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Gut or Rationale?

September 21, 2010 Leave a comment Go to comments

I love that impulsive decisions we make in split seconds sometimes end up defining the rest of our lives. Regarding my business experiences, I’ve never made the analytically correct decision; I’ve always gone with gut – not reason. I’ve always worked for people who I admire and can learn from – not the ones who could promote me the most quickly or give me the highest salary. And more often than not, I’ve taken pay cuts and stepped down to work for a company and / or individual I believe in; rather than making the ‘safe’ decision.

Today I find myself in a situation analogous to one I was in seven years ago. Two jobs; one a ‘sure thing’ and the other a ‘we’re a start up and we have no budget for you right now’. By “sure thing” I mean – great salary, great business, great team, great everything BUT my ‘gut’ is telling me to go elsewhere; to go to the company that “can’t afford me”. My gut says to “wait” or “work for free”, however I’ve been told hundreds of times by brilliant executives that you should not “work for free”, that it’s “crazy” and it “devalues your work”. This leads me to ask myself, “Aren’t there more forms of compensation than money?” I believe so, but apparently the experts do not agree.

By going ‘against my gut’, I’d be doing the right thing, the responsible thing, and would likely end up happy with the decision I’ve made. But how long would it take me to stop watching that ‘start up business’? Would I really be 100% passionate and engaged in a company knowing there is something else out there I want more? If I took a job because it was the “best option available at the time” (even though I’m financially sound right now and am looking at businesses to get back into the corp. world, not for fiduciary reasons) , am I selling out? Am I settling? And how do I know if my “gut” is even right when I can’t find 1 tangible difference between these companies in the criteria I’ve set out? Going to be a long, thoughtful process, but hope to come out with the right answers eventually and discover how to not be a ‘sell out’.

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  1. September 21, 2010 at 8:33 pm

    Good luck as you weigh your options and make your decision. From what i have read about you so far, it sounds like you have always made good choices…why should this one be any different! 🙂

  2. jrandom42
    September 22, 2010 at 1:52 pm

    As an adult diagnosed Asperger, going with my gut has remained an unmitigated disaster in all phases of my life,not just interviewing. Staying rational, focused on observation and rigorous analysis has worked far better for me all around.

  3. September 23, 2010 at 3:33 pm

    This reminds me of the old Jewish Proverb: “When faced with two options, choose the third”

  4. September 24, 2010 at 11:04 am

    What is your gut, but the sum total of all your experiences. I don’t know why you try to separate “your gut” and your rational. In reality, aren’t they the same? Too many times people equate rational with “taking the conservative approach … the road MORE traveled. Being a Seth fan, as I know you are, you can appreciate the term Lizard Brain. Need I say more?

    I had a discussion six months ago with my twenty year daughter similar to this when she was contemplating leaving Apple in middle of the recession for a small reseller. Her response … “I’ve never had a problem finding a job before, and there will always be other Apples – and if I need to I’ll find them.”

    I’ve said enough.

  5. September 24, 2010 at 12:15 pm

    I just had this quote come over to me on Twitter. I thought it was appropriate.

    “Never fear the want of business. A man who qualifies himself well for his calling, never fails of employment.” -Thomas Jefferson

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