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Home > Blog > Judgments
Out of Our Minds
Sunday, July 11, 2004 8:48 AM
Judgments
David Weinberger on Passionate Work

Someone I know just had two job offers. One was for doing something he does well and has been doing for a while at a small pharma/biotech company. The other was at a research lab working on a project he cares about and at which he would learn a lot. The second job, of course, offered just under half of what the first offered. In fact, the second way pays so little that he'll barely be able to live here in Boston.

He took the second job.

It's been interesting watching how judgmental people have been. I don't mean having opinions or giving advice. We pretty much can't avoid the former, and some of us (ahem) can't stop ourselves from doing the latter. But, being judgmental goes beyond that. When a friend makes a choice, unless you have good grounds for thinking it to be self-destructive or evil, you support your friend. You congratulate them, wish them well, offer to help, talk about how exciting the new job is going to be. You trust that they made the right decision. And you save your doubts for pillowtalk.

Or do I have this wrong?


4 comments

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Kate - 7/12/2004 1:54:06 PM
Definitely. I think that a good friend should play cheerleader and coach, not referee. Isn't the simple, bold act of making a decision about a life change preferable to muttering and inertia of someone who is dissatisfied but chooses to remain so?
Rick gregory - 7/11/2004 1:54:01 PM
No, David, you're precisely right. If the friend is mulling over the decision you can play devil's advocate to help them refine their thinking and so that they've fully explored the various facets of their decision. But it's THIER decision and once it's made, their friends should be supportive. I think it's courageous to make that kind of move and wish your friend well.
joseph duemer - 7/11/2004 11:32:30 AM
You are absolutely right. The second job will be rewarding in the present & will lead to new openings & developments that the first job wouldn't. Why? Personal engagement. I spent a lot of time being paid squat to be a writer & a teacher. Some of my friends wondered why I didn't get a 'real job' & quit messing around. But I kept at it & while I'll never be rich, I am successful by my own lights & comfortable in that quintessentially American sense of the word that means I have enought money.

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