The NCAA Tourney Shows Why Bigger isn’t Always Better in Your Career
Featured Guest Blogger: Anthony Fasano, P.E., LEED AP, ACC
Civil Engineer, Author, Coach and Speaker
Author of Engineer Your Own Success: 7 Key Elements to Creating an Extraordinary Engineering Career (Available in May 2011)
Anthony is also the author of a FREE e-mail service for engineers called A Daily Boost from Your Professional Partner. Click here to read about this service.
The men’s college basketball’s annual tournament (March Madness) recently finished with the University of Connecticut coming out on top. For those of you not familiar with the tournament, it starts with 64 teams (68 now with the play-ins) and over a few weeks, 6 rounds and 59 games later there is one team left standing. What makes the tournament so special is that every team in it has a chance to win it; even the underdogs, often referred to as ‘mid-majors’ have the chance to make a run every year.
This year two of the mid-majors did just that. Butler and Virginia Commonwealth made it all the way to the final four and Butler to the finals amazingly for the second year in the row. During and immediately following the tournament there was a lot of talk about how the coaches of these two teams could pretty much write their own ticket to a ‘bigger’ college basketball school, which would be a step up in their career that would give them more money, more publicity and a better shot to win the tournament on a yearly basis.
While nothing has happened yet, it appears that both coaches are going to stay where there are. Yes that’s right, they are going stay with the their mid-major school. Are they crazy? That’s what many people are asking. Why would you turn down the opportunity to take a position at a bigger, better, more prestigious school (or company)?
Of course I can’t speak for either of these coaches, but here’s my take on the situation. We often hear people say that another civil engineering position is bigger, better, higher-paid, a better opportunity, however it doesn’t matter what people say, it only matters what the individual offered the position thinks. These coaches may consider their current jobs, their dream jobs. They are settled in the community with their family and they have no desire to move. They actually like the organization they work for and want to stay where they are. After all, if they took their mid-major school to the finals once (even twice) why can’t they do it again?
There is a huge parallel here for corporate professionals in the civil engineering community as we are often faced with similar positions. Do we take a higher paying job with that has an additional 30 minutes of commuting time each day? Do we sell our small company to a larger one? These questions can only be answered by the individual receiving the offer based on their goals and with the support and guidance of their loved ones. I just wanted to offer some food for thought in saying that bigger isn’t always better in your career!
Please offer your thoughts on this issue and if you were ever faced with a similar decision please share with us if you are comfortable doing so.