My first job out of college was at Microsoft. I showed up at work everyday, and for the first year or so I was bright eyed and excited to be working on a product that I’d always admired, Excel.
Microsoft treated me well, but something was missing, and it wasn’t until I left that I fully figured out what it was. Seems kind of a no-brainer now, but here’s what I was missing: I wasn’t having fun.
I can hear it already, people saying that my generation is so entitled thinking that we deserve jobs that are fun.
In fact, here’s some feedback that I got from a coworker in my annual performance review (I have no idea who):
“Karen needs to understand that there are parts to everyone’s job that they do not enjoy doing.”
In China we have this saying called “chi ku” which literally translates to “eat bitterness.” And it is something to proud of. We are proud to suffer and do the unpleasant work.
Well I don’t believe in being proud of how much bitterness you can eat. I believe in recognizing that you’re eating the bitterness, and then figuring out how you could be eating a delicious steak instead. If that’s what people call entitled, I am entitled.
So I left Microsoft and took a job at Exec. It was really scary to make that decision. The decision to figure out what I wanted to do, to teach myself to become a designer, to go to dreaded networking events, to fly on my own dime to meet startups.
I’ve been at Exec for 2 months. I am having fun now. I wake up everyday with a fire in me. I’m eating my delicious steak.
I was told many times that I should stay at Microsoft and be grateful for the job I had there. And I believe in being grateful. But don’t let gratefulness hide the hunger that you have within.