what everyone else is doing

Published on May 16, 2020

Follow your own path. Ignore what everyone else is doing.

When you are working in technology, it is tempting to get caught up in the stereotypes associated with the typical technology worker. Read Product Hunt every day, go to work in a “cool” office with unlimited free snacks, always be focused on growth.

That is the wrong way to think about a career in technology. What matters is not what other people are doing in their careers, rather what you think you want to do.

If you are just getting started in your journey, it can be helpful to read about how other people have gotten their start. This gives you a roadmap: a guide to follow.

Past that point, you should start to think about what your path looks like. What does your gut tell you that you want to do? What career decisions make the most sense to you?

The common denominator of successful people in technology is not that they have followed a specific path, but that they have worked hard toward a goal. They have been willing to invest their time in pursuing their own path. They have doubled down on what works.

Did one of your friends launch a side project? Great! That doesn’t mean you have to though. If you want to spend your time doing something else instead, do that thing. That thing is more likely to guide you where you want to go.

I think that, once you’ve spent some time going down your own path, you’ll realize that there is no path better for you. But when you are getting started, it takes a lot of work to build that sort of intuition. You need to get to know yourself, what you like, and what you don’t like.

Other people that I know are going to become successful. I assume many of them will become orders of magnitude more successful than I ever will. But that doesn’t mean that I cannot thrive too, as long as I am always working toward the goals that make sense to me.

Do what makes you happy, rather than what everyone else is doing.

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