If you could go back to the beginning of your career and do something differently, what would it be?

New MGCu77
Nov 8 650 Comments

I’m starting my career and wondering what folks would’ve done differently. Different field? Different degree(s)? Different trajectory? Looking for advice.


(edit: trying to get into a financial analytics or economics position in healthcare or real estate field. can be pursuaded otherwise and curious about experiences from all backgrounds. mba, bs economics.)

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TOP 650 Comments
  • Apple ghost m m
    Negotiate a better offer. Find more interesting work. Have a good boss.
    Nov 8 8
    • Facebook qfqp36
      Good boss leads to interesting work and raise. 1 and only >>>> good boss.
      Nov 8
    • Apple
      Xtasy

      Apple

      PRE
      AMD
      BIO
      Spittoon of Upper Mgmt
      Xtasymore
      Why should one give so much control to his boss for his career? There are many senior folks around with whom you can interact and learn. One should learn how to manage the manager and not be the one who needs to be managed or spoon-fed all the time. Bosses will come and go.
      Nov 9
    • Walmart derrrrrp
      Re-orgs kind of mess up the good boss angle.
      Nov 9
    • Cadence Mariposa
      Oh man!!!!! I am so confused now.

      I have a good boss but isn't promoting me, nor communicated anything about coming with a plan to sketch it out. I am almost tempted to working on interviews to move out. But he is actually a good guy, has been non micro manager, doesn't expect me to work on weekends, gave me plenty of time during health issues and personal time, he is pro vacation too.

      So now I am wondering what do I do!
      Nov 9
    • Tableau / Eng
      lhBB62

      Tableau Eng

      PRE
      Amazon
      lhBB62more
      Candence, you have Ok boss, not a real good one. I had such bosses too. Leetcoding now in preparation for new job search. I'll be looking for a good salary, than interesting work with good work life balance, then a good boss in that order. I don't want to depend on a mercy of a good boss to give me all the above eventually and maybe. Want it all and now and will do my best to get it
      Nov 9
  • Amazon / Biz Dev
    kglG47

    Amazon Biz Dev

    BIO
    Senior level BD expert. Have seen all sides of the deal.
    kglG47more
    I would have taken out a loan (or gotten one from parents) and traveled solo for a full year. You have your entire life to work but you only have your youth once. Trust me once you’ve been working for 10+ years you get tired, high blood pressure, kids and spouse, mortgage, and car payments. Go live and see the world. Go get food poisoning and shit your pants in Mexico. Go see ping pong show in Thailand. Hike the Great Wall. Sleep on a park bench after a night of partying in Prague. Do it now while you still can.
    Nov 8 10
    • Amazon / Biz Dev
      kglG47

      Amazon Biz Dev

      BIO
      Senior level BD expert. Have seen all sides of the deal.
      kglG47more
      @dtujbff yo when those tacos hit from the dude that didn’t wash his hands after taking a shit, it’s going to get messy. I mean I didn’t literally shit my pants, but I could tell you some stories...
      Nov 9
    • WeWork ABCDEWe
      Just don’t have kids... or don’t even get married.
      Nov 9
    • Amazon y33tcode
      I rent rooms from people.
      Nov 9
    • Amazon / Biz Dev
      kglG47

      Amazon Biz Dev

      BIO
      Senior level BD expert. Have seen all sides of the deal.
      kglG47more
      @Wework getting married is good for the $ situation. Just get a spouse that makes good $ and has a real career and likes to work. Kids are a handful but it’s 100% worth it (this is coming from someone that never in a million years wanted kids). I realize that the $5.5K/month I pay for daycare could go towards the Lamborghini I want but whatever, the kids rock.
      Nov 9
    • Amazon olpb16
      I did that and it took me years to catch up with my career, not because I didn’t have the experience but because the US doesn’t value non linear / international / lived experience the way they should.
      Nov 10
  • Facebook
    fb2019

    Facebook

    PRE
    Google, Oracle
    fb2019more
    I would join Google in 2000, and facebook in 2004.

    But in reality I joined Google in 2013 and facebook in 2017.

    I am 13 years late for both.
    Nov 8 9
    • Google / Eng
      .:

      Google Eng

      PRE
      Samsung Electronics
      .:more
      Liam said E5 is more senior than L4. E5 ≈ L5 in terms of title, seniority level etc.
      Nov 9
    • Amazon mavo
      I know that. But is it worth it?
      Nov 9
    • Facebook liam
      Yes it is. Enjoy time and coast is not the best option when you start career. The question is how you learn faster, take more scope and responsibilities.
      Nov 9
    • Amazon bezоs
      If you’re starting your career at L5, then the level is terribly diluted and means shit.
      Nov 9
    • Google / Eng
      .:

      Google Eng

      PRE
      Samsung Electronics
      .:more
      Bezos, freshers don't get L4 or E5. Mavo definitely has few years of "solid" Amazon experience.
      Nov 9
  • Salesforce kuttekidum
    Had I known that this racist country doesn’t give green cards to Indians, I would not have made my wife leave her job in India and start afresh here... biggest mistake of my life... but it’s not too late and I’m out of this trumpian shithole...
    Nov 9 31
    • Google engg1
      @kuttekidum - not expecting much with a name like that :p, but nothing good is going to come out with intentions like these.

