Advice to Graduating Engineers: Don’t Be a Drone

I have seen a lot of these posts going around, so I’m going to pitch in with my own advice. It’s been exactly 2 years since I graduated, so I have a fair idea of what the world after getting out of college feels like.

Don’t be a fucking drone.

By this, I mean never join any of the lame companies coming to your campus for bulk recruitment. This includes all IT sweatshops which offer the normal training-bench-mind-numbing-job routine, bulge bracket investment banks which work you like a dog for meager pay (which may seem high at first to some, but you’d eventually realize that it’s not worth it), and every other shitty company which pays like shit, and more importantly, robs you of some of your most productive years by forcing shitty work down your throat.

This is the worst way in which you could possibly start your professional life. You may not realize this then, but you will regret this when you turn 30 and have a mid-life crisis wondering why you aren’t filthy rich, why your wife isn’t insanely hot, why your job sucks and how your life didn’t quite turn out to be the way you imagined it would when you were a kid.

Steer away from the herd.

Don’t study further just because every other clueless idiot is doing it. I know idiots who have gone abroad for their Masters or MBA just because their friends were doing it and they wanted to have fun for a couple of years. If you do that, never take an educational loan for that, because it’s highly likely that you’ll end up asking “Would you like fries with that?” or work in some shitty job there just because you want to recover your investment. You might feel great when you convert your dollar salary to rupees, but ultimately, you’re still just a drone. If you have a rich Dad who is willing to splurge on your education, then by all means, do it. Better still, just go for a world trip and then come back and take over your family business. Cheaper, more fun and a better use of your time.

If you do an MBA just because you want to “get into finance” since you can’t code for shit, then you need to know that most post-MBA jobs are very fucking boring. And the interesting ones are so few that only a fraction of the top students at the top colleges will be able to get those. The chances are so low that it’s not worth studying like a dog to get a good CAT/GMAT score, and then again for two years to get good scores in your MBA tests. Rather just work at interesting startups in related profiles, and jump on to the job you want without studying further.

Start/Join a startup!

In your first couple of years after college, you probably aren’t going to make a shitload of money, so your opportunity cost is the lowest that it will ever be. This is the best time for you to experience the startup way, because you don’t really have much to lose. If you don’t have a great idea or team or aren’t sure that you can do it, then join one.

Read: Why I Quit My Job, Dropped My MBA Plans and Joined a Startup!

Start something, work on side projects, freelance and do whatever it takes to diversify your income sources, so you aren’t dependent on a job, and don’t lose much even if your startup fails.

If your startup takes off, you’ll get to the fuck-you-money point in a few years, and won’t ever need to work again just for money. You can then pursue something you’re really interested in — your passion — which improves the odds of success significantly.

If not, you’ll have learned a lot more than you’d have at any lame job at a BigCo, and you’ll easily be able to get back in a better role at a BigCo than your peers. But you won’t want to. Because once you’ve worked at a startup, you’ll never ever want to work at a BigCo again. You’ll want to build one from scratch.

Don’t be a fucking drone. Steer away from the herd. Startup!

PS: I know this seems rushed, but I’m too fucking bored to put any more effort into this. May update this later.

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