I was recently elected Vice President of my synagogue, Congregation B’nai Sholom-Beth David in Rockville Centre, Log Island. This isn’t a request for donations, yet. I was elected Vice President even though I have only been involved in my synagogue for 2 years. I became the Managing Editor of my college newspaper about six weeks after I joined. I became the top attorney of a third party administration firms 7 weeks after joining.
This doesn’t mean I’m special because I’m not. The point here is that I’ve been very lucky in life in being there at the right time. I have learned that timing is everything and every time you sense opportunity, grab it because very rarely will you get something handed on a platter.
In the three instances I listed above, I knew what I wanted and I wasn’t shy to ask for it. Usually, I’m Mr. Passive-Aggressive, but over time, I’ve been trying to cure that. You have to take the brass ring, people can’t read your mind and just hand it to you.
Speaking of that third party administration attorney job, my predecessor was making hundreds of thousands of dollars because he got a percentage of the gross legal fees. The attorney I replaced wasn’t all that great and my bosses senses they could bump me up to head attorney and save quite a but of sum of money. When I got word that this change was going to happen and I expressed interest, I expect a huge pay increase for the promotion. When all I was offered was $5,000, I was in passive-aggressive mode and said nothing. Instead, I boiled over it for the next 4 ½ years when I was there and it changed how I felt about the place and it affected every performance review I had because I was always chasing that $25,000 pay increase I thought I was entitled to. 12 ½ years and I still think about it. I had the opportunity and I flubbed it. Again, timing is everything.
So regardless of your role, either as an employer, plan sponsor, plan provider, or shepherd, take opportunity when it knocks and seize the moment because it can be gone the next moment and you wasted it.