Before the global recession and housing bubble burst, I used to enjoy watching a programme called “Flip that House”. The premise of the show was to follow people through the purchase, renovation and subsequent resale of properties, hopefully at outrageous profits. My strongest impression in this show was that most projects went way over their budgets.
At this point in the semester, that’s how I feel with my time. Something that I anticipated costing me 2 or 3 productivity hours is actually costing 5 or 6, multiplied exponentially as I have over committed and over extended to the nth degree. I am running around like a chicken with its head cut off – or as they more succinctly say here in Ireland, like a headless chicken – between Strategic Negotiations with one group, required courses and another group, Portuguese classes in preparation of our Emerging Markets trip, fundraising for Rugby Club, and the list goes on…
‘How did I convince myself I would have time for this? I wonder in my constant scattered distraction from one million things racing through my head at a time. I didn’t think it would take this long is the real answer. I am way over budget on time. Just as in “Flip That House”, though, going over budget often is what made the house really impressive. It’s hard to say if I will make use of everything and return on my investment, but I’m glad I went for the marble countertop and parquet flooring equivalent for the brain.
Now I guess what it all comes down to, just as in the real estate market, is ‘location, location, location’. Having been based in developing markets for years, I had decided that a change for more developed markets would do me some good and an MBA from one of the top global programmes would be just the platform from which to make that change. Now that I’m here in the over-saturated job market, it seems that the flexibility and language skills that brought me to live in some of the remotest corners of the planet in the past may remain my competitive advantage as companies look for flexible employees whom they can send wherever they are needed. Luckily enough for me, unlike in the real estate market, I can pick up my investments and move them to a neighborhood where people value quality craftsmanship if need be.