A Job With His Picture Beside It

Nick recently received offers from two positions. One is making $200,000 a year in Afghanistan. The other position pays $50,000 a year. Which position would Dave take?

QUESTION: Nick in Nashville has been unemployed for three months. He recently received offers from two positions. One is making $200,000 a year in Afghanistan. It’s a one-year contract. The other position pays $50,000 a year working for the state. Which position would Dave take?

ANSWER: Take the state job. You want to know why? Career choice—not risk. You make better decisions when you think about 10 years from now than when you think about 10 months from now. There are no guarantees at anything.

You’ve definitely got risk, but I think my biggest problem with the Afghanistan deal is that it’s just over fast and then you’re right back where you are. My point is when you get back, it’s over. One of the things I’ve observed with wealthy people is that when they’re asking questions about what to buy or how to buy something or how to look at something, they always think in 5- and 10- and 20-year blocks of time—not, “Thank God it’s Friday. Oh God, it’s Monday.”

The last part that put the nail in it for me was I asked you what you want to be when you grow up, and you said, “This job has my picture beside it.” You need to go do that. That’s what you need to do—the thing that has your picture beside it. Don’t go just chasing money on the short term.