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Ever had a tough career decision to make? Perhaps a relocation proposal or a promotion that required a sacrifice you weren’t quite ready to move forward with? Whatever it may have been, I’m sure it required extensive self-reflection and maybe even picking the brains of your most trusted confidants. Maybe you haven’t been at that crossroads yet, and that’s okay. Hopefully this post will help serve as some additional support should the time come.
A few years back I was working in an industry that I somehow “fell” into. My work ethic was highly valued and I even received a few promotions. Though at the end of the day, my heart wasn’t in it. You know, one of those “it pays the bills” situations. So at my last job in that industry I finally decided it was time to move on. Fortunately, I had a savings cushion to help until I landed on my feet. And I was in grad school so I had plenty to keep me busy in the meantime.
I had decided to focus on jobs in a new industry. However (such a dangerous word), I received a very lucrative job offer from a former employer. It was going to pay $7 more than what I was making at the time. Though I’m no mathematician, I know that $7 x 40 hours x 2 weeks= a whole lot more than what I was making before! Simultaneously I received an offer in the desired industry. The second job would pay $3 less.
I thought long and hard. I picked the brains of some of my own confidants. Prayed. Whatever would give me the answer to the catch 22 riddle of a decision I had to make. Insert juggling hands: Make more money in a field my heart wasn’t in? Or make less, have to sacrifice, but have the opportunity to break into a field I was a lot more passionate about?
In the end I decided to go with the job that was going to give me experience in the field I desired. Yes, it made less. And I had to bend a few corners to make sure my needs (not so much wants) were met. I did have a few thoughts on what I could have done with that extra money. But in the long run, I don’t regret the decision. Because even though things didn’t go perfectly in the second industry, it opened up so many more doors. And most importantly, I never had to ask “what if?”.