I was offered a short-term freelance assignment last week. The money was good, the term period was ideal, and the people I spoke to were nice. The assignment was for an industry I had some experience in, the job scope was reasonable and well within my capabilities, and it could potentially lead to a full-time role.
I took all weekend to consider the prospect, and this morning, declined.
The decision was made only after several rounds of deliberation in my head and a couple of chats with friends, so it got the full yes-or-no workup. Nonetheless, a couple of hours later, I found myself pondering the decision again.
It’s hard to say no to money. It’s hard to be professionally idle in today’s world and after last year’s crazy busyness. It’s nice to have weekends back, but weekdays sometimes feel confronting and accusing.
So why did I say no?
The acceptable reasons were that I had a vacation coming up and this would affect the project schedule, and that the industry was not one that I was interested to throw myself into any time soon. I have a somewhat unhealthy habit of going all-freaking-in on work, so the second reason matters more than it may appear.
Personally, I also felt like I needed to practise saying no to tempting things (money!) and to take a longer view of opportunities. I had planned to use my break (while I’m on the job hunt) to decompress, reflect, and learn some new tricks* — and the opportunity presented offered little beyond monetary gains.
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The outcome of a decision does not reflect the quality of the decision. Bad decisions can lead to good outcomes; good decisions can lead to lousy outcomes.
This thought keeps coming up lately. I can’t remember where I first read it, but it has been a helpful reminder. I imagine and hope that it would continue to serve as one in the upcoming months when I’m missing this 💰.
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* Now, how do I keep myself honest? How can I track, in an objective quantifiable way, the quality of my break? How do I keep myself from binge-rewatching Grey’s Anatomy? I’m still figuring it out. Update in another post, soon.