Singe the bridge, don’t burn it…

A stand-alone letter was sent today to Reid.  He has been offered a new job after another digital agency pursued him.  He’s on cloud 9 but the offer, along with a nice boost in pay, means he would start at his new employer precisely the same week he should hear about his graduate school application.  He can’t really go wrong either way (although his parents strongly encourage him to take the bird in the hand).  But he’s his own man now and the choices are up to him.  I’m just trying to put a little context into his possible new job environment vis a vis graduate school.

Don’t worry that he will see today’s letter in advance.  Reid is a rare visitor to this space.


March 3, 2011

Reid: Here’s your $25 for guessing the tab for my hospital stay.  Don’t spend this all in one place.  What’s it good for in Chicago, a couple of hot dogs and a cold beer?

Good things come to those who wait, and that apparently applies in your case.  This is thrilling news for you.  It’s nice to feel wanted (and to get a nice bump in the wallet), and I will be all ears to hear the reaction from your current shop.  This will catch them a bit off guard, don’t you think?  By the time you get this we will both have our answers.

You’ve got a few weeks before you start your new situation.  That will be a nice lull in the action.  Things have really gone pretty well at ________, your frustrations aside.  Although you’re breathing a sigh of relief, I just want you to be ready for the next round at your new place.  Without question you will work with those ready climb over and around you, who won’t get the gist of some of your ideas (or don’t want to listen), or will be just all-around oafs.   None of that will change with your new job.  It will just be a change of address.  That’s just the way it is in business, and I suppose the onus on you is to continue to work hard and look for ways you can adapt to all the variances of the new employer and bring value to your equation.  Nothing much in that equation changes from job to job.  Be able to navigate the waters which will sometimes be turbulent.  You’ve picked up bits and pieces of that as you’ve gone along.  It’s hard to imagine you’re only 25 and have had the experiences you’ve already had.  Just keep playing your cards right and unlike those who don’t want to listen, you should do precisely that.

I don’t know what to think about the New School.  Talk about two golden opportunities occurring at exactly the same time.  Wow.  __________ was the bird in the hand and you couldn’t go wrong with that.  To say “no” to a new work opportunity might seem tempting but what if the New School turned you down?  Then you’d be up a creek although you wouldn’t be out of a job.  No doubt ___________ has some sort of tuition reimbursement program so your dream of grad school might not be totally kaput if your application doesn’t get off the ground in New York.  In fact, if you opt for classes elsewhere in Chicago your new handlers might take a liking to that since they want a highly educated, and motivated, work force.  It’s not like you’re a codger like me.  You’ve still got a long way ahead of you and that’s good.  Burnishing your resume a little more won’t hurt your cause either.  It could be, too, that _________ will open your eyes even further toward digital possibilities. 

But if the New School does give you the green light, then you have a tough decision.  If that is your dream, then go after it.  You would need to go to _________ with your tail between your legs but it’s not like you’re jumping ship to another agency.  You’d be going to school, and that will make it somewhat more tolerable for them.  You will find more doors open after graduate school, and who knows, you could always try their waters again.  They will always want that highly educated, and motivated work force.  Maybe you can just singe the bridge and not burn it.  But we’re proud of you kid; better to have strong options than none at all.


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