Whats important to you?

A wise old man and his grandson were in downtown New York City, walking near Times Square. It was during the noon lunch hour, and the streets were filled with people. Drivers were honking their horns, taxicabs were squealing around corners, sirens were wailing, and the sounds of the city were almost deafening.

Suddenly, the grandfather said, “I hear a cricket.”

His grandson said, “What? You must be crazy. You couldn’t possibly hear a cricket in all of this noise!”

“No, I’m sure of it,” the grandfather said. “I heard a cricket.”

“That’s crazy,” said the grandson.

The grandfather listened carefully for a moment, and then walked across the street to a big cement planter where some shrubs were growing. He looked into the bushes, beneath the branches, and sure enough, he located a small cricket. His grandson was utterly amazed.

“That’s incredible,” said his grandson. “You must have super-human ears!”

“No,” said the grandfather. “My ears are no different from yours. It all depends on what you’re listening for.”

“But that can’t be!” said the grandson. “I could never hear a cricket in this noise.”

“Yes, it’s true,” came the reply. “It depends on what is really important to you. Here, let me show you.”

He reached into his pocket, pulled out a few coins, and discreetly dropped them on the sidewalk. And then, with the noise of the crowded street still blaring in their ears, they noticed every head within twenty feet turned and looked to see if the money that tinkled on the pavement was theirs.

“See what I mean?” asked the grandfather. “It all depends on what’s important to you.”

I think I’m going to forget about Managment Consulting and go into either Internal Strategy Consulting or General Managment, hopefully with some sort of cross functional role. Management consulting sounds like it would be really really cool, fun job. You are constantly exposed to new things, you travel everywhere, you just have to look at a problem, figure out a solution, and present a solution. Then you move on to the next thing. And you make huge huge money.

But you travel 2/3rd of your time. And you work crazy hours. I’m not adverse to work, almost any job you take you’ll work a ton….but combine this and travel and….I don’t think it’ll give me the work life balance that I want. I think I’d have to sacrifice having a life actually. I’d want to spend time with my family and friends and come to my own home to eat. I’d want to be able to have a family and spend time with them. And not knowing where I’ll have to travel to on a day to day basis while interesting at first will get old fast. sigh…..so yeah. I think no managment consulting. Even if it does pay big money…..assuming of course I could get into it….the competition in trying to get into it is a whole other story….

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8 responses to “Whats important to you?

  1. I liked the story πŸ™‚

  2. That is a very interesting story. You should try it sometime. I’ve done something similar, where in a crowded noisy room, you want to hear something/someone, you focus on it…it works!

    About the work-life balance thing…I agree. I take a lot of courses for work and a lot of the time, the instructors are from the US, and travel all over the world, and leave wife and kids home. And they are usually gone for a week at a time, coming home for only the weekend sometimes. I don’t know how they do it. Personally I couldn’t take it. The longest I’ve been away from home on business is a week (twice) and both times everybody came with me, other than that only 1 night away, and that’s tough too.

  3. Love the story! I’m going to file it away in my mental “notes to self” drawer.
    I would love a job that keeps me busy 24/7 and travelling all the time. Maybe all these management consultant hiring people should phone me.

  4. Angel: I’m glad you enjoyed it. And thanks for stopping by πŸ™‚

    mousehunter: Yeah, in the end family life (or what I want my family life to be) is more important to me than a consulting career/lifestyle. And I feel good about the decision πŸ™‚

    Ruby: I think the job would be fun…but it just won’t give me the overall life that I want.

  5. Argh, where is my comment? I typed a long one!

  6. You did? Its not in my spam folder or anything 😦 That sucks, I love long comments….

  7. It was a nice well thought out one and I couldn’t possibly say it properly again so I’m just going to wait till you update to comment again! BTW you need to update πŸ˜€

    Did you make the ultimate decision on your field yet?

  8. Liya: haha ok. And I sort of made a decision. At least I’ve decided no consulting. But if you know any summer internship spots in cross functional general managment roles let me know! πŸ™‚

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