preparing for snap decisions

Last week I was spending at least a couple of hours every day on the phone and on the internet trying to identify a job or consulting opportunities for our hoped-for destination in Florida. It wasn’t easy; if you’ve ever thought about moving to an area where you have only a tiny handful of connections you’ll know that it’s nowhere near as easy as searching in your home market. But it can be done.

So one company that’s been intermittently in touch with me called me up late Thursday and asked if I could fly out Sunday to meet with them first thing Monday morning. A little background – they had been slow to respond to me previously and I had seen no real signs that they were interested until they put my resume in front of a different department head. Suddenly they wanted me to fly out within 36 hours.

When I got the call, I froze. It was short notice, I hadn’t even considered mentioning it to Bubelah and it was Little Buddy’s third birthday. I stuttered out my first response – “Monday’s no good” – without thinking. The person I was supposed to interview with was leaving the country Tuesday morning. I had blown a great opportunity.

After a bit of reflection, I realized I’d made a serious mistake. Little Buddy might miss me on his birthday – but we also had planned a second birthday celebration for next weekend for people who couldn’t make it on a weekday (my parents, Bubelah’s parents and a few friends). His birthday would be a party attended by neighborhood kids only. I would be missed, I’m sure, but I realized that I had botched an attempt at securing a good job in a strange market; a job that would help me lay the foundations for a future consulting practice in my new home town.

Everything ended up alright in the end. I’m still flying down later this week. But I did learn a lesson: when you have a goal, and it’s important – not just to you, but to your family – seize it when it’s offered. I was lucky to get a second chance but I just as easily could have been unlucky. Life is full of second chances, but it’s better to assume you won’t get one.

photo credit: Joshua Davis (jdavis.info)

11 comments

  • Tough call, but like you said it's an opportunity and you have to investigate it further. Glad you got to make it work after all…and good luck with the position!

  • I'm rubbish at quick decisions like that. I once had a job interview that clashed with a client meeting at my existing job. It took 22 hours of thinking before I decided to call the interview people up and ask if I could reschedule it. As soon as I made the decision it felt obviously right, but it just isn't something I could be sure of being right instantly.

    Most of my decisions are made in a split second, but after quite a lot of seemingly unproductive mulling. Not sure what that's about 🙂 .

  • I can certainly appreciate where you are coming from with not assuming that you will get a second chance. But you did in this case and I think it was important for you to be there on your son's 3rd birthday. While there was a chance that this opportunity may not have been saved, another opportunity would almost certainly have emerged. However, there's only one third birthday. Maybe your immediate response was a blessing in disguise. You get to be there on the birthday and also reflect on how you should respond in similar future situations, that hopefully, won't involve birthdays =0).

  • Nice post. It seems like it's also best to anticipate and prepare for such decisions when possible. It's good things worked out!

  • It's something to be said for rash decisions. Most of the time I make them, a lot and then agonize whether I should've done or said something else. I almost always regret my snap decisions hoping that I had taken my time to think it through. It is my nature, though, to think and act quickly, without thinking too long. And the results are 3/4 are good and 1/4 are ok, that I wish could be different ;o) Does it even make sense??
    Once the it's done it's done, learn a lesson and move on!

  • You have to be quick in snap situations because you may only get that one chance to make an impression and by saying the wrong thing could leave a negative impression. Glad you worked it out and can still head down there.

  • You have to be quick in snap situations because you may only get that one chance to make an impression and by saying the wrong thing could leave a negative impression. Glad you worked it out and can still head down there.

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