“The Decision”

By: David A. Rojas

We are all very aware of the debacle that became of Akron’s favorite step-son LeBron James. The prime-time ESPN funded special dubbed “The Decision” became a hot topic around the country and left many of us saying “What in the %$@!@ was he thinking?!?!?” Mr. James was faced with a seemingly daunting decision to stay loyal to his current employer or leave for greener pastures. He left the city of Cleveland clinging unto every syllable, until the now infamous words “I’m taking my talents to South Beach” blurted out of his mouth. The city went wild, demonstrations of his now widowed fans popped up on YouTube almost within minutes. Jerseys were burned, pictures were taken down and even his ex-boss wrote a letter denouncing the betrayal, calling him a coward in comic sans font.

In Miami, he would be coupled with All-Stars Dwayne Wade and Chris Bosh, a Hall of Fame GM in Pat Riley and a billionaire owner who spares no expense in Micky Arison. Why would he want to stay in Cleveland right? Well this similar situation has happened or will happen to all of us before our professional lives are over, in fact we will probably be faced with this type of decision numerous times before we retire (wishful thinking).

Do we stay at our current job and try to climb the ranks or do we venture out to see what the market bears?

There are several factors that can drive us to look outside for other opportunities like salary, work life balance, benefits, position and company prestige to name a few. The truth is not many of us can afford not to listen to a recruiter’s phone call or occasionally peruse the job boards because our futures have never been more uncertain. With the majority of employers looking to keep things as lean as possible, nobody’s job is safe anymore and consequently the majority of us work harder, smarter and more efficiently to guarantee we make the team. The recession of 2008 brought a lot of light to  companies that were over-staffed with endless amounts of overlapping positions. We are working more than any previous generation in our history, odds are you are reading this on your work issued iPhone or Blackberry. The umbilical cord has never been longer thanks to Wi-Fi, VPN’s and broadband technology, we now work on vacations, holidays, weekends and in my case even on my wedding day. Why? Because we have to.

So what are we doing about it? Do we let our futures depend on the company’s balance sheet or do we take a proactive approach to control our destiny? As a young professional I am constantly out there making myself more attractive to potential employers, keeping an updated resume handy, my LinkedIn account current and networking in my industry’s events.

Mr. James did what he had to do to ensure his legacy and survival amongst the NBA’s greatest players. He wanted to win championships, and he wanted to win now.  Don’t we want to do the same thing? Get promoted, make more money and most importantly make our work life relevant and meaningful?

I would encourage everyone reading this to do the same thing. Loyalty isn’t measured in years of service anymore, instead it’s measured in how badly a company wants to hire you.

Keep this in mind because you never know when you are going to have a make a Decision of your own.