Opportunity and Dealing with Disappointment

In the past few weeks, there have been a few experiences which have kind of ‘reawakened’ me and have gotten me to reconsider the paths I was close to undertaking. Towards the end of April, I had a series of interviews with a company, about a job opportunity. I went through the usual corporate battery of three interviews with various HR and management types, as well as a panel of my would-be peers. In the end, everything seemed to be going well, and a friend on the inside of the company told me that I basically had the job. It wasn’t a dream job or anything of the sort but the pay was much better than I am currently receiving and could add another solid experience to my resume for the future.

For a few days I coasted, thinking that I was about to embark on a new path with a new company, and I’ll admit I felt rather excited at the prospect. It was all a matter of time, of course, before I would leave my current gig and start anew. However, a few days after I had been assured that the position was mine, I received an email telling me that the position had been eliminated due to some change involving one of their corporate customers. At first, I was pissed. All of that time and effort (literally, the last interview was two hours), was down the drain with nothing to show for it.

The second event (well, series of events) involves my work online. I had been during this past month, focused almost solely on money. I wanted the new job because of money and all of my efforts in writing seemed to be about the bottom line rather than creating something that I had wanted to. It was during this barrage of efforts to make more money that I got smacked down by Google. My rankings in the search engine began to plummet and ultimately I have lost about 80% of my traffic within a week, thanks to an ‘algorithm penalty’ of some sort.  Maybe these old pages will recover to their proper spots at some point but who knows. The funny part, to me, was Google notified me that my revenues were 98% below estimates and that I should look into the reasons why, as if they weren’t the sole cause! Anyways, it pulled me away from this site and y other ventures for a few days, as I questioned the point of it all.

It seemed that another financial misfortune would overtake me, when some reconfiguration at my current workplace was taking place. I had turned down one offer from them when I had thought that I pretty much had the new job locked up. Now, it seemed that my role was going to be redefined and my hours possibly cut by 25%. At this point, I really said enough is enough and decided to take action.

I made the case to my bosses that I should only work three days a week because it would entail less driving to and from for me and I could focus more on my work in larger blocks of time. They were receptive to this idea, as they wanted to cut my hours anyway, and figured this would be the perfect way to do so. For a few days, it was like this, before I hit them with the second piece of my plan to secure more hours, more money, and a three day per week schedule. Their marketing efforts have been haphazard for the longest time and mostly abandoned but online marketing and website building is something that I happen to have plenty of experience with. In the end, I basically created my own job title, got my schedule condensed into to three days per week, and can essentially control my own destiny and pay based on how my plans perform.

All of these experiences this month got me thinking about gaining and losing opportunities and how much of an effect making decisions can have on your life. These experiences are all neutral experiences in reality; it’s just that at the time they happened I may have interpreted them as positive or negative. Had I gotten the new job, I would have had to drive to another city each morning and be stuck in some office cubicle from 8 to 5 doing work that I have zero interest in. What kind of ramifications would that have had on my life? Gotten out of shape? Lost my interest in writing? Lacked the time to pursue things that I am passionate in? When I really think about it, not getting hired there was kind of a blessing in disguise. I didn’t really feel comfortable in such a place and was only really in it for the money.

Also, I now have the opportunity to compress my work schedule into three days out of the week and have the other four off to explore my own interests. Beyond summer vacation and whatnot as a child, I’ve never had the majority of a week to simply explore my own interests without work or school getting in the way. I have decided to use this time to increase my reading and writing and also start a new carb cycling diet. Personal development is now my main focus and doesn’t feel like something that I have to squeeze in between certain hours of the day or weekends.

Sometimes in life, things seem like they are working against you, and it feels like you’re stuck in a really bad place. However, not every opportunity is the correct one for you or your plans. I can imagine had I gotten that job how unhappy I would be by this time next year. I would be stagnating and probably slip further and further into some existential despair. This didn’t happen and things started to seem as if they would fall apart in many ways, so I decided to get creative. You want to cut my hours? Good. Let’s give me three days per week. Wait. You guys are having problems with marketing? It just so happens I have a ton of experience with that but I’ll need to keep a full-time schedule in order to fix things. When things get bad, get creative.

I’m pretty excited about the opportunity that I have now and am trying my hardest not to squander my time and actually pursue things which will help me to improve and develop. Starting with my 30-day super trial, I hope to implement many positive habits over the next month and get more done than I ever have before. Disappointment strikes in many forms, work related, personal, relationships, etc. The key thing to remember is that not all missed opportunities or failings are necessarily bad. There is usually a greater opportunity or challenge which you can find among the wreckage of your failures and you’ll never see it if you keep focusing on what you ‘missed out’ on.