Know when to Hold’em, know when to Fold’em

There was a song popularized by Kenny Loggins in the late 70’s called The Gambler. It was popular on the country music and pop charts back then. The lyrics when like this: “You’ve got to know when to hold ’em, know when to fold ’em, know when to walk away, know when to run. You never count your money when you’re sittin’ at the table, there’ll be time enough for countin’ when the dealin’s done. If you haven’t figured it out already, it was about a gambler “sittin’ at the table” trying to win his poker game.

A job search is much like a poker game. You pull up to the table of the search, you’re dealt a certain hand and you play your cards. But how do you play your cards to win the game? Do you bluff?….do you hold on?….do you fold and walk away? There’s a lot you can do, but the idea is to stay in the game until you grab the pot, in this case the job.

I sometimes see job seekers however, play their cards completely wrong. They go on a job interview and after sending the obligatory thank you note, they keep calling the company…..and calling the company…. and CALLING…..they tip their hand to the hiring company that the cards they are holding (other opportunities) aren’t that great.

Well, what if the other cards you are holding aren’t that great? So what! Do you let everyone know? Of course not! Sometimes you need to ante up a little bit at a time and stay in the game. Sometimes the perception that you are holding good cards is just as important to staying in the game and sometimes you have to call their hand!

If you’ve followed up a couple of times on a recent dialogue and you still haven’t heard back, it’s not a bad idea to send a quick note saying something like this: “Haven’t heard from you since we spoke. I’ll assume you have other candidates under consideration. If that changes, feel free to reach out. Thanks. Take care.”

If you are a candidate under consideration, you’ll be surprised how quickly you’ll get a note back which will translate into something like: “Wait! Don’t go anywhere! You are definitely under consideration!” If you’re not under consideration, then you can move on. Remember, you’re just trying to figure out their hand so you can either stay in in the game or go to another table.

So, posture yourself accordingly. Don’t seem desperate. Never count your money when your “sittin at the table” by figuring that you are close enough to an offer where you leave the table and stop playing the game. “There’ll be time enough for countin when the dealin’s done.” Stay in the game.

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