Writing for Business - A Whatis.com Blog

Jul 2 2013   6:45PM GMT

Business jargon: Do you need a rainmaker or a purple squirrel?

Ivy Wigmore Ivy Wigmore Profile: Ivy Wigmore

Which is correct?

interrobang The CEO sighed and shook her head. “Your whole department only brought in three new accounts last month. I need you guys to be  __________.”
a. rainmakers
b. purple squirrels

Answer: a.

Explanation:
A rainmaker is an employee who brings in an unusual amount of business or revenue. The reference is to the shamanic rainmaker of the Wild West who was contracted to make it rain in drought-plagued areas.

A purple squirrel, on the other hand, is that elusive creature: the perfect job candidate. Of course, the hiring manager will hope she becomes a rainmaker but she can’t start making it rain money until she’s hired.

See also: Purple squirrels, search virgins and morticians

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