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Written by Stanley Pearlman, Jeff’s old dad and a guy who knows nothing about sports, but a bit about life.
Singer Eydie Gorme died a few days ago. For those of us who grew up in the 1950’s and 1960’s, it was just “Steve and Eydie,” no last names needed. (If you are under 50, he was Steve Lawrence and they were married, performed together, and everyone in Brooklyn and The Bronx loved them.) Something she said struck a chord with me about my own career.
The elegantly dressed Steve and Eydie (never Eydie and Steve), after building a career singing standards, were running up against the emerging rock ‘n’ roll era. “If we came out in jeans and sneakers, it would be ridiculous,” she said. “We’re stuck with who we are.”
Reading that, I thought of when I started with IBM right out of college in the mid 1960’s. IBM, at that time, was Google, Amazon, Netflix, all rolled into one. Once lucky enough to get a job there, no one ever left. Except me! I didn’t understand why at the time, but I just knew it was the wrong place. I left after two years and continued my career with a major CPA firm, and then Kraft and Xerox. And then it occurred to me. I simply didn’t and couldn’t naturally conform to the corporate mold. I was not a team player. I marched to my own beat.
After 14 years I left the corporate fold, and started my own executive search firm recruiting for corporate clients. I recently retired after 30 exciting years. As Eydie said, “We’re stuck with who we are.” It sometimes just takes a while to figure out who that is.