Posts filed under ‘Resignation’

Your Civil Engineering Career :: A Lesson From Peyton Manning

Matt Barcus
President, Precision Executive Search, Inc
Managing Partner,
View Matt’s profile & connect with him on LinkedIn

Change is good.  Just ask Peyton Manning.

After 14 illustrious years with the Indianapolis Colts,  11 Pro Bowl Selections, 4 MVP Awards, and 1 Super Bowl victory, Peyton Manning has easily secured himself a bust in his image and a nicely fitted gold jacket in Canton.  But even after all that success, earlier this month Peyton Manning and the Indianapolis Colts parted ways.

What can you, as a Civil Engineering professional, learn from Peyton Manning’s recent career situation?

*Hone your craft as a civil engineer, constantly strive to learn, surround yourself with other successful civil engineers and team members, take on challenges and challenge those around you to be better, be a leader, make a difference, treat people with respect, network.  Peyton Manning mastered these traits as a professional athlete, and as a result, when the time came where he separated from his employer, he had many different options as a result.

*Should you lose your job, if you have the opportunity to do so, be sure to EXPLORE your options; just don’t take the first thing that is presented to you. Peyton Manning did have the opportunity, so he met with the Broncos, the 49er’s, the Titans, and maybe even a few others.  After spending 14 years with the same team, he wanted to make sure he made a well thought out decision.

*Keep a positive attitude.  Your instinctive reaction is to become negative when you learn that you are laid off.  Fight those feelings of negativity and bitterness off.  Look back at all you’ve learned and accomplished and be proud of it.  Then look forward.  There are other organizations out there that are waiting to learn from you and all you have to offer.  Look ahead at the potential for you to learn new skills, new techniques, new clients, new processes, etc.  I am sure Manning is dealing with some difficult emotions after spending so many years in Indianapolis, that is natural.  But he does not dwell on that.  Peyton brings a great deal of success and knowledge to a new team, and he understands this.  As much as he may learn a new system with new plays and new teammates, he of course has plenty to offer that will make the Broncos a better organization.


If you have ever seen Peyton Manning play, he is the master of the audible.  From time to time in your career you will step up behind center and realize that YOU need to call an audible.  You have the perfect plan laid out in your mind for that situation, but that situation can change in an instant.  If you come prepared to work each and every day as Manning came prepared for game time, and there is a sudden shift in the situation, you will be prepared to call the perfect audible that will lead to pay dirt!

If your career calls for an audible, put yourself in the position to make the right call.  A layoff or RIF can truly be a refreshing experience that can reinvigorate your career and maybe even lead you to the Hall of Fame…or at least an OPAL Award!

civil engineering jobs :: civil engineering resumes :: civil engineering blog :: civil engineering discussion


March 29, 2012 at 4:42 pm 10 comments

Top 9 Most Recent “C’Mon Man!” Moments In Civil Engineering Recruiting

 Matt Barcus
President, Precision Executive Search, Inc
Managing Partner,

View Matt’s profile & connect with him on LinkedIn

For those of you football fans who watch ESPN’s Monday Night Countdown, you are likely familiar with their “C’Mon Man!” segment.  For those of you who don’t have the slightest clue as to what I am talking about, in a nutshell, the Monday Night Countdown crew members compile moments from the past weekend’s games that leave you scratching your head and saying to yourself (or out loud in their case) “C’Mon, Man!”

Here is segment to give you the gist of what I am talking about:

Now that you catch my drift, after speaking with a number of my recruiting colleagues across the country, I have compiled my Top 9  “C’Mon, Man!” moments from the world of civil engineering recruiting over the past year:

  1. A  candidate who has been out of work for 6 months goes through three stages of the interview process, she is on the cusp of receiving an offer contingent upon references checking out and she provides a poor reference that sells her down the river…C’MON MAN!
  2. A candidate tells us all the motivations for him to consider a change, we provide an opportunity that meets all those needs and gives him a $25K/20%  increase in his base salary.  He verbally accepts to the hiring manager on Friday and then on Monday decides to stay where he is…C’MON MAN!
  3. We successfully recruit a C-Level candidate for an extremely confidential CEO search.  The candidate is aware that this position must be treated with the highest level of confidentiality and agrees to abide by the “rules” of confidentiality.  After being shortlisted by the existing CEO as a candidate, said candidate decides to call a friend AT THAT COMPANY in attempt to get some inside information on the company and ultimately spilled the beans…needless to say he knocked himself out of contention…C’MON MAN!
  4. A client asks us to conduct a search and bring candidates to the table for a Regional Manager position…a great candidate with a solid reputation is presented and interviewed, but the client is unable to provide ANY feedback until four weeks later, only to say “not interested.”  That’s it?   C’MON MAN!
  5. A client company has two candidates they are considering interviewing …one is unemployed and has some of the skills they are looking for…the other is gainfully employed and fits most of what they are looking for.  The client company would rather interview the unemployed candidate first and make a decision because they are worried that the employed candidate may take a counteroffer…C’MON MAN!
  6. A candidate has been so brainwashed as an employee that he tells us he will never leave his current employer because it is the “best company to work for in the history of all companies ever.”  Really?  The best company to work for in the history of all companies… ever?    C’MON MAN!
  7. A company wants a” rainmaker” who will significantly increase top line revenues for their office or company, but they are not willing to pay market value…COME ON MAN!
  8. We spoke with an engineer who diminishes the value of obtaining her PE because she says that she knows PE’s that she has worked with and she already knows WAY more than they do…C’MON MAN!
  9. A candidate was referred to us by someone we respect in the industry, yet they respond to our contacting them by making a completely egotistical and arrogant statements about how great they are….C’MON MAN!