      Focusing on revenge (among other things) instead of development is why you had to move out of India in first place. Try to find ways to grow instead of destroy.

      I apologise too for this behavior by an Indian.
      Nov 10
    • Oracle moracle
      Kuttekidum that is what is so surprising. Most Indian are not race sensitive. They come in work and try to contribute
      Nov 10
    • Microsoft Stewie1
      @jhbhjk I have a lot of family and friends who are from the middle east and south asia and I did notice this trend. I noticed they rather goto a country where they can easily get a job after graduation and eventually get permanent residence. I thin the US charm is pretty much over.
      Nov 10
    • HPE vy123
      @kuttekidum
      Ur exactly the kind of indian that brings everyone else a terrible name.
      @everyone who is taking a stab at indians due to this POS, please, not all indians are like him/her.
      And @kuttikidum get a few things straight
      1) immigration is NOT a right. Its merely an exchange program and the sole government that has the right to decide its fate is the country's govt.
      2) yes the GC backlog is terrible for us. U should be pushing more to stop giving GCs to all those scammers and consultancy body shops and not trying to get the country quota removed.
      3) I have personally never seen any set of people be more friendly towards legal immigrants and u ought to be grateful for that, you thankless POS
      Nov 11
    • Salesforce kuttekidum
      Oh common vy123, every indian here knows that you are one of those iranian terrorists who fought against s386... your point 1 gave you away....
      Nov 11
  • Amazon hyri03
    100%, get an ivy league degree. Not because the education is better, but because so many use it as an initial resume filter. Plus you are recruited heavily out of the gate. The idea of leaving my good job to go back to school while taking on $150K of high interest private loan debt seemed too risky.
    Nov 8 10
    • Symantec anonsymc
      Disagree, but hey, what do I know. I went to a state public university for undergrad, didn't bother with MBA at all and have a career that ivy leagues would murder for. It's about how much hustle and motivation you have to succeed, coupled with the ability to communicate and network.
      Nov 9
    • Amazon badonka
      @SFetall I wouldn’t call it partially truth. What you quote is another dimension of a bigger problem. You can go deeper and question meritocracy itself. If you apply an overrated measure to an underrated segment of the population, of course the impact will matter more. But that’s another problem.
      Nov 9
    • Box Raviga
      I'd recommend a strong public school (Berkeley, UMich, UIUC, U Washington, etc) over Ivy, especially if you get in-state tuition at one of them. You still get through the resume filter and get recruited like crazy, but at less cost
      Nov 9
    • Facebook
      peidhxkn

      Facebook

      PRE
      Netflix, Adobe
      peidhxkn more
      Sorry OP - honestly an MBA outside top 10 actually looks negative imo, since you weren’t smart enough to get into top 10 AND paying a ton of money for it. Isn’t Pepperdine easy to get into and ALSO super expensive? Like why. Ivy League and Stanford or even UMich and Berkeley would look MUCH better.
      Nov 12
  • Microsoft / Product
    Paratheeum

    Microsoft Product

    PRE
    Apple, Microsoft
    Paratheeummore
    Realize a bad manager can fuck you over. Seriously, fuck you Jessica, I'm a liberal who supports women but you were truly a piece of shit and should never have had power.
    Nov 9 3
    • Travelport / Eng buttnpushr
      Since you brought up politics I think the first waves of women finally getting through the glass ceiling unfortunately selected for a particular managerial style. They got access to feudal tithe management positions earlier than proper positions of influence so the kind of petty machiavellianism and shows of ruthlessness that came with empty feudalism influenced the up and coming women in management as they saw those traits in their role models, and then rinse and repeat
      Nov 9
    • Pinterest yQFp00
      Fuckin Jessica, man, she's the worst
      Nov 9
    • HashiCorp Karla2018
      @travelport - I’m a woman and I think you’re right. The women who are getting these positions often received them through stepping on others and stabbing others in the back. So that’s the way they “lead”.
      Nov 9
  • New / Eng lHpK84
    Accepted a verbal offer from a company that I did all on my own. Same week had a placement offer from a very senior executive who offered to help me get a job (was fresh out of military) because of similar affiliation (we served in same military unit, years apart)

    I thought I was being honorable by keeping my verbal acceptance but I basically boned myself out of a good opportunity with a very, very large company that could have opened many doors for me.

