The Sapient Ape

Life as an employed MBA grad during an economic recovery. DISCLAIMER: Everything written here is fiction.

VD, and Settling

Ahh Valentine’s Day.

Good — now that we’ve talked enough about Valentine’s Day, we can move on.

So a friend of mine from the campaign has received a job offer in NYC, and has decided to move back there, even though he’d rather stay here, and rather work somewhere else.  And who can blame him.

I faced a similar decision back in August — whether or not to accept an offer with a J&J subsidiary in Brussels, Belgium, for low pay.  My dilemma was whether to take an offer with a good company, but in a field I didn’t want to work in (pharma/medical devices), for not that much cash, in a location that wasn’t that hot.  And I turned it down.  Were I faced with this same decision today, I would… still not take it.  

In my mind, there are three factors to deciding on any offer — at least for me:

  1. Location – location, location.  I’ve always been a huge proponent of living in the right country/city/neighborhood, and I have to say, I’ve done well until now.  Now I’m scraping the bottom of the barrel in terms of where to live — DC.  OK, maybe I’m exaggerating, but when compared to Barcelona, NYC, and Shanghai, Washington DC ain’t all that.  This is probably the most important decision for me, but can be outweighed by a combination of the other two.
  2. Salary – the almighty dollar — or Euro.  This used to really be my number 2, but I gotta say, with the jobs that I’m looking at these days, this isn’t that important anymore.  Obama changed me — now I rate power and influence almost equally.  Money will come (hopefully).  And besides, I’ve got lots of rich friends to mooch off.
  3. The work — is it something that interests me?  Is it an industry that I see potential in?  How about the position itself — can it take me somewhere?  This to me is becoming more important to me these days.  Especially in DC, influence and power are very important to becoming a success here.  But just as important, I want to enjoy what I do — I want it to involved communicating with people, working on teams, and managing many different projects concurrently.  

So here’s the question — is my friend doing the right thing in this time of economic crisis?   Is it time to “settle”?  Of course, I’m temping right now for peanuts, so I guess I’ve done the same thing.  Still, I can still not commit and quit if I so desire.  

Still got those commitment issues.

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Filed under: Strategy & Planning, , , ,

4 Responses

  1. Zeeb says:

    when i first saw the title of the post, i thought it was about how you were coming to terms with herpes.

  2. My past ranking would’ve been similar to yours but since I left consulting, I’ve shifted to 1) Work 2) Location 3) Salary. If you’re going to spend 8-10 hrs/day at a job, it had better be a good one. I left consulting in large part because a bad location project made me realize that good location only barely covered up for lack of fulfillment in the job. I was bored all the time.

    Then again, I went into consulting in the first place because the economy was mediocre when I graduated from Pitt in 2002. It was my only option so I certainly understand how money can come to the forefront when choice goes out the window.

  3. mishaali says:

    I’m not sure if that’s my ranking – I mean lets say thats what it used to be before the Current Depression.

    Now its probably more like

    1) Work – can I please get some work?
    2) See 1.

    Nah – it would probably be work, then location, then salary.

  4. Mark P. says:

    Hi Misha,

    Nice writing.

    I’d say these days, dark as they are, also offer new opportunities. I can not tell you what they are, but many in the last decade, have sought out careers, either with great focus, or compelled by the times, that did not otherwise agree with their inner selves. Find the things you like, that you find you want to do, like this blog, and do many of them, and run with them. I say there’s gold in thar hills! Bend the world to your will, and you will be king, if not master of your domain.

    If not, think of Sir Archibald Kerr circa 1943, and find light where you see it:

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