"Submit a bid"

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Three words I had not previously considered, but now have added more options to my search for employment.

These three words were not connected to the four unsolicited calls from folks who wanted to hire me for contractual work. Two were tax jobs for exempt organizations later in the year, and one will likely result in helping a for-profit startup with its books. The fourth was a dead end.

Shortly after departing my last employer, I called a few former clients to let them know of my status. One facet of a staff change that I have always found uncomfortable is when I had to explain that a colleague on the job earlier in an engagement is now a former colleague.

Most said they were sorry to see me go. One in particular, however, had no opinion but asked whether I had a non-compete. I wasn't sure, but I would respond as soon as possible. When I replied that I was not bound, the response was not what I expected.

"Submit a bid."

The client had always been all business, yet I waited a second or two before realizing this was no joke.

"You're serious?"  There was no response. 

"Let's meet next week to discuss it."  This time there was a response: a date and time.

The meeting lasted about an hour, where we covered a range of topics, but the reason for the meeting was not broached until the end.  The client said a Request for Proposal ("RFP") would be sent out because policy dictated it every few years. The client said I would be included because management was happy with my work on previous engagements and would like to see what I could offer (at an expected lower cost), and I was being told about it now so I wouldn't be surprised. ... Shocked was more like it!

Three words I had not previously considered have not only added more options to my search for employment, it also will affect my strategy.

What am I going to do?

  • Follow through and make an offer?
  • Forget about it and say no thanks?

No matter my decision, I will really have my work cut out.

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