In 2007, I decided that I wanted my passion for investing to be more than a hobby. That prompted me to interview with all types of firms. I wanted to start my career off perfectly by joining a prestigious firm with a strong brand name. My ideal firm was Merrill Lynch, which had a great reputation in 2007.
When I got an offer from Morgan Stanley, I turned it down, because I was sure I wanted to work for Merrill Lynch… even though I did not have a written offer from them. The offer letter I was waiting for never came. So, I was left without any job offer.
A week later, while at the beach with a friend, I told him what had happened. He suggested that I contact Morgan Stanley and ask them if the job they had offered me was still available. When I told him I could not, he asked: “What do you have to lose?” He was right. I was currently without a job.
When I contacted Morgan Stanley about the job I had initially turned down, they offered me the job with a higher compensation package. I took the position, which turned out to be a very good choice. Merrill Lynch did not survive the recession while Morgan Stanley did.
We often think we know the most direct path to our goals and have the perfect plan in mind. However, things do not always work out as expected. Something that looks like a “second best” choice can turn out to deliver the best outcome in the end.
So, when something lands in your lap, consider it closely, even if it was not what you were looking for – whether a relationship, job, investment or other opportunity. It can end up being much better than we ever thought possible.
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