Exposing The Risk of Decision-Making Based on Sunk Costs

By Katie Corbett

 

Everything has a cost. Whether it is time, energy, or money, working on projects always involves expenditure of resources.

 

In “The 2-Hour Job Search,” by Steve Dalton, the dangers of sunk costs is discussed. The danger of counting those costs is that you might continue working on a project or working in a job that is no longer good for you because you have put so much time, energy, or money into it already. I’ve found these questions helpful so I don’t get stuck continuing to work on things merely due to sunk costs.

 

  • Does this project still excite me?
  • Do I enjoy working on it?
  • Does it still align with my purpose and goals?
  • Do I still get satisfaction from working on it?
  • Does it still make sense given overall trends?
  • Why should I consider quitting?
  • Could I place this project on temporary hold?
  • Is there another way I could do the same kind of work with a different project?
  • If I continued working on it, what would be the continued costs?
  • Does this project still bring joy to my life?

 

I used these questions to evaluate whether to continue working on my garment project. The answer I came to was that it would be better for me to discontinue that project in favor of working on things that better align with my current activities. I feel very at peace with my decision and am happy I stopped when I did. I’m glad I didn’t continue to move forward on something that no longer made sense, although I’ve put tons of energy, thousands of dollars, and countless hours into it already.

 

Do you have a project you decided to discontinue? How do you feel about that? I look forward to reading your story in the comments.

 

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