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Home > Audio, Podcast, Show > Longevity…and our 5th Anniversary!

Longevity…and our 5th Anniversary!

September 28th, 2009

Career Opportunities podcast logoLongevity…and our 5th Anniversary!
By Douglas E. Welch



This week marks the 5th anniversary of the Career Opportunities podcast. The print version of Career Opportunities is now entering its 12th year. I want to offer my thanks to everyone who has read or listened to the show over the years. While I have my own reasons and rewards for creating Career Opportunities, the main reason will always be you. I will continue as long as what I write has some value for you and anyone else hoping to “Build the Career You Deserve.”

This major milestone seems a perfect time to address the concept of longevity in your projects and in your career. While there is some honor in doing something important over a long period of time, longevity is never a goal in and of itself. There needs to be a reason and a series of goals behind the longevity. Otherwise, you may end up focusing on habits instead of something which is truly worthwhile.

Over the years, I have revisited the purpose and usefullness of Career Opportunities. I did some hard thinking about whether it was adding value to the conversation and whether it carried significant rewards for myself and my own career. The most important part of this review is forcing yourself to step back and consider your work as an outsider. Despite your intimate involvement with your work, you have to consider it with a critical eye. Why? It has to do with the concept of “sunk costs.”

According to Wikipedia, “sunk costs are retrospective (past) costs which have already been incurred and cannot be recovered.” Too often, we look at the sunk costs of our work and are loathe to bring the project to an end. Surely, after investing all this time and energy, there is a reward to continuing. Why would you stop now? Unfortuntely, the heavy physcological baggage of sunk costs can lead us to do some odd, and sometimes destructive, things.

Take for example a new television show that takes months, if not years, to produce. This same show then fails after its first episode. Why couldn’t those invovled see that the show was not working? Why would they continue production when it seems obvious to many that it was going to fail? Why couldn’t someone have put a stop to it before even more money was wasted? You already know the answer — sunk costs. So much money was poured into the effort that no one wanted to be the one to call the turkey a turkey. No one wants to be the one to abandon those sunk costs, even though that is exactly what needs to be done.

Do you recognize yourself in this discussion? I know I do. This is why you have to regularly review your work and your projects, even if you have been doing them for a very long time. In fact, the longer you have been doing something, the more carefully and deeply you must review why you do it. Don’t let sunk costs fool you into doing something long after the benefits are gone.

Despite the dangers, longevity in anything can do a lot for you and your career. It establishes you as someone who is focused, organized and reliable. If your project is self-defined, it also shows an ability to manage yourself and work independently — skills nearly every job interview asks you to describe. These are great examples to be able to quote when dealing with prospective employers or clients. Longevity in any project also gives us sense of accomplishment in our lives. It is accomplishments like this that help us to gain confidence, stretch and grow throughout our lives and our careers.

After this year’s review of my work with Career Opportunies and other projects, it looks like they will continue. I believe this column and podcast offers value to both you and I. You can help me to insure that fact by letting me know what you want and need from Career Opportunities. What questions do you want addressed? What information do you need to “Help Build the Career You Deserve?” How can I help you to make sure that your work and projects have a long, happy and producuctive life? I’d love to hear from you. You can contact me on the web site at, via email aat or on any of the social networks including Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn and our own career community at Thanks again for making Career Opportunities such a success.

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