The days of working for the same company for 40 years before retiring blissfully are a distant memory from an earlier generation. Today, companies can experience a meteoric rise and correspondingly dizzying fall in a few short years (ex. Groupon, Zynga). Entire industries are being reinvented (music, publishing, television, film, ad infinitum) seemingly overnight and software is eating the world. Some people find this new pace scary, but we think it is a great opportunity.
To succeed in this “new economy” you need to build your career the way an entrepreneur builds a startup: by constantly investing in yourself, adapting to changing conditions and being open to taking risks and willing to seize opportunities when they appear. Reid Hoffman and Ben Casnocha made these points very powerfully in their recent book "The Startup of You". It's a great read for anyone, but it's especially helpful for young people just starting out in their careers. You can find a great, visual cliff notes version in this presentation.
Here are a few of our favorite pearls of wisdom from the book:
● Think of yourself as being in permanent beta: you are a work in progress. Invest in yourself every single day.
● Prioritize learning. Just as start-ups in the early days prioritize learning over profitability...so you should prioritize learning over cash salary for the majority of your career. In the long run, you’ll likely lead a more meaningful life, as well as make more money.
● Learn by doing - actions, not plans will generate the lessons that help you adapt to the next phase of your journey.
Of course, Upstart is here to help you along the way with funding and mentorship to maximize your long-term career potential. We want you to be able to invest in yourself whether it’s through gaining new skills from an internship or a class, gaining perspective from volunteer work or travel, or gaining experience by pursuing that product or business idea you’ve always dreamed of doing. We believe an investment in yourself, in the "startup of you" - can dramatically improve both your earning potential and impact you can have on the world around you. Which is why we think Upstart is for anyone who wants to invest in themselves.
Posted by Anna Mongayt, Co-Founder & Head of Operations