I’m nearing the half way mark of my career and most of those twenty years have been spent chasing a ghost of one type or another. When I graduated from college I chased prominent companies. Position and pay weren’t on my mind as much as the company name.
Then I chased the title ghost followed by the salary ghost. It took time but I usually found what I was searching for. But then the game was over, and it wasn’t long before I was chasing another ghost.
I’ve talked to people who have the goal of working for Intel, Facebook, Microsoft or Google. Any position will do. Get your foot in the door and figure it out from there. The younger stupid me believed that, and it may work for a while. But if you’re job isn’t providing any joy or growth you’re selling your life away to the highest bidder.
A year ago, I lost my job. What seemed like a major setback has been the opposite. I was compensated well, but nothing else about my old job brought joy into my life. And yet I wonder why I stayed so long? I suspect I was comfortable like many people who don’t see what’s around the corner.
If I could go back twenty years and give my twenty something self any advice it would be: find something you love to do and do without regards to location, pay or status.
This past year I realized I was heading down the wrong road. So I decided to turn around and take another route. So far that’s resulted in setting my career back a few years from where I’d like it to be. But I’m at peace knowing that I’m headed in the right direction.