My niece is here for a few days staying with us so she can go on some interviews before graduating college in May. Her being here is reminding me a bit about my past and what I would have done differently if I could go back and be just graduating college now. Now I am not the kind of person who has many regrets, any decision I have ever made was made with lots of thought and looking back and saying I made the wrong decision is just something I don’t do. When I graduated college I had no idea what I wanted to do for work – somewhat similar to now – some friends were going to law school, business school or medical school. My family growing up was hardcore about education, my childhood was haunted with images of not having done as well in school as my ability would allow. This got me into constant arguments with my father about learning, grades, education, college. Everyone in my family went to Harvard, my parents thought that people who did not go there were doomed for a life of disappointment and slim chances of success. Because of their constant pressure I didn’t open a book in high school, I did well in classes I liked and not in the ones I didn’t. It just so happened that I got an A in the hardest class in high school (calculus) and a D in the easiest (Spanish). This was on the same report card and drove my father crazy because my lack of excelling in school was not related to IQ or aptitude. So, when I graduated college I wanted nothing more to do with school, I had had it and of course heard things from my family like, if you don’t go to Harvard Business School you might as well not bother going to any business school. My brother went to both Harvard undergrad and business school. I went to a college called Skidmore college, which actually was a good school; but I used to always say the school was for dumb rich kids.
So, back to what I would do differently if I was graduating this year? I can’t say I would have done much of anything different; I ended up in a career of sales which I am naturally good at, until I was laid off it was also very lucrative. It always did bother me that I wasn’t the person in charge of everything, for the most part the people who were my directors or VPs were not bright (thats being nice); somehow I always have thought that if I was in charge of everything things would be more fun, more profitable, and more satisfying. But thats not the route I chose. Although, in a way, I guess being unemployed today gives me a world of changes to start a business of my own and see how successful I could actually be. They say in order to be successful you need to be passionate about what you are doing. I am not really passionate about much of anything in the business world; except the unfairness that goes on. I am not talking about 99% kind of thing, I am talking about the disconnect between the C level of a company and the people on the front lines of the company. Maybe I could start a business that deals with that somehow.