As far as my career goes… I’ve always looked for opportunities that attempt to satiate my desire to learn new things, to explore areas of work that I’ve never quite encountered.
In this way, my rubric for decision making is kind of simplistic. Outside of ensuring that I work with great people (which is a bit of an ambition anyway) I think it’s pretty easy to gut-check oneself when it comes to the projects / products that one might work on.
The problem, at least historically, is that I’ve completely fooled myself into believing that I’d actually be interested in a few of the things that I jumped into.
In other words, I’ve justified an opportunity because of something untrue; I’ve said “Yes” to things just because I thought it would be “good” for me to do.
An example is a project and company that I joined because I was hurt and feeling depressed about my options and wanted to make sure that I had at least some form of revenue coming in so I could feed my family.
In reality I hated the product and I am had no interest whatsoever in tackling that particular market and industry. But, in the ways that I know best, I deceived myself into believing that I’d eventually come to like it…
… and in less than a month I was fired. That was a good thing as the environment was toxic as hell. Fate saved me from spending any more time in that wretched place.
And, it was a failure of my simple test: Would this project bore me? The answer was a resounding “Yes!” then and now… I just didn’t listen closely enough to my own mind and heart about it.
I also didn’t listen to those closest to me. I should have.
I try not to make these mistakes now, but, I know that I probably will… again, and again, and again, and again. As long as I see it for what it is.