I was really mad at Dag. He was my boss and I was sure he was avoiding me, maybe even ignoring me. I was ready to unload on him (verbally) the next time I saw him. It was a good thing I didn’t.
I was working for Cimage Corporation, a software company in the Bay Area. Much of the investment in Cimage had come from Norwegian investors and Dag, my boss who was from Norway, temporarily re-located to California. I really loved working for Dag, and years later still consider him one of my key professional mentors. At the time, though, I was just incredibly frustrated.
Things weren’t going so well at Cimage. It was the end of October, and several months earlier the company had announced that our office would be closed and all of us were to be laid off. Along with several other software engineers, I had been contracted to complete a project for a key customer. We were employed through the end of the year and although there had been some rumors about further extensions, nothing had come through. Dag had told me personally, several weeks earlier, that he was working on it and had asked me to be patient.
Time was running out. I needed to support my family, so if I wasn’t extending my work at Cimage, I needed to be looking for something else. I was hoping to continue working for Dag, but that seemed increasingly unlikely. He had been traveling a lot, returning to the corporate headquarters in Michigan, and also spending some time back in Norway.
On Halloween morning, Dag was finally back in the office. I was prepared to confront him and kept an eye on his office door, waiting for him to be free. In the late morning he beat me to the punch and called me in to speak with him. As I walked into his office and he closed the door, I decided I’d wait to see why he had called me in before I spilled out my frustrations. I figured I could be patient for another few minutes.
After some brief small talk, Dag got straight to the point: “Daryl, how would you like to work for me in Norway?” I was shocked and completely speechless!
I’ll save the story of talking with my wife about the possibility of moving to Norway— it deserves a post of its own. For today, it’s enough to know that we accepted, and a little more than two months later, arrived in Oslo.
That conversation literally changed the course of my life and shaped a lot of my career. I’m glad I decided to be patient, for just a few minutes more.
For now…I’ll leave you with this thought:
Wait before acting rashly—don’t jump to conclusions. If you assume the worst, you’re likely to be wrong and might assume yourself right out of a golden opportunity.