Use Your First Job as the Launchpad for Entrepreneurship

The ink is still drying on your diploma that you’ll wait a few months to receive, but already your head is in the clouds dreaming of how you can change the world and start a company of your own. While there are a few case studies of college students going straight from class to Forbes 30 under 30, the majority of successful entrepreneurs begin in a traditional job and get their feet wet by working for someone else.

Speaking from experience, I put in a few years in the corporate world before doing a few of my own ventures. What I learned is that the first job (or two) provides two key lessons for budding entrepreneurs. Ambition to start a company started when I was a teenager, and it was at Lehman Brothers that I learned about the greed and fear of the market, before technology started to meaningfully transform finance.

The first is as a test to discover what you want to do and which aspects of the job you enjoy. The second key lesson is to learn about an industry and gain broad transferable experience so you have the flexibility to define your future.

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