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 (