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HBR Guides to Managing Your Career Collection (6 Books) by Harvard Business Review

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CHAPTER 5

Before You Agree to Take on New Work, Ask Three Questions

by Regan Walsh

During the 2009 recession, I took a high-profile job with a marketing agency. On the surface, it looked like a dream opportunity. The clients were big, the pay was excellent, and given the economic climate at the time, I considered myself lucky. No, the work didn’t excite me, but what would people think if I turned it down? I started on a Monday, and every morning that week I felt myself growing more and more uncomfortable. By Friday, while I was sitting in on a four-hour conference call in a windowless meeting room, I couldn’t pretend that I wasn’t miserable. I ended up quitting that day, just 4.25 days after I started and without a plan B—yet I felt instant relief. ...

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