How I Figured Out What I Wanted to Do With My Life
If you’re stuck in a job you hate, you’re (unfortunately) not alone. In fact, an astonishing more than 80% of Americans are dissatisfied with their jobs.
I, too, was unhappy in the corporate job I took right after college. Like many people, I’d put more thought and effort into getting the job than into figuring out if it was something I actually wanted. There’s plenty of research and advice out there on how to write the perfect resume and ace that interview. But when it comes to figuring out what you want to do with your life, the strategies aren’t so clear.
I realized that, although I could predict and pontificate about a career path that might make me happier, I would never actually know until I was into the thick of it. I had an idea that I might like to do something related to entrepreneurship, but I didn’t exactly know what that meant. Did I want to join a start-up? Start my own? Try to get into venture capital? Join or start a non-profit? Do international development work abroad?
More importantly, I didn’t know how I could figure it out without a huge investment of time, like starting another full-time job with a new company.
But then I had a different idea. I decided to enter a competition to shadow Dave McClure, who runs the accelerator 500 Startups. Being selected as one of the top six finalists gave me the kick I needed to quit my job, fly down to Silicon Valley, and begin what I call a “self-education program” on something they don’t teach you in school, but is arguably the most important thing of all: what I wanted to do with my life.