These are just a handful of “C’MON MAN” moments that have happened in our industry over the past year.   I know I am dishin’ it out here, but I will be the first to confess that we have had a few “C’MON MAN” moments on our end over the  years as well that we have learned from.  I guess it’s all a part of what makes our careers…and life  interesting! 

If you have any “C’MON MAN” moments from the world of recruiting or civil engineering that you would like to share, please feel free to do so!

One more thought…”Top 10″ lists, yes.   But who the heck ever heard of a “Top 9” list?   C’MON MAN!!!!!

civil engineering jobs :: civil engineering resumes :: civil engineering blog :: civil engineering discussion

January 12, 2011 at 11:21 am 12 comments

The Results Are In…

By Matt Barcus
President, Precision Executive Search, Inc.
Managing Partner, A/E/P Central, LLC

From time to time we get emails from those who visit our site asking what the final results are of our Questions of the Month, so without further hesitation, here is how YOU, our loyal audience, have responded:

DECEMBER 2007 QUESTION (That’s right, December of last year, this is the story of my life, 7 months ago and I am finally getting around to putting up the results – my wife can verify this, just ask her how high the pile of clean laundry is on my rocking chair just waiting to be put away; I will get around to it, eventually):

Through what source did you find your current employer?

OTHER*                                                                                             24.4%
REFERRAL                                                                                       22.2%
EXECUTIVE SEARCH FIRM/AGENCY                                         15.6%
JOB BOARD                                                                                      15.6%
NEWSPAPER/PERIODICAL/TRADE JOURNAL                          4.4%

*Anyone care to share what this 24.4% might be?  A billboard, a little birdie?


Are you a member of any of the following networks:  Linkedin, Jigsaw, Ning, ERE, Facebook or MySpace?

Yes             89.7%
No              10.3%

And of course there is FastPitch, Plaxo, Twitter, Meetup, Orkut.  There is even a social network for all of then knitters & crocheters from around the world called – no joke, check it out.


Have you ever accepted a counter-offer?

Yes             57.6%
No              42.4%

As a Search Consultant, I am pretty surprised at that rate.  This has been a topic of discussion on our Forum and I most recently saw a question discussing this very issue on Linkedin.  All the research and all the evidence makes a compelling argument to NEVER accept a counter-offer.  I guess all those folks who responded “yes” are not reading our Forum or learning about this topic on Linkedin…they must be getting mis-information on !


What is your opinion on Public Private Partnerships (P3) as it relates to the US infrastructure?

For P3’s           40%
Against P3’s    40%
Undecided       20%

There is a very informative paper on the P3 Topic.  It was written in 2006 by Benjamin Perez of PB Consult along with James March of the Federal Highway Administration. The paper is titled:  Public Private Partnerships and the Development of Transport Infrastructure:  Trends on Both Sides of the Atlantic (Click on the title to see the paper).


Which do you consider to be the greater civil engineering achievement?

The Panama Canal               54.4%
The Channel Tunnel              28.1%
The Golden Gate Bridge       17.5%
The Empire State Building    0.0%

Personally speaking, my biggest civil engineering achievement was the sandbox I built for my kids in the back yard – it’s a square shaped frame made out of equal length railroad ties…with sand dumped inside.  I’m serious.  BIG achievement for me.


Has your organization purchased AND fully integrated a 3-D cad program?

Yes     65%
No      35%

Do these 3-D programs come with the cardboard 3-D glasses, or are they sold

We will likely post the results every six months.  Please make sure you visit our site each month and cast your vote.  Feel free to reply to this blog submission with any of your comments in regards to the responses above.

FYI, don’t forget to vote for this month’s QUESTION OF THE MONTH IS:

When do you believe the land development market will pick up?

June 12, 2008 at 3:05 am Leave a comment

“Breaking Up Is Hard To Do”

By Carol Metzner, President, The Metzner Group, LLC
and Managing Partner,

No one wants to be rejected.  When it happens, we take it personally, going through stages of hurt, anger and resolution. When employees leave your firm, you may well travel the same path. However, employees typically make a decision to “fly the nest” only after careful deliberation. Therefore, these soon-to-be ex-employees should not be treated as defectors or traitors, but rather as potential future candidates. When I interview candidates, one of the first things I do is review their professional history with them. Often they tell me that they would like to return to a past employer, but their managers were so angry when they resigned, that they are afraid of being rejected. They would rather work for a different company than be rebuffed. Don’t overlook past employees who realize that sometimes the grass isn’t always greener on the other side! In this tight labor market, no company can afford to miss out on a great employee. Try to remember the reasons you didn’t want your employees to leave. Treat their resignations with dignity. Do not insult the decision-making processes that lead them to these difficult choices. Instead, go through a brief but critical process of letting go:

1. Tell them that you respect their decision to leave.

2. Make sure they know if they change their mind, you would be happy for them to stay.

3. If you would welcome them back in the future, tell them.

Just as they caution not to burn your bridges as an employee, neither should you do so as an employer.

Carol Metzner is President of The MetznerGroup, LLC, a professional search firm specializing in the search and recruitment of engineering professionals nationwide. To contact Carol directly, call 301-293-4206, email:, web:

February 22, 2008 at 6:23 pm Leave a comment

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