Archive for July, 2012

The importance of timing

Sometimes, there is nothing more important than good timing. When you’re applying to graduate school. Trying to find a new job. Hoping to get a promotion at your company. Or even looking to meet that special someone. No matter what the activity is, sometimes, timing can make all the difference.

When timing is bad, there might to be far more school applications than ever before, a boss that doesn’t want to put in a good word for you, or a gatekeeper at work that won’t help you get in front of the person you need.

On the other hand, when timing is good, everything you need can work in your favor. That gatekeeper will get you in front of the senior person at work. There’s an extra seat in the class because less people might have applied. Or your boss is having a good year and wants to see you succeed as much as he wants to do well himself.

I have a personal example from just this weekend. Small but a perfect illustration.

I was in an airport in another country. I was about to make my way back to the US and was mistakenly given a middle seat even though I was assigned an isle. But by the time I noticed, there was little I could do given the organization of the airport at the time.

But we just so happened to make our way toward the gate a few hours early to make sure our flight was still on time. Nobody was at the gate and the plane before ours was a bit delayed. We were about to make our way back to the cafeteria to wait out our flight there, since there weren’t enough open seats for all of us at the gate.

All of a sudden, a gate attendant speaks over the intercom, “Everyone that needs a seat change, come by the gate so we can get your seats finalized.”

The timing could not have been any better. At that moment, I was about two steps from the gate. So I walked over and got in line, just before watching about 40 other people do the same. I told them about my mishap, and not only do they stick me in a window seat but it just so happened to be next to one of the guys I had went on the trip with.  And they told me, there were only 2 window seats left, and that I was lucky to get one of them.

It reinfored the idea, that sometimes timing can make all the difference.



Tuesday, July 31st, 2012 Careers No Comments

Build things in

Have you ever thought you would do something a week or two from now, but it turned out that you didn’t have the time? Or maybe you were too tired so didn’t feel like it? But in retrospect you would have been much better off had you gone through with your original idea?

It can happens to every single person I know.

Works get busier than expected, so the dinner you had planned next week, never got finalized. Your feeling down after a few bad incidents at work, so you opt not to go to the event because – and you don’t have to since you never bought the tickets.  And in some cases, you have so many things on your mind that you just forget the outing that you hoped to remember to do the following week.

In retrospect, sometimes you be much better off if you just scheduled the trip in advance. Bought the ticket. Committed to someone else that you’d be there. Not rely on the hope that you buy them later. Because when things get busy or when you get down, not only do you start to forget about events, but sometimes you just skip them because you don’t feel up to it.

I propose the idea that sometimes (not always but sometimes) it’s better to build things in. To buy a flight in advance. Commit to someone you’ll be there. And mark it in your calendar now.

Because if you don’t build it in now, chances are you won’t do it later.


Sunday, July 29th, 2012 Business School, Careers No Comments

Now what?

What do I do now? That’s the question people a lot of people are asking themselves.  MBAs that just finished business school. Law students that just finished the bar exam. Friends and colleagues that finished their big project that kept them captive at work.

Often times, we encounter big taks and we have to go face to face with really hard work. And the harder the work the busier we all become.  And I suspect that the trend never really ends. But  every time there comes a point where it all comes to an end. Life has to go on. And we have to figure out what to do next.

In most cases that’s easy with a little advanced planning. That’s why most people plan trips after a big exam. Family vacations after your big project at work. Places you’ve always wanted to go if you decide to finally quit the job you’ve always wanted to quit.

But what happens when the work is harder than you thought? When time slips away? Then you find yourself asking, “now what.”

Advice from someone smart that has been there: “Enjoy your freedom. It’s not going to last.”

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Thursday, July 26th, 2012 Business School, Careers No Comments

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Jeremy C Wilson is a JD-MBA alumni using his site to share information on education, the social enterprise revolution, entrepreneurship, and doing things differently. Feel free to send along questions or comments as you read.


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The contents of this blog are mine personally and do not reflect the views or position of Kellogg, Northwestern Law, the JD-MBA program, or any firm that I work for. I only offer my own perspective on all issues.
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