I quit a job that I liked.
I used to work for RetailNext, a startup in Silicon Valley revolutionizing the way that retailers analyze their shoppers. As my first real job out of college, in three years I pushed my way through two promotions, multiple raises, and even switched teams. By the end I was working on things like embedded deep learning on IoT device with a handful of PhD’s and managing a small international team. I thought that was pretty good for a young “punk”.
So why did I quit? I had a stable paycheck in a cool company, cool problems, an intelligent team that I could go to lunch with. A million thoughts swirled in my head. Was I ungrateful? Was I being a “millennial”? From a million vantage points it seemed crazy to leave all this behind.
At 25, I realized I wanted to see the world and do research. I wanted to learn and build my own tech. Then I asked myself two questions: If I die tomorrow what am I more likely to regret? and Can I do this later?
As a young professional, I’ve been fortunate enough to listen to the envy of older colleagues over the youth they lost. Youth is a beautiful thing that we don’t get back. At 25, your life should be an adventure that gets you OUT of your comfort zone. At 25 if you aren’t pushing yourself and living on the edge and FAILING, then you aren’t taking advantage of the wonderful gift you’ll never get back.
Be adventures. Be daring. Don’t get too comfortable. Because the day that you do is the day you lost your youth.