Choosing Opportunity Over Money

Last week I had something really strange happen to me, I really didn’t know how to handle it. I received a job offer from company I had never applied to, when I wasn’t even looking. Someone was attempting to recruit me. A recent Huffington Post article claimed 40% of college graduates are unemployed. Here I am not only holding down a great job, but being recruited for another one, it was a bizarre feeling. I’m not going to lie the new opportunity went to my head.

Wonderful thoughts of adding thousands of dollars to my annual salary, a sweet office and a better commute poured into my mind. THEY WANT ME, I thought. That’s just so cool.

Back story: Late May of this year I made the jump to my second professional job, I took great step in my career and now I’m working for a wonderful company in their growth phase: read OPPORTUNITY. This offer came to me after being at my new job for only two months.

After the initial email back and forth with the company, we agreed on an interview time for the following Monday. I couldn’t wait to get home and talk to The Republican about this new opportunity. When I filled him in on the details, he was less than thrilled and I was confused. Yes, two months is a short time to spend at a job, but this new job just sounded so awesome. What’s the harm in finding out more?

Given his lack of enthusiasm, I stewed over my decision to accept a phone interview over the weekend and by Monday morning I wasn’t nearly as confident in my decision as I had been on Friday. Friday the world was my oyster, but Monday I couldn’t shake the feeling that I was about to make a huge mistake.

Realizing My Mistake, Choosing Opportunity

Monday morning was an amazingly eye opening experience. I began to see just how much opportunity I had at my current job. I couldn’t bear the thought of walking away so soon. It was then I knew I had to call off the interview. I felt I owed it to the company to be open and honest about my situation, I graciously thanked them for their offer and let them know at this time, I wasn’t in a position to consider a new opportunity.

I was initially worried about their reaction, however, they were extremely warm in their response. They wished me the best of luck, and told me to keep them in mind in the future if my situation ever changed. Weight lifted

It was extremely hard to turn down the offer. I’ve never been presented with a situation like this before. When the offer initially came through, my ambition got the best of me, but eventually I came to my senses and made the right decision.

It’s important to remember, just because a shiny offer comes along (more money, better office, better title) doesn’t mean it’s the right fit for you. I could certainly make more money doing less work at different company, but I would ultimately be sacrificing opportunity.

You can always earn more money, but you cannot make up for lost opportunity. The key to a successful career is how you manage the opportunities handed to you. You can opt for the easy road paved with a full bank account and short office hours, or you can embrace opportunity and truly work to put your creative stamp on a company.

I chose opportunity over a higher paycheck. I know someday in my professional career I’ll be earning the big bucks, but for now I’m satisfied with filling my creativity bank instead.

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