So I turned 27 about a week ago.
Last year, for my 26th birthday, I had a giveaway where I asked you, readers, to share your biggest lesson you wish you learned when you turned 26 — or who you hope to be by then if you were younger than me.
That was a lot of fun, so let’s do it again!
The giveaway: Decisive by Chip and Dan Heath – a phenomenal book about making better decisions, not through a soulless spreadsheet, but with sound and proven psychological principles. One lucky commenter gets a free copy (closes June 6th)
The request: Leave a comment about an important decision you made in life and what you learned from it.
Here is mine:
Choosing to work at the Stanford Daily
When I was getting ready to graduate Stanford, I interviewed for and was offered the job as the Chief Operating Officer of the Stanford Daily. It would be a full-time, one year paid position for a recent grad to run business operations for our student newspaper. I was also in final round interviews with Teach For America and the Coro Fellowship in Public Service.
The role at the Daily was less prestigious and I had no particular experience working at the newspaper. It would be local. TFA and Coro could potentially take me far away from the Bay Area and would take me down the road of public service.
I spoke with a mentor of mine, Dan Gill of Huddler, and he told me something I’ll never forget: “It’s rare to get P&L (profit and loss) experience so early in your career, and that’s a really valuable experience. Since newspapers are struggling, if you fail, no one will blame you. And if you succeed, you’ll look like a hero. It’s a no lose proposition.”
Now I’m not saying you should always think about decisions in this way, but that advice made a lot of sense to me and I took the Daily job. It was tough and we did struggle, but I think I did make some lasting contributions to the organization. And I’m really glad I took the job – it put me down the path of business, lead me to working at isocket, and well, the rest is still being written. =)
Alright, well, that’s my story. What’s yours?
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