    Tldr; do what's best for you. The concept of "company loyalty" is largely smoke and mirrors and you never realize it until it's too late
    Nov 9 0
  • Facebook ladybug 🐞
    Would have married with my first boss’s daughter in year 2000 😆 I was young, tall, handsome, six pack level athletic and “smart” so I chose what I loved, software engineering and married to woman I loved although she was super poor. 20 years later, still an engineer, which is fine, grey hair, a few packs left, and hate my marriage. I have 3 kids, so it is way to late to take an exit an restart. Wife is still with me ‘cause she does not work and needs money. If I get a divorce, I will lose most my savings and will pay alimony for the rest of my life, thanks to f.king CA laws. Turned out I was not the smart dude who I thought I was lol 😂
    Nov 10 13
    • HPE vkj123
      Ah. If only the smart you had convinced you to get a prenup 😅
      Nov 11
    • Facebook pwort
      I think you guys NEED to try couples therapy. Especially since most of our work covers it. It has helped me immensely in communication with my partner, resolving conflicts, understanding each other’s perspectives, made us think about fights more clearly, etc. It’s something that needs to be worked on. Just like 1:1s with your manager, you need to do it regularly with your spouse too
      Nov 12
    • Facebook pwort
      If you’ve decided to stay together for the kids you need to sort out the problems before it gets progressively worse over time
      Nov 12
    • Oracle moracle
      Couples therapy only works if she wants to go. Mine won’t. I will give everyone some free advice
      Do not marry anyone who has a degree in early childhood education wants to be a kindergarten teacher or who thinks you can raise kids only by positive reinforcement and not saying NO.
      Run away
      Ask yourself can she care for you when you can not
      After 2 years if she does not lite up the room every time she walks in the room
      You can’t get mad at her

      Meet this criteria you found the one
      Nov 12
    • It doesn’t sound like you loved your poor wife then if you aren’t happy with her now, ladybug.

      Unfortunately though career, money and growth does come into play in marriage.

      I married my equal whom I also deeply love. We’ve been happily together for 5 years now. Looking forward to the next 55+ together.
      Nov 13
  • Apple ghost m m
    Install Blind!!!
    Nov 8 0
  • Facebook pvhd
    Join Google instead of going into games
    Nov 8 5
    • Google ;O 𓂺
      Games? Building or playing? ;)
      Nov 9
    • Google njadze3
      Interesting. I wanted to go into games, but got stuck at Google.
      Nov 9
    • Zulily / Ops zAnalyst
      Interesting, some of us would be happy to be ‘stuck’ at Google (or MSFT or FB, etc).
      Nov 10
    • Google njadze3
      Now that I am here, I am happy with it. Just not how I felt at the start of my career.
      Nov 10
    • Zulily / Ops zAnalyst
      Ok that’s fair then.
      Nov 10
  • Microsoft l33tH4x
    Skip college, hack some shit together, git gud at leetcode, start a company and/or get into amazon at 22.

    Instead I Got a degree in aerospace that is basically toilet paper now since nobody needs aerospace engineers anymore. Now I’m 5 years behind in a field the world actually needs.

    Man fuck college, what a waste of time and money
    Nov 9 17
    • Simpli.fi PoP85
      My opinion on it is that aerospace isn't a great degree in general because aerospace applications are so broad an complex. You need to control the plane? Hire cs people to code control algorithms. Need to measure the stress forces on the plane from the wind? Hire a materials or mechanical engineer. My aerospace degree taught me a little bit of everything but never actually got me to the point where I could do any of those specific areas without a lot of further training. It's not as simple to do side projects to boost your chances of getting hired like building a website and contributing to open source. Once you have experience you're good though.
      Nov 9
    • Simpli.fi PoP85
      Or at least should get a master's+ if you want to do aerospace.
      Nov 9
    • Amazon / Eng pyninja
      Yeah I can see that you'd need a Masters at least.
      Nov 9
    • Microsoft l33tH4x
      A few of my buddies went for masters. Some ended up in Boeing, others moved back in with mom & dad. I saw it as throwing good money after bad and either way it didn’t matter to me because I literally had no money to throw anywhere.

      I took an admin job to stay afloat and studied my ass off to fake being a good dev after that. Eventually I got noticed and the thing that made me stand out was the fact that I was able to bootstrap everything without guidance from a sr. Was it perfect or performant? No! But that’s why I love startups, it just has to work and then we can worry about being perfect.

