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Here’s Your Hat, What’s Your Hurry?

November 14, 2019

There’s only one thing that I did wrong
I stayed in Mississippi a day too long
– Dixie Chicks Mississippi

Having impeccable timing is sometimes about getting somewhere right on time.

I got there just short of too late.
– Danny Glover’s character in Silverado

But, I think more often it depends on knowing the right time to leave.

Leave it to me to be holdin’ the matches
When the fire trucks show up and there’s nobody else to blame
– Miranda Lambert Mama’s Broken Heart

So, how do you know when it’s time to get out? Out of an argument, out of a relationship or out of a job?

I don’t know.

In fact, in my entire career, I’ve missed the signs more often than I’ve got the timing right. My only real success was leaving WordPerfect Corporation. I was being courted by Microsoft, but I really didn’t want to go. And then WordPerfect announced layoffs, including voluntary layoffs the same weekend I was on a recruiting visit to Redmond. I got a nice severance package. My lovely wife also picked up a severance package. I had a job that I was able to step directly into. (After a six month non-compete phase.) I timed that one pretty good.

But, mostly I tend to stick around too long. I did it at Microsoft. After a nine year career, I was in a job that was way out of my skillset. I should have walked away. I was too scared. I kept thinking that if I worked just a little harder, I could succeed. Eventually, it became obvious that I was hurting the team. I was giving the opportunity to be successful elsewhere.

How do you know? What are the signs?

I have friends who are constantly looking for their next position. They bounce from company to company, giving up vacation days and seniority for lucrative signing bonuses.

There are aspects of business that I’ve gotten better at as I’ve become more experienced. Finding the right time to leave isn’t one of them.

Have you ever nailed the timing perfectly? Left at the perfect time to maximize your earnings?

Of have you been guilty of “staying in Mississippi a day too long”?

Rodney M Bliss is an author, columnist and IT Consultant. His blog updates every weekday. He lives in Pleasant Grove, UT with his lovely wife, thirteen children and grandchildren.

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(c) 2019 Rodney M Bliss, all rights reserved

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