VACATION ARCHIVE: I’m on vacation and so, therefore, is HR Fishbowl. Here’s one that was originally published back on January 7, 2010. Enjoy!
I spent the first 13 years of my career with one company; I wouldn’t trade those years for anything. There were distinct points throughout that time, though, when I questioned…really hard…whether it was time for me to move on. When I finally decided to go, the only thing I could use to describe it was that the whole experience just wasn’t as tasty as it used to be. It struck me that investing in an employer is kind of like investing in a fine bottle of wine. You don’t want to open it (leave the company) too early – you might not get everything you can out of it. You don’t want to open it (leave the company) too late – the experience might turn sour. You want to open it when its vintage accords, when it has reached its peak, when it has matured and from there on out will only be on the decline. The trick is figuring out when your current employer’s vintage becomes most drinkable. And that’s no easy task. It takes careful study, regular attention; one needs to check the color, the fragrance (or stink as the case may be); one needs to pay attention to others who are tasting and rating it. More than anything, one needs to roll it around on the tongue, oxygenate it, and see how the palate responds. And only you can be the sommelier for that task. But you have to do it. Because there are lots of temptations to open it early – doing so would deny you an opportunity. And sometimes its just easier to let it sit there on the rack. But be careful, because you could end up with a bottle of vinegar. And finally, don’t plan on holding just one and only one bottle of wine – there’s lots of great stuff worth tasting out there!