Take Control of Your Life

Don’t listen to other people telling you what you should do with your career

What do they know?

What gives them the right to tell you what you should be doing? Let them listen to their own advice.

This is your life. And you have to live with the decisions you make, professionally and socially.

I know, I know.

I’m telling you something reasonable people would be shocked to hear. And you might make a poor decision because you aren’t listening to other people.

But truth be told.

You will accept the consequences of your career decisions if you make them for yourself.

If you listen to all the outside noise telling you to do this and that and not do x, y and z..then you will suffer. Not suffer in sense of pain but inside you will always wonder.

What if you did what you wanted to do? Instead of what others told you to do.

Don’t live life for someone else.

This is your life – remember that.

Here are four short simple stories.

  1. I remember when I was younger. People told me to go into technology because that was where the money was at. I hated it.
  2. Then when I was older, working at Goldman Sachs. People told me never to quit. “You work at Goldman Sachs!!” they would say.I was ready for something new.
  3. In graduate school, the Dean of the Career Center told me I HAD to take an internship offer I had with Warner Brother’s because they offered it to me.He wanted to maintain his relationship with Warner Brother’s not help me do what I wanted to do.
  4. When I interviewed with a firm two years back…the guy said “You’re getting old. At some point you need to stick at one place and become really good at what you do.” He was telling me what he believes is right.

Everyone in the above examples had good intentions. But their advice was for them, not for me.

Let me explain.

Yes, they gave me advice.

They told me what I should do. But they are not me. What they told me was what they would do if they were in my shoes.

To that I say NO THANK YOU. 

It’s one thing to be given advice. It’s another thing to just accept it.

Not everyone understands what you’re going through. They don’t know what you want out of your career. They don’t know what your real dreams are.

All they know is what they would do if they were you.

I remember when I was at Goldman Sachs. All I ever wanted to be was a bank loan trader. And one of the head guys in my department sat me down and had a talk about my career.

I told him I had an offer to join the mortgaged back securities desk (it’s a bond trading desk for you non-finance geeks). He told me, not to accept it because it wasn’t what I wanted to do.

And I listened to him.

I regret it to this day. I trusted someone else with my own decision. I let someone else decide what I should do with my life.

This is why I write this post to you today

  • I don’t want you to let someone else decide your fate.
  • I don’t want someone to scare you off from making a decision you are considering because they don’t think it’s the right move.
  • I don’t want someone to tell you, you can’t do this or that so you don’t even try.
  • I don’t want you to go through what I had to go through.

Learn from me. I got lucky. I picked myself back up. I figured things out.

I took chances. I took a leap of faith and believed in myself.

Rather than believe what society wants you to believe or that there is a right and wrong. Find out yourself.

No one is going to be there to say “Sorry you shouldn’t have listened to me” when things don’t work out. 

Your career is your career.

You might not be where you want to be just yet. But in your heart, you know how you’re going to get there. Don’t let someone else tell you otherwise.

Always question why they are telling you what you should do. Is it for you or is it for them? Do they really know best? What makes them someone that should be telling you what you should be doing?

Remember – this is almost your entire adult life. Live it for you.

Be Alpha. 

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