Over the course of your career, you may debate turning down work. Consider these in your order of preference:

  • You don’t believe in it – the moral or ethical conflict is too high
  • You can’t deliver – the resources are not available to produce quality outputs in a timely manner
  • You don’t like the economics – the financial incentives are too low
  • You’d be underutilized – the accepted work precludes more valuable opportunities
  • You don’t fit in – the culture and tactical work environment is too distressing
  • You’d be misplaced organizationally – the wrong relationships would be fostered or harmed

The trying times are when many of these items conflict. ‘Do you want to eat well or sleep well?’ a colleague once asked. ‘Tonight, tomorrow or both?’ has the makings of a response.