Meet me halfway


By Jeff Altman, The Big Game Hunter

Originally published on LinkedIn

There is an old joke about a man who prays to G-d to win the lottery. He looks skyward, pleading and begging that he win.

This goes on for three years when suddenly a burst of lightning and a clap of thunder reverberate through an otherwise sunny day when a loud voice heard only to the man says, “Meet me halfway. Buy a lottery ticket.”

A lot of seemingly intelligent people engage in a job search or their careers like the man in this story.

They want to be promoted but do nothing to develop their skills, training, and experiences sufficiently to warrant the promotion they want.

“The company should pay for it; they’ll get all the benefit,” they think, neglecting the probability that the employee will change jobs in a few years and profit from the additional training for their entire career while the firm they worked for benefits for a year or two. Even when firms pay for additional training, many have taken the approach that they will pay proportionately with your grade in the course.

Many submit resume after resume for jobs they want but are not qualified for.

“I want to do this kind of work,” they think, ignoring that the resume they submit their resume through the ATS or chain of command) and do nothing to demonstrate that they are QUALIFIED to do the job they want.

“Why don’t they contact me,“ they lament, ignoring the fact that a firm has taken time to determine what it believes it needs in the way of skills and experiences to do a job and they have done nothing to demonstrate the ability to meet them halfway and demonstrate they meet those qualifications.

As I coach people with their job searching, with businesses with their hiring practices, and individuals with playing bigger, I hear these laments all the time.

Everyone self-proclaims their flexibility but no one actually wants to extend themselves.

“Why won’t they work for what I want to offer them,” the manager complains, ignoring that the job market has turned strong, that they are competing for talent, and that they took 4 months to take someone through an interview process that could have been completed in three weeks TOPS if it were treated as a priority. They forget the three times they canceled interviews at the last minute, signaling the chaotic nature of the work environment they manage.

“Why are there no people who fit what I am looking for,” a corporate recruiter says ignoring that they have 15 qualifications listed in their job description that no one within a 100-mile radius possesses to the degree they are screening for.

On and on, this unwillingness to face reality and meet one another halfway hamstrings people and organizations.

We live in a home with a staircase down from the main floor to a room where our son likes to watch tv.

“Can I eat downstairs,” he would call when he was young.

“Sure,” I would reply. “Meet me halfway and I’ll hand the plate to you.”

“No,” he would answer, “bring it downstairs.”

“Then I guess you’ll have to come upstairs when you’re hungry enough.”

He learned.


Oh! By the way, the person who wants to meet you halfway is often a poor judge of distance! Usually halfway means you move 70-80% and they move 20%!



© The Big Game Hunter, Inc. Asheville, NC  2015, 2021



Jeff Altman, The Big Game Hunter is a career and leadership coach who worked as a recruiter for more than 40 years. He is the host of “No BS Job Search Advice Radio,” the #1 podcast in iTunes for job search with more than 2100 episodes. He also hosts Job Search TV onNo BS Coaching Advice YouTube, Amazon, and Roku, as well as on for Apple TV, and 90+ smart sets.

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