Employment Do’s and Don’ts

Employment Do’s and Don’ts 13 Comments 

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Be Committed to What You Do

Harrison Barnes
By Aug 08,2023
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In this article Harrison discusses the power of commitment. It is important to commit to your career, to a single employer or to anything for that matter. Not being committed to your career can have enormous ramifications. Commitment is key to any form of success. You should not do any sort of job that your heart is not in and that you cannot be committed to. Without a strong commitment you will not have the success you desire.

I am about to provide you some of the strangest job search and career advice you will ever receive from someone who’s in the recruiting industry. One thing you should know about me is that I’m a straight shooter. If I see a pattern repeat itself enough times, I know it’s something that must be true. The pattern I’m about to explain to you is so powerful it could change your career forever. I know it has changed mine.

The secret is commitment.

When I was in my 20s, I had a girlfriend who watched soap operas. She was committed to those shows. She would watch them every single day, and if she could not watch them, she would record them. I’m ashamed to admit that I would sometimes watch the soaps with her when she would catch up on the missed episodes. The one thing I quickly realized about soap operas was that they were all about commitment, in that none of the characters could commit. Each person on every one of the shows would get into a series of relationships, be tempted by others, get out of relationships, get married, cheat, and so forth. This was all the soap operas were ever about. The characters would inevitably suffer hospitalizations for nervous breakdowns or horrible accidents (caused by their distractions). Then there would be horrible, drunken, public confessions and all sorts of other malfeasance. Moreover, the people on these shows would always be led to believe that, no matter how good their situation was, the grass was greener elsewhere.

Several years later, when I got into the employment market and started recruiting, I began noticing this same soap opera pattern with clients and coworkers. People would leave a job for any lapse, no matter how small. If they were criticized by an employer, I would see them start looking for another job. If someone heard another employer was paying more, they would send a résumé. If their current company or firm were getting bad press, they would start looking for another job. The reasons were innumerable. Some might seem proactive, while others were purely reactionary. One thing seemed clear to me: There was a major lack of commitment in the marketplace. People could not or would not commit themselves to a single employer–or to anything for that matter.

Commitment is key in order to experience any form of success. You should not do any sort of job if your heart isn’t in it and you can’t commit. If you are a public relations intern, you need to be committed to that job. If you are the president of a corporation, you need to be committed to that as well. Not being committed to your career will only have negative consequences.

Several months ago, I was speaking with a proofreader in my company who resigned because she had found a better job across the street, one that paid more. The amount of the pay increase was minimal. I was actually prepared to give the woman a raise, a higher amount than her new job. In our meeting, the young woman explained she liked working for our company, but she needed to make more money because her husband had been unemployed for some time.

I told her I was very sorry about this and asked how she became aware of the new job. She was a nice girl and I was interested in talking to her about this. The job she was doing at our company was very demanding and had required her to take work home at night and to work very hard for the most part. In response, she told me she’d been freelancing for the other company for some time, and this was how she came to entertain a new full-time job offer.

Once she told me this, I was no longer interested in trying to keep this person at our company. I knew immediately she was not committed to our company to the degree I wanted her to be. She was not someone I wanted on my team.

Your boss (and we all have bosses) wants employees who are committed to what they do.

Whenever I hear people tell me they are just doing something until they can find something better, I know they will never really succeed. When I see people leave a job for trivial reasons, I also know that they will probably not reach the success for which they’re striving. When I see people watch the clock and leave at 5 p.m. every day because they are not really interested in what they are doing, I know those people will probably have mediocre careers. Commitment shines through, and it is easy to see when it’s not there.

Each morning, I read the Wall Street Journal. I spend at least forty-five minutes reading it cover to cover. Most of the stories in this publication are about Fortune 500 companies and other such organizations. At least once a week, I see something along these lines:

John Smith started out as a repairman for a local office of X company in 1977. Today, he is CEO of the same company, with 18,000 employees in 26 countries and revenues of $4.2 billion last year…

It’s not coincidental I keep seeing stories like this in the paper. Without a doubt, the people who are rising up in these situations are those who are the most committed. When they join a company, they join and remain in a committed fashion. They show up to work. These are the kinds of people who grow within corporations. They usually keep their jobs, but if they ever lose a job they will find another job quickly. Their commitment attracts success.

Being committed also has financial rewards. I have several people working for me on salary, whose incomes have consistently risen (more than tripled) in the past three to four years alone, because I know they are committed. I know their hearts and souls are in the job. I have recruiters working for our company who make two to three times the money of the average recruiter because of their level of commitment to the job.

It’s very common for people who’ve held too many jobs within a short span of time to never find a job in their industry again. This happens to lawyers all the time. It is well known in the recruiting community that if you have had more than two jobs in five years (or even five to six jobs over a twenty-plus-year career), it demonstrates a lack of commitment. Even if you can account for the problems you might have had with those employers, it would seem clear that the problem is not your employer–the problem is almost certainly you.

Prospective employers will want to avoid you because they know you will leave them, too. You will find fault with them just as you have found fault with all of your other employers. You will tell the people you work with why you do not like the company. You will tell other potential employers you are interviewing with why you do not like the company. Who needs that? Most employers avoid these sorts of people like the plague.

It pays to be committed not only to your employer but also to your career. Your commitment will come out in everything you do, and you will shine. There are countless stories of the secretary who becomes the president of the company, the guy in the mail room who ends up buying the corporation and becoming a billionaire, the worker who sweeps up at the auto dealership, who becomes a salesman, then the top salesman, and eventually buys the auto dealership and another, and another, and so on.

All of that comes through the power of commitment.

