By the time I turned 25, I’d lived the life that most people dream about. A job that enabled me to travel all over the US, stay in 4-5 star hotels, paid a 6 figure salary, included free meals and drinks at fancy restaurants all over the place. I was in the tech industry, and absolutely loved it. I got to work from home and therefore didn’t have to commute in Bay Area traffic. I got to wear relatively casual clothes into the office while hiding flats underneath my desk so in case a client or director came in, I’d still look professional. Eventually though, I realized that I had to go and get massages in San Jose because my back started hurting. I realised I was miserable 6 months later.
What was missing was a passion for the products I was creating and selling. Although tech has made millions of people’s lives easier and better, I just didn’t feel the passion. I didn’t get to talk to the customers whose lives I may have impacted, and I know there were some people.
Working in the tech industry changed my life, and most likely for the better. It forced me to face decisions that many people don’t even get the opportunity to face until they’re well into their 30s. Was I satisfied with a life that started at or before 8am and ended well after 5pm, sometimes well into the night? Was I going to allow my weekends to be dominated by the fear of Monday blues, the fear of having to go back into the office for another week of waiting for Friday afternoon, only to have the cycle repeat all over again? The answer is no.
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Working in the tech industry gave me the opportunity to see a side of the world that relative to the rest of the world, or even the US, few get to really and truly experience. I got to see how corporate dollars were truly being spent, and wasn’t impressed. I got to see how people made those six figure salaries and how one person could support an entire family of 4 or more, and still have all the kids go to private schools, have both parents drive incredibly luxurious cars, and still be able to go on vacation multiple times a year.
The tech industry is a great one, one that has provided so many people with a wide array of opportunities and products. I’m just glad I learned my place in the industry in my 20s, which is likely not part of the industry at all.