Just to be clear. I did NOT get a $250,000 per year job. But, I don’t feel like I missed out on it either. I was out of work this past summer, a victim of COVID layoffs. In addition to apply for many jobs, I also reached out to my friends and associates.
One friend, Sean, works for a mid-sized software company. Sean and I have been friends for a very long time. We are both in IT, so naturally we have both been out of work at different times. Sean heard a job might be coming open in his company. The details weren’t released, but he offered to get my resume into the hands of the hiring manager.
Okay. That’s great.
I didn’t hear back. And I eventually got a good job offer that I accepted. And I’m very happy with. Sean and I were talking last week.
How’s the new gig? What’s the role?
It’s going well. Kind of different to be working for a small company. My boss is the second generation owner. Great guy. Steeper learning curve than I remember in teh past. But, I’m over the bulk of it and actually contributing.
Well, I guess you probably don’t want me to be Monte Hall and tell youwhat’s behind curtain #3 then… 😉
. . .
Ha ha. . .of course I want to know what’s behind door #3!
Yeah, you should have chosen curtain #3… 😉
Okay what’s behind curtain #3?
I don’t know for sure, so I couldn’t speculate during the recruiting process. But it’s very likely that the position was at or above ~$250/year salary plus a few million dollars worth of stock options which vest quarterly, so, about another $400-500k in stock income per year.
Just for perspective, my current job doesn’t pay nearly that well. And no stock options. I missed out, right? Should have chosen Door #3? (Statistically EVERY contestent should have switched when Monty Hall offered. It’s a weird statistical paradox that maybe I’ll go into in another post.)
Anyway, who wouldn’t want a half million to three quarter million dollars? Right? Right?
Robert Frost wrote “The Road Not Taken” back in 1915. It’s one of my favorite poems. It’s not terribly long. Here’s the poem in case, like my friend Sean, you haven’t read it in a while.
Two roads diverged in a yellow wood,
And sorry I could not travel both
And be one traveler, long I stood
And looked down one as far as I could
To where it bent in the undergrowth;
Then took the other, as just as fair,
And having perhaps the better claim,
Because it was grassy and wanted wear;
Though as for that the passing there
Had worn them really about the same,
And both that morning equally lay
In leaves no step had trodden black.
Oh, I kept the first for another day!
Yet knowing how way leads on to way,
I doubted if I should ever come back.
I shall be telling this with a sigh
Somewhere ages and ages hence:
Two roads diverged in a wood, and I—
I took the one less traveled by,
And that has made all the difference.
See? You did remember it. . .mostly.
This is one of Frost’s most misunderstood poems. Most people think it’s about missed opportunities, or picking the “right” opportunity. “I took the one less travelled by and that has made all the difference.”
But, that’s not what the poem means. Look at the second stanza. The point is that BOTH paths are the same. It’s only in our deciding that they become different. If they were both the same then how could Frost “take the one less travelled by”? Because our choosing makes the difference.
I recently did a writing exerise. One question I answered was, “If you could go back and change one thing what would it be?”
My answer was easy. .and short.
Not a thing!
“I shall be telling this with a sight somewhere ages and ages hence: Two roads diverged in a wood, and I — I took the one less travelled by, and that has made all the difference.
I explained this to Sean. I didn’t “miss out” on the job at his company. I took the road that led to where I am now.
I could tell Sean was starting to see my point,
Very philosophical. I’m reminded of the bonding scene in Good Will Hunting where Sean tells Will about how he missed the Yastrzemski homer in the World Series because he was in a bar across teh street with his future wife. “Would have been great to see that game though”…
Had I got the gig working for his company my life would be different. But, would it be “better”? Only God knows that. . and He’s not telling.
So, you’ll not see me shedding tears for “missed” opportunites. I chose my road. . and it really has made all the difference.
Rodney M Bliss is an author, columnist and IT Consultant. His blog updates every weekday. He lives in Pleasant Grove, UT with his lovely wife, thirteen children and grandchildren.
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