I am in the employment industry. I love what I do. I want you to succeed. I want to coach you. I am committed to what I am doing.

Are you?

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About Harrison Barnes

Harrison Barnes is the Founder of BCG Attorney Search and a successful legal recruiter himself. Harrison is extremely committed to and passionate about the profession of legal placement. His firm BCG Attorney Search has placed thousands of attorneys. BCG Attorney Search works with attorneys to dramatically improve their careers by leaving no stone unturned in a search and bringing out the very best in them. Harrison has placed the leaders of the nation’s top law firms, and countless associates who have gone on to lead the nation’s top law firms. There are very few firms Harrison has not made placements with. Harrison’s writings about attorney careers and placements attract millions of reads each year. He coaches and consults with law firms about how to dramatically improve their recruiting and retention efforts. His company LawCrossing has been ranked on the Inc. 500 twice. For more information, please visit Harrison Barnes’ bio.

About BCG Attorney Search

BCG Attorney Search matches attorneys and law firms with unparalleled expertise and drive that gets results. Known globally for its success in locating and placing attorneys in law firms of all sizes, BCG Attorney Search has placed thousands of attorneys in law firms in thousands of different law firms around the country. Unlike other legal placement firms, BCG Attorney Search brings massive resources of over 150 employees to its placement efforts locating positions and opportunities that its competitors simply cannot. Every legal recruiter at BCG Attorney Search is a former successful attorney who attended a top law school, worked in top law firms and brought massive drive and commitment to their work. BCG Attorney Search legal recruiters take your legal career seriously and understand attorneys. For more information, please visit www.BCGSearch.com.

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13 Responses to “ Be Committed to What You Do”
  1. Avatar Stratos says:

    heyy…i really came to knw the real meaning of “commitment” after gng thru ur paragraph

  2. Avatar Shaheenul says:

    Really a nice blog. I like it.

  3. Avatar Gaurav says:

    There are scores of people who keep changing their jobs frequently. There are many apparent reasons for doing this but generally the basic reason is lack of commitment. Not only in jobs but in most aspects of life, commitment is a long term investment. But today’s mindset lacks such perspective. Lure of quick and short term gains is all too powerful causing the phenomenon of job hopping.

  4. Avatar Chris says:

    I would agree with the philsophy and behavior associated with commitment as defined here, but not with tying it to a particular timeframe. Granted there is a certain incubation period to grow your effectiveness and credibility in an organization, it’s the dedication and effort that speaks for itself regardless of whether you are in a position or company for 1 year or 10+ years. In fact sometimes those that are in a job for an extended period of time tend to rest on the laurels of past merits or form an unjustified sense of entitlement. In a competitive landscape you need to constantly reinvent yourself and while you should indeed look to do this inside the same organization to which you are already committed to, many times it is more productive to seek outside alternatives (for non-trivial reasons, as mentioned in the article). It’s a balance between knowing when to press on and knowing when you’re really in the slow lane, and mapping that onto your own clear sense of career goals.

  5. Interesting take on commitment and I agree that changing jobs for trivial reasons doesn’t pay. I do take issue with the example of the woman that had to work 2 jobs to make ends meet and took a job that paid slightly more with the company she had been moonlighting with. I didn’t see in your story your commitment to her. You weren’t committed enough to her to know that she was working 2 jobs to make ends meet or to find out what it took to get her commitment. Did you find out if you contributed to her situation? Did you really expect that she would be committed to your company over her family’s well being? Commitment is a 2-way street and one that companies are going to find out about quickly as the job market loosens. The cost to a company of not being committed to it’s people is huge.

  6. Avatar Vivek Thomas says:

    nice article , like above commitment is the most important quality that a person should have, it can be for anything like job, love affirs,etc. If up lack the quality of commitment its like drinking water without opening the mouth……

  7. Avatar lisa says:

    From this article…I really like..commitment is important of everyones life…u know most popular person they have some commitment…and should handled frequently…everyone can set tat all commitment’s in our mind…it’s easily they can achieve..all field

  8. Avatar john says:

    I agree this article..commitment is important of all life…so everyone should aim and what i do next one..to think and commit that…and clear for all work’s in the end of the day.

  9. Avatar rosy says:

    I agree this article…In this world difficult to achieve high position .so everyone should aim and commit all decision and get high position..because there is must of all life..”commitment is important”….

  10. Avatar arif says:

    I cannot but agree with the author. so, thoughtfull of him…

  11. Avatar Joie Mojica says:

    Commitment is something a company earns from it’s employees. Though it is still true that some employees are sometimes too insensitive and oversees the potential growth their company is offering them. But still commitment for me is earned, just like respect. Why would an employee be commited to a company that forsakes her/his contributions in the company.It is a give and take process, commit to your employees and they will do the same for you.

  12. Avatar Tamsen says:

    Dear Mr Barnes,

    It was with interest that I read your article on job commitment. Please allow me to mention another aspect of this subject.

    In the last ten years I have seen another trend, this time among employers. The trend is one of employment policies that lean toward abuse of employee’s goodhearted efforts and self investment. As interviewees we do our best to guage how our investment will be treated, but are caught by surprise once we get into the job. No-one wants to be treated slavishly, tricked, taken advantage of, etc. I give 100% to my work, but I expect the same quality of relationship in return. Most importantly, I must be able to negotiate fairly through conflicts and disagreement if I am to remain functional in my position. It is for the lack of forthrightness in my employers that I now have that horrible stigma of being a “frequent flyer” among jobs.

    I would enjoy any thoughts you might have regarding this.

    Thank you,


  13. Avatar Leaton says:

    Good Job. Thank you for taking the time. I’ll return to your site to see what’s new and inform my friends about this website.

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