Dumb decisions

#essays

Over the course of the last 37 years I've made some ill-informed decisions.

Back in 2008, I was offered a job in the oil and gas industry in Fort Worth, Texas. A field I knew nothing about in a city I couldn't locate on a map of The Great State.

The opportunity sounded too good to be true. I would get a salary with regular performance reviews for compensation adjustments. I would get a per diem and lodging provided.

Fortunately, the job proved to be as advertised.

The job lasted only 13 months, but it started a career that lasted nearly 14 years after I packed up my compact car and headed west.

Speaking of cars . . .

Back in 2011, I bought a brand new car. Some would argue that buying a new car is always a bad decision because of how quickly they depreciate: Your car note stays the same while your car's value plummets on the front end.

But I would say that buying a new car was especially dumb because of how many miles I was driving on a regular basis. As a field landman working out of county courthouses, I was driving 200 to 300 miles—maybe even more—a week.

And many weekends I drove to my hometown to visit my mother as she battled cancer. Each round trip added another 500 miles to the odometer, running my car's value into the ground.

11 years and 210,000 miles later, I still own that same car. She's still going strong.

In January, I made a big career change. I hesitated for so long because I thought such a move was stupid.

But 14 years ago I made a dumb decision that served as a great foundation for my working life.

And 11 years ago, I made a dumb purchase that now makes me smile when I think about the value I've gotten from it.

And two months ago, I started over in a completely new career.

I hope this dumb decision works out like some of the others.


This post first appeared on Jake LaCaze's blog.

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