I Choose Unemployement
After having written “What University Means To Me”, I received a lot of greetings, even from people I wouldn’t have expected.
A big thank you goes to everyone who wastes their time reading my blogs and those who share them.
I want to keep the trend by telling you a conversation I was having with a friend of mine. He read my blog post, but I am not sure if I explained myself really well.
I was telling him I do have an interview for a well known bank, which could potentially offer me a starting salary of £40k. My reasoning was that no matter what I would never accept it.
I told him I was thinking to spend the next decade doing or working for startups. I am even considering to do a bit of freelancing and travel the world. Steve Jobs said India was quite good, so why not?
His reaction was “are you crazy? You are taking a huge risk”. I asked him what he meant and he told me his father spent four years after Uni doing a startup and that prevented him from becoming CEO in his career path. “Worst mistake of his life”.
Before signing the contract for my summer internship with CANDDi, Tim, the CEO, who keeps stalking me on Facebook and reads my blogs (hi Tim!) told me something that got me thinking for several months. He told me that in life people can choose between getting a job or trying to do their own thing.
When he graduated he got a job because as he said he didn’t have the courage to do his own thing, which he found after a couple of years. He finally took the “huge risk” and has done startups since then.
Coming back to my friend, when he talks about “huge risk”, he says so with a life’s aim that is only focused on building a career, becoming a manager and maybe the CEO of a company.
This is probably the thinking you’ll find at Uni, home and within your friends; but what Tim said is that in life we are able to choose. There is no manual that says you need to work, do a company or chill in India.
This is so difficult to realise and when you do, it gets scary. What people should talk about and possibly reward more are the other options.
What about those people who failed numerous times and then founded companies that changed the way we behave?
Angry Birds is the 52nd game developed by Rovio. These guys are now sitting on a billion dollar valuation because they were having fun making games and they probably couldn’t care less of what their peers thought of them.
I am probably guessing, but it seems that most of the people out there are looking for the “acceptance” of those who surround them. A nice job in a massive corporation gives you that.
“Yes, but these are exceptions, you are still taking a massive risk.”
Risk? If I know what I want and I am happy with it, this can only be the best decision of my life.
There are exceptions and those are Unicorns (billion dollar companies), but the world is also made up by Cockroaches (small companies) that are adding value in the same way.
“Yes, but my uncle is making as much money as the cockroach you are talking about, per year.”
True, but who said life is about money?
You can still operate a small business and be happy.
The difference between you and the guy who’s going for the bank is that you’ll be at least 36 times more productive and your learning curve will be exponential.
Why? Because startups are fast. They have to deliver. Big companies are obese, they can’t move, they are slow and they survive from assets they have created in the past. I am also referring to companies like Google.
The world clearly needs more people to think about all the options and stop to have fear, because there are no risks in life. We think there are, but they are projections of what people have told us life is about.
To me life doesn’t make any sense. I am an atheist, so I am still wondering why I wake up in the morning and do what people define as living. I won’t find an answer and that’s probably why I wanted to study theoretical physics, because at least it would have given me the chance to explore more.
However, I have found out I like the idea of having a lifestyle instead of a job. It sounds more interesting. Whether you are researching a binary system in a far galaxy or doing a startup, your work never ends, it’s 24*7*365 hrs a year.
So the “risk” I am taking is a lifestyle over a job with a low pay and zero possibilities of success. I won’t make £40k, I won’t buy a car and I won’t have a house at least for a decade.
On the other hand, my learning will be much faster and deeper, I’ll try to surround myself with people who are more similar to me and build a family that works together to make other people’s life better.
Then if it doesn’t work out, I can still get a job with a much deeper experience, which in some cases means jumping from an analyst position to a VP one, because 5 startup years are 20 corporate ones; but if it works out, the return is likely to be 100 times of what I would have got with a nice job in a bank.
Is this the thinking of a 22 years old guy who has watched too much the social network and thinks life is that easy?
Will I have problems?
Will I break current and future relationships?
Will I regret not having prepared for the £40k job interviews?
Will I feel more alive?
Yes and that’s what matters to me.
The CEO of Airbnb usually tells the story of him waking up every morning and feeling his heartbeat. He was panicking because they had $40k in debt and no investments for an idea that sounded crazy.
I want to be scared in the same way, because I know that will push me further to do even greater things.
Now, that company is worth $25 billion.
Is money relevant?
No, of course, but it seems history rewards those who take risks and try to do things that nobody does.
I don’t have an idea. I don’t have a company and I will never be like the Airbnb guy. I just have a friend who’s probably as crazy as me, so we are taking some time off to just build things for ourselves. If then other people like them, we’ll have fun sharing our work.
Wait, I haven’t finished, but why do I go for £40k interviews?
I am curious, I have always been and if in the future I want to be the guy who hires people I need to know how people have been hiring over the past decades. Then do the opposite. ;)
The fact I am on a waiting list for a job at Goldman Sachs doesn’t change anything. I am still rejecting them as I have already done with CERN.
This last decision turned to be the best thing I did over the past year, since I have learned 5x and done 10x of what I would have achieved in Geneva.
“If you had CERN and Goldman Sachs on your CV, every door in front of you would be open in the future.”
However I don’t want to be the guy who opens doors, but the one who creates them.
I keep watching this video from time to time. He states what should be the obvious, but it’s something most of us haven’t realised yet. He’s probably one of the few who really understood the difference between Quality and Quantity, but that is just a guess.
ps: if you want to hire me as a freelancer, you can still get in touch at @edo1493 on Twitter or firstname.lastname@example.org. This is a link to my CV too. I can pretty much do everything, but I am mainly focused on mobile development, in particular Android and React Native.