Saturday, September 09, 2006

do you see a man skilled in his work?

Do you see a man skilled in his work?
He will serve before kings;
he will not serve before obscure men.
Proverbs 22.29
I knew a software guy that this applied to. He got laid off a few years ago -- pretty much his whole department was. So he e-mailed two Silicon Valley CEOs. (Both these companies are on Fortune's "100 best places to work" list; these were not startups, obscure or otherwise.)

(By the way, this guy wasn't a CTO or even a manager; he designed and coded and debugged code. Then how did he know two CEOs? He knew them when they were engineering managers, before they became vice presidents and CEOs. He asked for and took their advice, and he told them things he thought they should know.)

He had seen the handwriting on the wall and emailed the first CEO before the layoff notices actually came. "We can talk in my office. Please make a one-hour appointment with my assistant." He sent his resume and went to the CEO's office.

"I don't have to look at your resume to know I'd love to have you in _________ (his company). Your attitude, your values...." But the work available didn't fit my friend's background. If the tech bust had actually been over, this CEO would have offered him a position where he could learn a new skillset. "When the layoff actually happens, let me know; business may have picked up by then."

He emailed the second CEO after getting the layoff notice, not really sure if he'd remember him. "Of course I remember you -- I always remember the stars." He didn't invite him to his office, but he did send his resume to someone who interviewed him and offered him a job.

Of course, things don't always work out this way, but the Proverbs give us insight into the smart way to bet.

posted 9:58pm 9/9 from Japan

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