Casey Grisez

November 17, 2022

Sticky Notes Lesson #13 - Luck

I signed up for a month-long, email-based writing course from Cole Schafer of Sticky Notes, Honey Copy, and Chasing Hemingway fame.

He sends a lesson and prompt every day. I have 10 minutes to read and consider the prompt, 40 minutes to write, and 10 minutes to edit before posting publicly.

I’m posting here to not drown my Casey's Notes content. On to day 13...


My career has been a bit of a winding road. Big Wall Street bank (in Columbus and in NYC), back to Columbus to work in university fundraising, then back to finance on a small team in a small firm working with small businesses.

When I signed each offer letter, I thought each job was The Job. Each one was where I was going to spend the rest of my career.

My most recent job is the starkest example of this. I had the itch to live in a big city, and it involved relocating. It also had the potential for equity and leadership. It was in an industry I loved. I knew the company founders for a decade, so I thought it was as much of a sure-thing as any job can be.

Today's writing prompt is to discuss when something I thought was unlucky turned out to be lucky, and luck played a big part in where I'm sitting right now.

After I accepted the new job and we began looking into relocating, the housing market got wacky. At first, there was very little supply in the areas we wanted. A little concerning but not surprising since January and February are slow months for real estate. The problems started in March and April.

Since everyone knew that interest rates were going up, people were bidding insane prices on houses -- $200k+ over the asking price wasn't unusual. Agreements to forego inspections. All-cash offers.

The pay at the new job was fine, but my wife didn't have a job lined up, so we were basically priced out of the housing market. And long story short, not moving meant having to leave the job. What I thought was The Job... really this time.

There were lots of fights, tears, and bottles of wine involved. Had we just been able to buy when I first accepted the job, we would've been able to move at a reasonable price. Home prices were still decent and interest rates were at historical lows. I couldn't help but blame bad luck for the timing and what I thought was my career going down the tubes.

Only time will tell if my career is actually going down the tubes. There's a lot more to the story, but not relocating is the best thing that could have happened. The Job turned out to be a job, and not a very good one. My wife's job in Ohio has the potential to make a big difference in our community.

Most importantly, taking a sadadical has allowed me to spend extra quality time with the boys, explore whether I can make a career out of this writing thing, and take time to reexamine work's role in my life.

Not many people are so lucky to be that unlucky.