The Kerry Coombs press conference hit me different - and I'm sure to many other guys on the backside of their career (m)


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By Ivo Shandor on 05:40:56 10/13/21

I'm in consulting at a Big 4 firm. I'm paid well but I'm not a partner at my firm. I'm bearing down on 50, so I'm no longer a partner candidate, and it is increasingly becoming a young person's game.

Kids I've hired and coached and mentored are now my peers or superiors. I'm trying to stay relevant for the next 10 years, but honestly that keeps me up at night -- a well paid guy who has hit his ceiling at the firm, you need to stretch in different ways, oftentimes taking on stress and other grunt work that you thought you'd be past at this point in your life (working very late nights, weekends, formatting decks, waking up with a pit in your stomach more often than not, and supporting anywhere that someone will accept my help), then you hope you're evaluated well enough, made enough of an impact to buy yourself another year, just so I can rinse and repeat.

Back to Kerry Coombs. Valued team member and contributor. Loved by the younger guys he coaches and coached. But was never going to be "The Guy". I've been able to internalize this, however Coombs had to reveal himself and his internalization to entire room of reporters and thousands of Buckeye fans online. He did it wonderfully, but you could see the pain and anguish in his eyes.

He didn't like the decision, but couldn't argue with it.

Many of us regular guys have dealt or will soon deal with the same thing. Are you a long termer? What's your long-term value? We can hire someone with new energy, new skills, new ways of thinking that may be hungrier -- and cheaper. It hit home, and I'm sure it hit home with alot of other middle/upper managers hitting their ceiling.


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