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It seems over the last 6 months I have been in “opportunity overload”. I have had the chance to hang out with some awesome people from OpenDNS and Dell. I have had a couple of amazing career advancement opportunities (that I didnt take). I have the opportunity to go to 44con, NSCL, and DerbyCon in the next three months to give some awesome talks.
Actually I should be working on my talk for 44con (sorry Steve) but this blog post has been eating at me recently and I needed to sit down and write it so I can move on.
I have been asking myself the following three questions nearly nonstop since January:
Do I have what it takes?
Technically and socially I feel I am equipped to do way above average at anything I want to do career wise. I have never been afraid of a challenge and have always had an overconfident swagger that I inherited from my grandfather. If something needs to be done I want to get it done and be the one doing it.
What if I fail?
I am over 30 now and I probably have 5 more years to make a big splash professionally before I am pigeon holed into a job. I have a 4 year old son who is getting ready to start school and lives near his Grandpa and Grandma and is spoiled by a great church family. I have a wife who I love very much who is able to be near her family and friends.
If I fail… they get hurt. It is as simple as that. One of the most important things in my life is to make sure they don’t get hurt. The realization of what is at stake personally is immense for me and it makes me approach opportunities like I am running a marathon with a 100 pound weight belt on.
Will the sacrifices be worth the reward?
How do you calculate opportunity cost?
Opportunity Cost = Cost of Selected Alternative – Cost of Next Best Alternative
Does that equation work for a four year old? How big of a salary is worth my son not being able to go stay with his grandma and grandpa at a drop of hat? How many career advancement opportunities is worth missing my son’s soccer games? Is a nice corner office worth being on a plane to Moscow on my wedding anniversary?
So I am not sure what the future will hold. I guess once I have a good answer to all three of these questions I will know that it is time to move on and take a new challenge.