We've all been there. You just came off your three-week high post-graduation festivities and reality sets in... Holy f*ck. Life starts now.
Upon graduation, I was offered a position at a well-known electric car company in Palo Alto that I could not refuse. I would have to forego my so-called "last summer ever" and dive right in, two weeks into the summer. After thinking it over and weighing my options, I realized that this was easily the best way for me to start my career and complement my previous internships.
Simultaneously, I had been building a company over the last two years with a close buddy of mine and figured that this would be a great way for me to save up some money, add a great name to my résumé, and brand myself accordingly. What most people need to realize is that your desire to create, define yourself and build something significant will never be ousted by countless excel spreadsheets and a new stream of income.
If anything, the mindless tedium that you are forced to ensue day-after-day truly takes a toll on you and becomes the ultimate foe. If you haven't had the opportunity, take a moment and watch the film, “Office Space.” The movie’s portrayal of corporate dejection will leave you aching to put down that beer and start something that matters.
After two months of a robotic routine and building a very specialized skill set that I knew would be expendable ten years down the road, I decided to make a change. Yes, it was very difficult to leave a company that had unprecedented stock growth over the past year. But my last two years had been devoted to developing something that was significant to me and I realized there was no better time in my life to do so.
I have no mortgage, no wife, no children, and I am fully dependent on my own actions. Now, I am not stating that this is the best option for everyone - this is my personal situation. But if you happen to be settling for a job where you are not optimizing your ability to learn and build your mind as an asset, then you are dangerously "floating."
Floaters are those individuals who sit at their desks, unhappy with their current stepping-stone jobs and expect life to provide all the benefits and all the opportunities for advancement. The second I realized I was vulnerable to becoming a floater, I split. For those of you out there that are waiting for the perfect timing to pursue that project, venture or start up, I urge you to act now.
Would you rather start your career and conform to the constant pressures of climbing the corporate ladder or take a risk when you are fiscally, physically and mentally able? I am now happy to say that I wake up every morning excited by the emotional roller coaster that comes alongside being an entrepreneur and I am learning ten-fold.
Do not allow societal pressures to define you at such a pivotal moment in your life. Never settle for a job that will "build your resume,” or make you "more appealing" to recruiters if it does not fulfill your desire to achieve your potential. The time is now; go for it.
Top Photo Courtesy: Dangerous Complexity