Thursday, November 17, 2005

The Decisions We Make

This week, I spent a couple of days meeting with the buyers at one of our biggest customers. It's a big name outfit that you would probably recognize.

Earlier this year, this customer offered me a job. A great job. A huge job. With a big raise, fat signing bonus, and a pile of stock options. I'm not telling you this to brag but to illustrate just how overwhelmed I was by their offer.

I felt wanted and needed and loved and in demand. Within days, still euphoric, I gave them a verbal, "I think I'd love to join your team" type of comment. Mostly commital

Damn. Suddenly, that made it real. I would have to move, tear myself away from the life and the friends I'd built and grown attached to here. My house. My yard. The local pubs I've come to know. I realized then that I was, and had been, happy. Why potentially screw that up? I really like (and sometimes love) my job, where I work, the people I work with.

And then I established a new rule for life: "Don't fuck with happiness."

This doesn't mean settling, or striving for lazy contentedness, or letting the right opportunities glide silently by. This does mean not grasping after every last golden nickel.

And, so, much like John Kerry, I declined their offer, after I had accepted it.

Over the months, there were some pangs of regret, some wonders of how green the grass may have been on the other side.

Until this week. Everyone I met there was stressed, overworked, unhappy with how cut-throat and competitive the culture had become, how the days grew longer and longer, and weekends seemed almost to disappear. Ugh. Thank God I had thought better about it.

In life, as in baseball, sometimes the best moves are the ones you don't make.

2 Comments:

Blogger Mason said...

Thats funny......this past spring, I received an amazing offer also. Too good to pass up....a great opportunity. I gave my notice and helped find and train my replacement. Four weeks into the new job.....and I start to see the signs. Two weeks later, the company folds. I've been downsized from Corporate America three times....I think I am the "Poster Boy" for choosing the wrong opportunites. lol

8:16 PM  
Blogger LargeBill said...

Jack,

Glad you made what ended up being the right choice for you. As we go through life there are many forks in the road. Not many of us get a chance to see where the other road may have lead. Money is cool but it isn't everything. I've known people who switched jobs for an opportunity for higher pay and ended up worse off financially because of higher housing costs, longer commute, etc.

3:06 PM  

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