Perhaps the main thing I’ve been wrestling with since coming to Georgetown is what my career is going to look like.
I’ve struggled to apply to different think-tanks in town, some of which I’ve interviewed for and lost out to other people. I did manage to get a web contractor job at USAID for all of last year but I don’t want to be stereotyped as a web designer. It’s an awful job to do web design for non-web people. I make that distinction because I think if you’re working for an actual web company, you don’t have to explain everything to everyone, and they don’t make you do as much stupid design stuff.
I’ve also looked at a LOT of job listings and haven’t found them interesting at all. This includes within my concentration, international development. It’s just rather suspect whether those jobs actually end up producing any good at all. Most jobs look like ways to establish your credibility. And if you get a stint in Africa, that’s as good as gold in development! It’s like working at Booz Allen or McKinsey in consulting. Get in there and you’re set.
Now, I’ve applied for those two consultancy groups because they seem to really take care of their employees and they generate a lot of people who don’t necessarily create new businesses, but are involved in the nurturing and initial investing/leg work of them.
But most of all I just want to see my business idea come to fruition. I’ve come across this vast expanse of space in the human reputation management arena that no one else is really working on, and I think it’s perfectly suited to my curiosities. It’s not an easy path, though, so part of me wants to hedge by getting a solid job and working on it in the part-time. But everyone who knows me believes that I can do a start-up, and part of me thinks that even if I fail at it, that will be enough to get my career started. In the US anyway, entrepreneurship is rewarded even if you fail.
And I’ve had problems finding ways into the big tech companies because I’m not really an engineer or an MBA, so I don’t have much to offer in that way. Why not create my own job by starting my own business?
So what do I want my career to look like? Well, I’m just so fascinated in all of the stuff going on with the web, mass collaboration, industrial design, marketing, human efficiency, etc. What’s more, I love the start-up culture and I love the breadth that it takes to be a CEO in today’s times. I’d love to be a serial entrepreneur. And since I’m dying to be involved in all these things I continuously read about, I’d also love to be the head of a large company that dabbles a bit in everything. Obviously that’s a long way off, but I don’t see any other way to be involved in so many different things.
The bottom line is that at the end of this school year, I’m going to need something that pays. Whether it’s angel funding or an actual job, the pressure is on. I have a lot of thinking to do, but it seems like with every passing day, I get more and more encouragement to just go for it and try to get my social business off the ground. And when I DO focus on it, I get rewarded with things like the Yahoo! fellowship and the Academy of Achievement (whose distinguished guests uniformly said to follow your passion) and a bunch of new contacts with cool ideas. It’s a lot better than going to interviews with people whose intelligence is dubious and who ultimately choose someone else over you for murky reasons and logic.