“I don’t worry about contract negotiations – I let my agent handle that. I just focus on playing.” The other day, a client mentioned that comment from a famous football player.*
“Wouldn’t that be nice?” she commented, referring to how much more efficient it would be to not worry about jockeying for the next job — but instead to focus on the work?
“Absolutely,” I agreed, “that is the dream.”
Agents help minimize the emotional cost and labor of rejection and help focus professionals on the work that matters. From my experience, and following the work of folks like Adam Grant and Adam Galinsky, it is also very common for people to be much stronger advocates for themselves than for others.
To take a non-professional example, consider matchmaking. I am nature wing woman, since
- I am often way more confident in my friends’ value than they are
- My emotional detachment from the outcome allows me to be much bolder
- My natural sensitivity helps me shield my friends from the fall out of rejection
- My ability to reframe situations allows me to understand when a rejector was a dork clearly wasn’t good enough for my friend anyway, and
- I’m wired so that helping other people gives me way more energy than focusing on myself.
When planning your next transition – consider and plan for how you can use agents, both paid and unpaid, to accelerate your results.
*sorry, I’m showing my lack of NFL knowledge here and I don’t honestly remember who it was.