaker said...

When did poker become less important in your life? I'm going through the same thing now and think it would be a good post to read.

Matt said...

I won't repeat much of what I said in my last blog post, but I support this post 100%.

I got VERY lucky with my new job, not just to have a job itself, but because it's going to take care of me much more than any old job would. But, I also created my own luck. I kept using my network which got me the interview; my boss said she probably doesn't even see my resume without that connection. And that connection was just someone I interviewed with a couple months prior, not even a former colleague.

Congrats on running well thus far; I certainly get the impression it's well deserved.

Anonymous said...

If you haven't read "Outliers" by Malcolm Gladwell, I would suggest it. He is the same guy that wrote "The Tipping Point", which many people suggest is a great business book.

Essentially, in "Outliers" Gladwell suggests that people that are truly known as experts or great people aren't necessarily the smartest or have the most physical gifts. Instead these are the people that worked hard and through a little bit of luck wound up on top.

Or I guess you could just read your post as they basically say the same thing.

Congrats on the bonus, bling bling.

Anonymous said...

Ever thought about getting an MBA?