      After all that, I still feel that I could have gotten where I am sooner and with less debt if I just took coding more seriously in high school and skipped the 5 years of “the college E X P E R I E N C E”
      Nov 9
    • Simpli.fi PoP85
      Haha yeah I don't regret getting an aerospace degree. I learned a lot and grew a ton from the challenging topics. I actually was in CS originally because I didn't get in to aerospace and then they reached out to let me into the program after a year. I didn't do CS because I didn't want my major to decided by not getting into the one I wanted.. little did I know I liked coding and cs has way better career options
      Nov 9
  • Salesforce zombied
    Left shitty bosses sooner before I let them affect my self esteem.
    Nov 10 2
    • New / IT b00p
      Feeling that.
      Nov 12
    • Rubrik targetfb
      True .. well said
      Nov 13
  • Microsoft yourmom_
    Bang more broads btw. That's a given. Could have smashed my entire high school and tons more at college.
    Nov 9 8
    • Oracle moracle
      Lol. It’s good advice though. Fuck everyone fat ugly they can still be good in bed. You don’t know what your wife will do to you when you have kids.

      TRUST ME
      Nov 9
    • Amazon Trigg
      Oracle, elaborate!
      Nov 9
    • Oracle moracle
      You marry thinking your sex life will continue while you are in trial mode. Things will change once you out a ring on it and there are women more then we want to acknowledge who marry to have kids. One they have the number of kids they want. There done.
      Nov 10
    • Amazon Trigg
      That’s too bad. Y’all need to get the romance back. Those kids will be gone one day. Puts some fun back in your lives without kids.
      Nov 10
    • Oracle moracle
      Would agree. But it has to be wanted. Unfortunately I was a sperm donor. I didn’t see the signs
      Nov 10
  • Panasonic Avionics LQHV21
    I wouldn't have stayed at my 1st job 15 years. The economy in 2008 made me stay (I started in 2000), then it took me 1.5 years to find a new job. Biggest problem was my TC was low so it was a red flag to most employers like "WTF is wrong with this guy". Finally landed a new job, got 40% increase. Fast forward to today and 2 jobs later... I'm making 3x what I was making at my old 15 year job. So the moral of the story... Don't be complacent. If you know you are worth more then go for it.
    Nov 10 2
    • Intel aFsc05
      What was your first company that lowballed you?
      Nov 11
    • Genentech livy
      This. I’ve stayed roughly 3 years at a few gigs, and personally feel I should have left each one after 2. Move fast and keep learning.
      Nov 14
  • Google Harhar
    Fitness changed my life. I'm 31 now. At the age of 27, I joined a fitness studio and started eating healthy. My dating life improved immensely either due to women being attracted to me more or my increased confidence or some combination of both. I would have told my 21 year old self to do this to prevent 6 years of dating heartbreak and loneliness.

    Being fit and confident is definitely a cheat code in the dating world. I went from being a skinny Indian who blamed his race for his dating woes to someone who had to be careful he wasn't double booking dates with attractive women. I can't even recognize my old self anymore. Who the fuck was that guy?
    Nov 10 8
    • New MYfP25
      I going to be vegetarian/vegan if I get a job with that much traveling and get maybe a custom training program tailored to my lifestyle.
      Nov 10
    • Apple bgjvv
      Getting protein from vegetarian diet is hard. High protein diet is useful for both gaining muscle bulk, or losing fat.
      Nov 10
    • Google Harhar
      High protein from meat and veggies is ideal. You definitely want a lot of protein to maintain muscle mass and like bgjvv suggested, hotels with gyms combined with body weight exercises may be your best bet.
      Nov 10
    • New MYfP25
      Plus a LOT of discipline, with that kind of lifestyle I care more about my metabolic conditioning, aerobic and anerobic endurance than anything else.
      Nov 10
    • New ctjj40
      So true!! Fitness became a big part of my life 2 years ago and it changed me the most physically and mentally. The perks of getting compliments and better looking dates is the icing on the cake!
      Nov 12
  • Intuit StarWarz
    Buy more Bitcoin at 67 cents.
    Nov 9 0
  • Uber / Eng itsdara
    Leetcode
    Nov 8 2
  • Amazon 866285
    Don’t stay so long in one role or one company. As soon as the learning began to plateau, I should have changed jobs more quickly
    Nov 9 1
    • Amazon / Mgmt
      crLr48

      Amazon Mgmt

      BIO
      Systems engineer manager
      crLr48more
      Couldn’t agree more. People get way too comfortable with familiar surroundings and will sit stagnant for years.
      Nov 9
  • Google fugacity
    Over 10 years of exp - I would say one thing you should do is always look for other opportunities and good companies in parallel, even if things are going really well for you.
    Nov 9 2
    • Microsoft xIdC37
      I would also recommend this.
      Nov 9
    • Amazon solarsodue
      This is the secret sauce
      Nov 9
  • Microsoft larry4eva
    A great job with a bad manager is not a great job.
    Nov 10 2
    • New MYfP25
      This one is a bit hard to manage until you already in it!
      Nov 10
    • Apple MvDD54
      Me
      Nov 10

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