Yesterday after work, as I’m shopping for lunch fixings at Smith’s, I get a call on my cell phone from a headhunter. He says, “Hi, my name is Joe So-and-so and I’m an executive recruiter with XYZ in San Francisco.”
I know why he’s calling. I have my profile in one of those professional networking sites, not because I’m looking for a new job. I just think it’s smart to keep your options open.
“Hi, Joe,” I say, “what can I do for you?” My daughter, seizing on an opportunity, points to the Dr. Pepper and mouths, Can we get it, can we get it?
Joe tells me his client is a mid-sized corporation in the Midwest and that they’re looking to fill a Director-level position with someone like me. He ticks off all the positions I’ve held at my current company that make me qualified for the role. “What can I do to entice you to take this job,” he asks.
Right away I tell him I’m not interested. I don’t want to relocate to that city, I’m pretty happy where I am, plus I’ve done that type of work before and don’t want to do it again.
“Take the position for three years,” he says, “use it as a stepping stone to Vice President somewhere else. Salary is $175 to $200K.”
By now my youngest and I are wandering aimlessly down aisles. I’ve shooshed away the Dr. Peppers and am being pulled toward the wasteful single-serving containers of Pringles.
“I don’t think so,” I tell him. He tries a bit harder, reminds me that the salary will go a long way in that part of the country. I beg him off. We chat a bit longer. He seems genuinely interested in me, keeps probing what it is I want to do in my career, so much so that I finally stop and ask half-jokingly, “Wait a second, do you want to find someone for your client or do you want to find a job for ME?”
I offer to send him a couple of names of people I know who might be interested in the role if he sends me his email. He asks if I’m OK with him holding on to my contact info in case something else comes up. I tell him that’s fine.
When I get home I tell Jim about the call. Describe the job and where it is; he says, “Glad you said ‘No’.” Mention how much the salary is; he says, “Hmm, that’s a lot.”
This morning I send Joe the names of two guys who’ve left the company for higher paying jobs. They’re hungry in a way I don’t seem to be. They are the kind of people who will relocate themselves and their families anywhere if the price is right.
I look out my window and see the Sandias. The grasses and trees have turned the muted greens and yellows and oranges that signal the final stages of autumn. My aging parents live close by. I can take Dad to CostCo when he needs to do a shopping trip. I’m not going anywhere.
But Joe’s call did make me wonder. Is there a salary I’d have been willing to seriously consider?
How about you, readers? Does your head have a price?