Updated: Oct 14, 2020

Today I met with Collin Li – he is an ex-strategy consultant from A.T. Kearney, holds an MBA from MIT Sloan School of Management and is currently the Director of Business Operations & Strategy at Culture Amp – one of the few Australian unicorn companies worth $1+ billion.

His key piece of advice for those starting out their career is “it may be worth starting out as a generalist, learn as much as you can and build your core skill set. Maybe collect a few (but not too many) ‘badges’ that will help you establish your credibility and reputation, e.g. work for top tier strategy houses or banking institutions, get an MBA from one of the world’s top business schools to keep your options open, but don't get caught up in the chase for prestige and lose sight of what YOU want. Over time, constantly check-in with yourself to update your thinking on what you like or don’t like, what you are good at and what you need to improve on; and then you are able to gain more clarity in terms of what type of job you want. Over time, you'll start using your 'badges' and skills to get you where you want to go, rather than have them lead you around so you can then start specialising or pivoting into specific jobs – or your dream job”.

Sometimes we get paralysed with so many opportunities and decisions to make that we end up getting stuck. We may need to stop worrying about finding the perfect job in the early stages of our careers and, instead, just find a job that will allow us to grow and challenge and develop ourselves.