Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Getting Your First Job: "My Job Will Be X" (Part 3 of 7)

At the request of one of my loyal fans, I'm spending this week tackling the subject of how to get your first job.

Imagine what it'd be like to spend a bajillion dollars on law school and fail the bar exam. What would it be like to wish all of you life to be a doctor, finish medical school, and then find out you hate being a doctor. How about taking out a loan to start a sandwich shop only to decide out you can't stand the city you are living in.

While I was a junior in college I decided I wanted to be a consultant. I was going to help companies install big databases like Oracle and SAP and it was going to be awesome. For 2 years I applied at Accenture, KPMG, IBM, and all the big consulting companies. Right before graduation I actually managed to land a job at a company called The Firm (no joke), which did PeopleSoft consulting. I was thrilled, until I found out that I sucked at it, which may have been a byproduct of hating the work. After 1 month I quit and became aimless and bummed out.

I think it's healthy to have direction, but I'd recommend being flexible in your pursuits of the ultimate dream job. If you study computer science and decide you don't want to be a programmer, there are still a ton of companies that would love to hire you in anything from software sales to system administration. Doctors become investment bankers in the medical field. Lawyers become politicians. Philosophy majors flip burgers (sorry, couldn't resist).

My only point is that being flexible enough to consider alternatives is a good thing. Try stuff. Try a lot of stuff. Explore that balance between what you want to do and what you're actually good it. Most people don't end up doing what they thought they'd be doing, and you're not compromising your hopes and dreams by changing your mind.

1 comment:

  1. Apparently, being a computer science student i love programming, i love being called a software engineer, i fantasize myself in the world of larry page, steve jobs, bill gates... However, sometimes i feel that may be i am not a very good programmer, and most of the times i feel "i do not know what i am good at" !

    I have been listening people telling me "Pursue what you are good at". But, Damn it i bloody do not know what i am good at !

    Captain, don't you think many of them still do not know what they are good at ?

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