Ricky Jerret, The New Orleans Saints, and What it All Means For Your Career

After a little break, I’ve been catching up on Season 2 of Ballers. In case you don’t watch it, the premise is simple: Dwayne Johnson (aka The Rock) is a retired NFL player that now spends his time helping younger NFL players manage their money and make wiser choices than he did. (And if you need another ringing endorsement, Elizabeth Warren loves the show, too – about 4 and a half minutes in).

One of the Rock’s clients – Ricky Jerret – is looking for a new team. He has plenty of offers and several teams fighting for him and spending a good portion of their budgets to woo him.

But for some reason, Ricky just can’t seem to make a decision. The money obviously plays a huge role, and when you get an offer for $36M with half of it guaranteed, it’s hard to turn down. But Ricky keeps stalling the teams. He visits each one, listens to their pitch, and waits for some hit of enlightenment to point him in the right direction.

When Ricky visits New Orleans to talk with the Saints, the head coach and manager write down their offer – the largest offer for Ricky yet –  in a formal conference room setting with just the three of them, and slide it across the table.

In response, Ricky immediately writes his own note and slides it back. What does his note say?


“Where’s the love?”

Aside from the fact that New Orleans is where I went to college and one of my favorite cities, the episode stuck with me because that’s what so many people are looking for these days in their career – LOVE! And they keep searching and searching for other, more tangible factors – more money, a better title – but nothing feels right despite the initial excitement of a great offer.

Ricky had the best offer out there, a city he was excited about moving to, and a team that would support him well. But he wasn’t ready to take it because he didn’t feel the love.

Think about that from a professional perspective (because that is what this blog is all about, anyway): the best money, good prospects, great location. But no love, so it’s out!

Logically, it sounds crazy. And since the most successful people out there – like you! – tend to make decisions logically, I’m sure you’re thinking that was a stupid move.


The Logic of Looking for Love

But I wish more people would look for the love in their career choices to drive them over other factors. I wish people would understand that, logically, feeling the love is the thing to seek out.

The happiest workers are those that feel valued day in and day out. They feel they are an integral part of the team, trusted, and respected. That feeling of being valued fuels better and more impactful work, which leads to being valued even more and – before you know it, people that feel the love at work are at the top of the chain and (hopefully) showing others that they’re valued too.

Look, I know money is real. Location is real, too. And of course, professional advancement opportunities are important.

But we’re kidding ourselves if we don’t think that the emotions that come from feeling devalued everyday at work aren’t also real. They are and they have a much larger impact in your happiness and success down the road than the money you make or being in the “right” role or organization.

I totally understand that at some point in your career it might make sense to take a higher paying job or one with a better location over one where you feel valued. And as long as you’re doing it strategically – with a clear purpose in mind – that’s fine.

But give yourself an expiration date.

Then – go out there and get some love! Because at the end of the day, feeling the love matters more to your happiness and success at work. So seek that out first, then let the other pieces fall into place.

If you’re looking for love, but not sure how to find it or what type of love you want, download my guide! It’s a framework for how to strategically approach your career for the long term and might just shift your thinking a bit more so you’re looking for love in all the right places. 😍 😍 😍


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