Yesterday I had a longer conversation with one of my favorite people. We talked about work, passions, the way we look at the world and perceive it, and our respective careers. He is at an interesting transition point in his life — moving from one thing to the next…
Talking about the opportunities which lie ahead, how to make sense of them and ultimately how to chose the one thing you want to spend your next couple of years with, made me remember an old piece of advice I received from one of my first bosses:
The only thing you have in life is time. Invest in yourself and have great experiences. When you do this, you can’t lose.
It sounds so trivial and is yet so powerful. I tried to follow this advice as best as I could throughout my career — I look at everything I do as an investment into myself (e.g. a position affords me to learn something valuable) and/or an experience to be had (sometimes it’s just amazing to be in for the ride — even if it means that the work you do isn’t particularly meaningful). The best jobs I ever found (and the one I actively seek out) are the ones where both pieces come together.
Now the thing you need to do for yourself is to figure out what “investing into yourself” looks like for you (for me it is learning — I am a ravenous learner) and “have great experiences” means to you (I love to work with people who are genuinely interested in making the world a better place — plus I need to get out of the office regularly).
Remember: You only have one thing in life and that is time. Optimize for it!