Would you rather choose a job that provides visibility and networking with senior executives in a large public company or a job that pays 30 percent more but is much more standard and has less networking opportunities?
It depends on your finances at the moment and your ambitions for the future. If you need more cash now, take the higher paying job; if you don’t and can plan for the longer term, take the other.
Seneca, the Roman philosopher and statesman who lived more than 2000 years ago, could very well have been thinking about you and business in the 20th and 21st centuries when he said,’ Our plans miscarry because they have no aim. If one does not know to which port one is sailing, any wind is the right wind.’
In today’s lingo, he said that if you don’t know where you’re going, you can’t get there. I can only imagine the vast amounts of time and money that were wasted in Seneca’s day by sailing in wrong directions to wrong destinations, or, today, in working toward the wrong or vague goals, or no goals at all.
While sailing for the wrong port is one failure of planning; another is thinking short term — which I am convinced is the business and societal disease of our time. Companies — and people — that are managed solely or primarily for the next quarter’s financial results — the ultimate in short-term thinking that does not rise to the level of planning — often aren’t sustainable.