How a Tumultuous Career has Led me into the Pursuit of a Better Life
By conventional standards or measures I’m not exactly what you would call successful. Then again, I’m also a guy who believes conventional wisdom yields conventional results. I don’t have any Ivy league degrees, transcripts with straight A’s or a resume the warrants envy.
- At the age of 23 after working 13 hours days and developing a severe case of IBS, I was fired from my first job out of college just 5 days before Christmas.
- The day before my 25th birthday I was fired again from a sales position at a startup.
- After nearly two years with a major market research company, my boss who was on his way out the door threw me under the bus by telling the new VP I was trouble. The new VP decided to put me on a 30 day performance improvement plan. So, I started the search for a new job, got one, and quit before he could fire me.
- Given my application to graduate school was no secret to my next employer, when it came time to do layoffs from our team, my name was first on the list.
- Within months of me starting at my next job, I found myself yet again on a performance improvement plan with a boss who was notorious for setting people up to fail and firing them. This time I was given in 90 days to turn things around and I succeeded. I finally decided to go see a psychiatrist to discuss the potential of ADHD with him and he said all signs seemed to point to exactly that. With a prescription in hand, I thought the worst of my career woes were over. But a three-day conference in Cancun proved otherwise.
- My boss said that my inability to sit still and pay attention for 8 straight hours at a conference raised concerns that I still might not be up for the job. So, I applied to business school at Pepperdine, got accepted, and two months later I submitted my resignation. Despite continually medicating to maintain focus, I was probably one of the only MBA interns to ever not receive an offer at the end of my summer internship at Intuit.
- To some degree Flightster might be the one exception to all of this because I did seem to be doing really well for 18 months. Then my hours got cut and my position was eventually eliminated.
Recovering from a Tumultuous Career
So why tell you all this? For years I’ve been putting on an act in every job interview I’ve had. I’ve been trying to spin this story into something that would make me a viable candidate for a position. I’m not what you would call the poster child for corporate success. But, at this point I’ve got nothing to lose and I’m too tired to bullshit. I can’t look at another potential employer and spin it anymore. Let’s face it Spin Sucks. This is why I say don’t hire me based on my resume.
I’ve only really done two things right in my career. One is the Skool of Life and the other is BlogcastFM. The less than stellar track record above has forced me into to the pursuit of a better life. Both my endeavors have resulted in more noteworthy accomplishments in two years than all of my jobs combined:
- I’ve been a speaker at conferences
- I’ve connected with 100’s of influential people
- I managed to get BlogcastFM sponsored by an amazing company
- And much more
These endeavors are the two things that I’ve had the longest tenure with and the most success with. They are the only parts of my career I can look back at and be proud of. I think back to the words of the VP who told me “you don’t seem like the kind of guy who is interested in controlling your own destiny” and I’ve really started to question if my attempt to return to a corporate job is really even worth the time and energy. Perhaps something different is calling and it’s time I listened to that, embraced it in full force, and put every ounce of effort, energy, and passion into a singular pursuit until I either succeed or die trying.
Is it possible to recover from a tumultuous career? Is what lies ahead far better than the corner office or VP title I might have eventually had? The beauty of having nothing to lose, is that you can play the game of life as you have nothing to lose. It’s possible that I will commit career suicide by publishing this post. I guess there’s only one way to find out.
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