Some Unpopular Career Advice

This article was inspired by a question from a reader just like YOU.

Questions are my favourite type of gift. Send me one here


1. Don't get the job your parents want to get. Feeling fulfilled in your work is more important than their conditional love. 

2. Don't get the prestigious job because it's prestigious. Create prestige for yourself in any job by being really good. 

3. Stop trying to 'leave doors open'. Pick something that you like, and work on it. You can always change it later. 

4. Be careful of picking jobs that are especially secure. You may be hiding your fear of expressing your true self to the world. 

5. Your first job doesn't define you. In fact, no jobs you have define you. You're defined by your values and choices that make up your life. 

6. Have your mid-life crisis as early as possible. Don't wait to 'find yourself'. Be honest with what you want, and then get it. 

7. A job is just spending time working on something that other people value. Entrepreneurship uncovers the 'something'.

8. Learn to relate to people. Every job involves working with people, and every company helps people. Understanding us is important.

9. Nothing provides more job security than the ability to do good work. Not your degree, experience, or connections. 

10. Confused on where to start your career? Follow your curiosity. It will guide you to learning, which makes work fulfilling. 


A friend of mine was generous enough to share with us a problem that we all face (have one? share it with me here.)

He said he was having trouble making decisions. 

That he was putting them off. 

He said he didn't know what to deal with the pressure of not knowing what to do when he finishes school. 

He was feeling lost on what career path to pick. 

Like you and me, he's totally freaked out by having to pick a career right after graduation. 

To help us all get a little less freaked out, I wanted to remind you of three things you might be forgetting. 

1. You shouldn't decide on a career right away. 

Unless you're totally clear all of your life's goals and dreams at 21, you should probably give yourself a bit of time to figure these things out.

Don't you think? 

Locking yourself into one path too early won't give yourself the option to change your work when your interests change. 

And I can promise you, they will change. 

2. Your first job is a guess. 

Based on all that you know about yourself, and your work experience, you've got to a pick a job. 

But it's just a guess.

You're young and you'll learn more about yourself and what you'll like as you go. 

So listen. And adjust accordingly. 

3. You can let go of the pressure other people put on you. 

Let go of the pressure your university, your parents, and your ego puts on you to get the most prestigious job you can. 

Once you let this pressure go, you might find yourself actually spending time on the things you like. 

And you might even feel drawn towards a particular line of work. 

Do that. 


A job is just getting good at something that other people value. 

You're allowed to define the form this takes for yourself. 

You're allowed to let the pressure go. 

You're allowed to start listening to that little voice inside your head. 

But be careful.

You may find it's a lot more right than all the voices around you. 


If you're interested in reading more about your career, check out 80,000 hours.

If you're wanting to go deeper on this topic, check out this longer article