The site via which I publish this column seems to have gotten very busy (or slow). Last week it took two days for it to come out. Just so you know, I'm publishing it this about 4.30pm California time on Friday.
Many years ago, I decided to lower my expectations about most things in life. With regard to business, when I attend an industry event, if I leave, having met one person with whom I know I’ll have a long-term connection, I’m happy. If I leave having met someone where there may be actual business to conduct, I’m ecstatic. Disappointment is part of life but that doesn’t make it any easier. This past week, I had to cancel my trip to London in early June where I was going to moderate a panel at the PERE Forum. It was a decision that I made for reasons that I’d rather not discuss. Regardless, I was disappointed but happy with the logic of my decision. PERE has recently announced that they will be holding a Global Real Estate Forum in September in Amsterdam and I am going to that one. In addition to the benefit of moderating a panel there, I have some friends to visit with, notably Marinus Dijkman in The Hague. When I was working on launching The Institutional Real Estate Letter- Europe, Marinus, after an introduction from Onno Husken, founder of The Ibus Company who left us too soon, was very helpful; I probably would not have been successful with that launch without him. Marinus is the publisher of a series of beautiful and informative directories such as Europe Real Estate. He and I have become close friends.
I’ve always been open to spending time with someone who is looking for a job. Recently, I’ve spent more time with people who are in or coming out of graduate real estate programs. All of these folks are passionate about the industry and a good number went back to graduate school, after working in the industry for some number of years, to hone their skills in finance, etc. so as to make themselves more attractive to developers, investment management firms and the like. There aren’t a lot of jobs (or internships) available to them right now and in many cases it appears that employers who are looking to hire someone are looking for someone who has exactly the same experience or skills that they believe they need for that job. I’m not sure whether there’s a right or wrong in this but I feel that some employers may be passing over people who could really add value to their organizations by not looking at people ‘holistically.’ And, as a good friend said to me today, “I’m not always right but I’m always certain." It’s been particularly rewarding for me to spend time with those looking to enter or re-enter the industry or change jobs. I learn something from each person about them and about myself. I’d encourage you to open your schedule, for just 20 minutes, and meet with people who are looking to learn more about your take on the industry. You never know, you may meet someone who you want to walk down the hall to meet with one of your colleagues because, even if you weren’t actually looking to add someone, there’s a spark that comes out of a meeting that may light a fire and result in a valuable addition to your firm.
July 12-13: Beverly Hills, CA to attend the NMS Roundtable (Endowments & Foundations)
Photo: Sean Felix who will be two in a few weeks!
These are my views and not that of my employer.