You’ve got 20 minutes

Photo by Corey Young on Unsplash

Have you been in situations where you only got 20 minutes to decide for a relatively complex problem? Yes, I bet everyone had some in the past.

I gave someone else once, and I said it politely. I had a new offer from another company to sign that day, so I asked my boss whether they can let me go in a few hour. I think I did give them a timeline to work out, but I was not betting on it since I was in a rush to get out and hop on the new opportunity.

That is one case, and I know I probably gave my boss some headache that day. For your curiosity, I didn’t leave the company, instead I got a better counter offer from him, and got promoted that day. Surprise?! But this is not the end to the story.

Lately I was pulled into my same boss’s office, and was told they are letting me go. Hah, now it’s my turn. They did give me 20 minutes to ask question, but there’s not much I could do at that point; all the questions I raised didn’t get answered. So in the end I voluntarily said “Good bye” to the company. It probably lasted less than 20 minutes and ruined me a good Friday afternoon.

I got laid off. If there’s any similarity between these two cases, one common feature is that we all don’t have enough time to assess the current situation thoroughly. So you might think I’ll start to judge both cases and argue we shouldn’t do things in a surprise. Not really. These things are actually played by the playbook; surprisingly good or bad things are normally ended in that 20 minutes.

As in any competition, that 20 minutes is all you got. But to succeed in that, you need to start training yourself, mostly to prepare for that 20 minutes in the future. Know the rule, familiar yourself with all the possible cases, get ready to hop on any pathway that the situation dictates. This is called preparation. When you get older, you get softer in heart, you might forget the struggle in your past, you essentially get rusty in skills.

You should never forget these; you can still get softer in heart, but you should know there always is a 20 minutes lurking somewhere to jump you. Be prepared.

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#OpenToWork Front-end Engineer, book author of “Designing React Hooks the Right Way” sold at Amazon.

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Fang Jin

#OpenToWork Front-end Engineer, book author of “Designing React Hooks the Right Way” sold at Amazon.