I went surfing with a buddy on Saturday afternoon. Weekend sessions are always packed with all sorts, from weekend warriors to seasoned surf dogs, so I had low expectations when it came to catching many waves on a crowded beach break. I intended to surf with a friend, get wet, and maybe catch a few waves.
I noticed another surfer picking up a lot of waves. He was relaxed and chatting with his friends in between sets. He was chill and always in the right place for a quick little wave, which meant his wave count was much higher. I ended up paddling next to him as a bigger set wave took shape in front of us. We both looked at each other, and then he smiled at me and told me to go for it. Based on where I was sitting in the lineup, it was my wave, but it was still a cool and casual gesture from someone confident enough to know that more waves were on the way. His bucket was full.
Make a point of hanging out with people who have a full bucket. They are the people who know when enough is enough and aren’t desperately trying to hold onto things and constantly taking.
Companies can be a bit like this as well. In a tight job market, watch out for companies that will do anything to make you stay. Work with people who are quietly confident and happy to help, whether it’s working together or getting you set up for your next move. The top performers at the most exciting companies know there are more waves on the way.