A friend of mine recently went shopping for a new road bike.  I think like many of us he had a certain price range and brand in mind when he started his quest.  I estimated that both the brand and price would change over the course of his search.  I know this because I too have been bike shopping and also headed out the door with a specific brand and price in mind and ended up spending less than I had planned on a brand I never would have thought of.  What happened?

I was lucky enough to run into a good, honest sales person who helped me understand that the most important factor when buying a bike was fit.  He encouraged me to test ride every brand he had in the store without looking at the prices.  As a result of his advise, I also test rode bikes at other bike stores, where I met overly aggressive sales people who kept trying to tell me that the bike they were recommending was the right bike, period.  I ended up going back to the first bike shop and sales guy and buying a bike from him that really felt good to ride.  That was 15 years ago and I still enjoy riding that bike today.  The lesson I learned was when buying a bike, brand is secondary to fit.  Pay less attention to price and more attention to fit and feel.  Buying a cheap bike that doesn’t fit you well will lend itself to a decline in your riding and far less enjoyment in the sport.

Taking a job solely on the basis of the pay or company brand can also turn out to be disastrous.  It’s important to make sure you have a good fit with the company culture, your manager and the industry.  Giving up one or more of these three components can lead to early job burn out, curious layoffs, and just flat out unhappiness.  I’m sure most of the people who are reading this have no idea what I’m talking about :)   The fact is, the longer we go without finding a job, the more likely we are to sacrifice one or more of these criteria associated with long term job success and job satisfaction.  A job is a terrible thing to waste, choose wisely and pay attention to the fit.  You’ll get many more years of enjoyment and job satisfaction and have a greater likely hood of getting promoted versus getting laid off.  Also, be weary of the overly aggressive recruiters.  Odds are they have their interests more in mind than yours.