Your true calling lies at the intersection of what you’re good at, what you love to do, what you people will pay you for, and what society needs (James Altucher).
Early in your career, say "yes" to every opportunity. Later on, once you have some success, use the framework: if it's not a “HELL YEAH!” it's a “no.”
Apply specific knowledge, with leverage, and eventually you will get what you deserve. You basically get rewarded by society for giving it what it wants.
Don't try to remember stuff. Brain is bad at remembering but it's rather good at processing.
The biggest division in work may be between jobs that involve making new stuff (science, engineering) and those that don't (administration, sales), and you'll be a lot happier if you end up on the side you're suited for.
In the modern world, you want to earn money through knowledge and leverage, not by selling your time. “Nine to five is just modern slavery…it’s wage slavery”
Recently, I was asked if I was going to fire an employee who made a mistake that cost the company $600,000. No, I replied, I just spent $600,000 training him. Why would I want somebody to hire his experience?
Would I ever leave this company? Look, I'm all about loyalty. In fact, I feel like part of what I'm being paid for here is my loyalty. But if there were somewhere else that valued loyalty more highly, I'm going wherever they value loyalty the most. - Dwight Schrute
We mutually agree that, considering any particular employee, it is in that employee's personal interest to stop selling hours of labor and start renting access to his accumulated capital as soon as humanly possible.
Once I came to the conclusion that I'd probably quit, and therefore discounted the till-your-death-do-us-part slow accumulation of firm-specific capital, I realized something which is fundamentally true of a lot of day jobs. Nothing I did at the job mattered, in the long run.
Sure, in the short run, I was writing XML files and Java classes which, knock on wood, successfully let my employers ship an examination management system to their client (a major university). I was a really effective Turing machine which accepted emails and tickets as input and delivered (occasionally) working code and Excel files as output. But no matter how much I spun, nothing about my situation ever changed. I worked my week, got to the end of it, and had nothing to show. The next week there would be more emails and more tickets, exactly like the week before. The week after that would be more of the same. And absolutely nothing about my life would change. I'd end the week with nothing.
Don't end the week with nothing. Prefer to work on things you can show. Prefer to work where people can see you. Prefer to work on things you can own.
If at all possible, publish what you write. Even if it is published to an audience of no one, you will be able to point people back to it later.
Consumption Is Sometimes Valuable, But Creation Moves You Forward
I hate the attitude that I am good enough to be employed but clearly not mature enough to be able to work without being monitored. My hope moving forward is that working from home won't be seen as something "special" the few are "rewarded" with for a day or two a month but that it is a choice for each person without prejudice. For those that want/need an office fine let them go in. But for those of us who function better working from home we can do that. It doesn't have to be a binary option for companies moving forward of "our company is only work from home" but instead a mixture. If I had a really nice detached home with a wife & children then working from home permanently would be the dream. I don't. I live in a flat and live by myself. The only physical people I talk to are cashiers or delivery drivers. This permanent WFH is already making me feel separated and even lonelier than normal.
I think the likely outcome is going to simply be more mix of remote and onsite in the future. Any company that makes it through this is going to realize remote works fine. I'm sure there will be some companies that will still insist onsite-only, and they'll lose a bunch of employees who just realized they prefer remote.
People are under the illusion they are paid for the work they do. They are not and never have been. They have always been paid what someone is willing to pay them for the work they do. It's subtle but important distinction. Salary is a function of demand and supply like any other price on an open market. This is why its important to not think in terms of work when negotiating a salary. Instead you need to think in terms of cost to find someone to take your place. If that cost is more than your salary, you can ask for more. “Willing” is the wrong word. People are paid based on what the company can get away with paying them, as long as it’s less than the amount that they are “willing” to pay (then they don’t get hired). This is obvious when considering the “go get a competing offer and show it to your current employer who will match” strategy.
The last two weeks I made it a goal to run 5km every morning. A few times, particularly today, I felt lazy and run down, but I got out of bed anyway and told myself that I'll at least walk. The next thing I know I'm running and feeling amazing and on to set one of my better times.
The point: When you tell yourself "just one more game" or "just one more post", or "just one more video" and end up doing 3-5 hours more, do that with your other tasks too! "just one line of code", "just one tutorial", "just one rep", "just one line of reading/writing".
We all have this amazing mental tool that we've been honing for years, the tool of self deception. Time to use it for good and not evil.
This is the concept of the minimum viable action. Basically, we often procrastinate because we build up fears and friction related to our perception of the difficulty of an activity. All we have to do is commit to the smallest possible action ie) instead of writing a bunch of pages, start by committing to writing a single line, hell even a few words on a sheet every day. As we do this it becomes easier, and we naturally want to write more, run more, eat less .. What ever that is.
A lot of habit forming research says to start with 2-3 minute goals while working on forming the habit. Similar concept, I’d say! I found it very effective while cultivating a daily meditation practice.
The more efficient you are at your work, the more you will be burdened with it.
Nobody cares about your individual progress in the corporate world. All that matters is what you contribute to the company.
There will come a time when you will take up a job just for the money and nothing else.
Desk jobs kill creativity.
Very often, you will be held accountable for tasks that weren’t even your responsibility in the first place.
You will be dealing with a dozen tasks other than what you were initially hired for. Your scope of work will only keep increasing.
You will be constantly made to believe you need the company more than it needs you, and that, is not always true.
Meetings are a waste of time. Always. Nothing good has ever come out of them, really. Most people aren’t listening, and the ones talking are far away from reality.
If you’re sluggish, you’ll be ridiculed by your boss. If you’re proactive, you’ll be hated by your colleagues.
Your needs as an employee would go completely ignored, sometimes. You won’t get what you really deserve until you raise your voice and put your foot down.
You will be made to work with uninspired people and it will be the most difficult task ever. Your team-mates would neither be of any help, nor would they make it possible for you take everything in your own hands, and it will kill your passion.
People around will constantly pull you down with their cynicism solely because they hate your guts.
Nobody is going to appreciate you staying in extra hours every single day but the one time you leave a little early, hell will break lose.
Whichever new initiatives you volunteer for, become your responsibility.
The HR Department is useless, wherever you go.
Office politics is definitely not a myth.
But meritocracy is. There will be times when undeserving people will get credit for the work you do, simply because they are higher up on the corporate ladder.
Half of your time will be spent in sending out unnecessary mails that will never even be read to countless people who want to feel important, before you can actually start working. And more often than not, you will end up doing everything yourself.
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