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  1. #1
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    Angry Looks like I have damaged my chance of a successful career before it has even begun

    About 2 or 3 years ago, I made friends with one of my mate’s mate, over MSN only. Now this guy, who is my age, is very rich and knowledgeable about PCs.

    Approximately this time last year, while I had my end of year uni exams to revise for (I'm in Y2 now, was in Y1 back then), I still know this mate who is my age and very rich. By now, we are good mates in general, even though we have not met in person but I have been invited to his house but as he lives way too far I have to pass on the offer, but generally, we get on well/trust each other – even if only on MSN.

    But at that time period, having quit college and deciding not to go to university, he chose to setup an LTD company specialising in web hosting, web design, etc. So he did this back in last Summer, and the company is a success given how he has money (family/own money, so no bank loans with interest), has contacts in the industry, and all the home grown knowledge (these are three key essentials to setting up a business in my book, and he has them all to a very good extent – i.e. the fact that the money is not from a bank eases things).

    But the turning point – he offered me a job earning a silly amount of money (won’t disclose this, but it was just an awesome amount). It would have been enough money to not worry about life anymore.

    What do I do? I turn it down and make an embarrassment out of him and myself which cannot be repaired. Even though we are still mates and he can see why I made my decision, I can’t get another shot into this job even though he tried with his partners. He tried with his partners, and spent 35 minutes talking to one, and obviously he knows them better then me so he would have had greater success then me.

    Why?

    Because I am more naïve then a 10 year old, scared of taking a risk and scared of being in a new company that is at its greatest risk of flopping (despite what I said above).

    At first thought of earning a lot of money, who would be doing all this calculation? It’s not like I have a wife and kids and a whole heap of commitments, I’m only 20. Like it is said, just bite the bullet and if it doesn’t work out, at least you know now then not knowing and wondering what if this, what if that, like I am now.

    I stuck to my instinct and calculation, and now I have to pay.

    However, because I’m from an Asian family with a degree background (both immediate and extended), and my brother not making anything good from his education, the importance of a degree was always emphasised from my dad, who worked hard since coming from India to the UK to get an education. So I stick to the idea that my degree, a hyped up piece of paper, will come first. Back last year, I thought to myself that a degree is the most important thing in my educational career and most important sales tool for selling me so I treated it like it is and put it first. But it is not. I felt I would earn as good as, or slightly less, than this job offer with hard work and persistence, but it doesn’t seem to be the case unless I setup my own company or am a freelancer with some big stream of major projects (but I lack contacts).

    What really annoys me is that I got offered this deal based on my personality and knowledge from our conversations, my degree and A Levels were not even considered or EVEN ASKED, yet I cannot get a job with a major billion pound company who ask hundreds of questions, expect me to do more work a day, have less holidays, and pay me less. This is why I am pessimistic and have a negative, downbeat view, about internships and generally working for companies and life as a whole. Then again, if I can’t take a risk then what sort of entrepreneur will I make?

    To further my frustrations, companies do not even care about A Levels or degrees after a while, from reading magazines such as Computer Arts, all the graduates say this. Makes me think my degree is a waste of time. I didn’t take the job as I felt it would get in the way of uni (when I realise now even though there may have been times I would be busy in my job I could do both like my mate does). Even though the job would be quite stress free I was concerned I might have to quit uni as sometimes have to do errands such as interviews for staff or whatever, but that is hardly a problem. Maybe I’d be in problems if I was running a store and couldn’t find cover on exam day or whatever. Instead, my degree is what gets in the way of my career – though my degree should be helping! I want my degree as something to fall back on and education/career, like work/life, did not complement each other at all. But whatever pillow a degree would give me if I fall back, it wouldn’t be anywhere near enough as what I could have had with this job.

    What do I do in my degree? Learn about the 3 steps of normalisation, not even all 7. I learnt all 3 back in A Level. A degree should be hard, instead mine is easy and the vast majority of what I have learnt in the Computing path (ok the Business path in the first year I learnt new things), have all been things I know.

    Another slight problem was spending money on expensive suits, which I cannot afford, to enter expensive restaurants, and spending money on food in an expensive restaurant. But all this is too late and I would bite the bullet now.

    If I could earn as much from a full time job relatively quickly, or saw some sort of significant benefit from not taking this offer, then I would not be thinking how stupid I am. Instead, I don’t see any bad point of not taking the job (the “he might go bust and you’d be involved” scenario would be highly unlikely as the venture is a success and he has everything required to do well).

    If things couldn’t get worse, I now have 4 months of holidays with no idea of what to do and recently I have been concerned about my future career and whether I made the right choice going into IT. I struggle to get interviewed for a basic job when I got offered a dream job. So what can I do in the holidays? I wanted to make a website, but have no income for professional hosting. And I am under pressure from my parents to find a job, which probably wouldn’t be fully relevant to the real IT world – what an ironic story explaining to my parents about this whole deal would be…

    I could be 20, in uni, with an excellent lifestyle and all to live for and something to show for myself (that I have made a success of myself), towards my mates, but I have nothing to show.

    Every lesson I have learnt about life just has to and has been learnt the hard way. It reminds me of watching Only Fools and Horses in the episode they become millionaires and step into their old flat, and Del says “the fun was in the scheming and hard work” – more like the other way. Why go through the heart ache, stress, and health risks when someone else can do it for you and you live of what someone else has built? As long as you earn, the whole ego issue about it being someone else’s company and you didn’t make this is not going to be a worry. It also made me realise how life was so different before they became millionaires and when they lived in the flat.

    What I learnt – my decisions to choose my career where made when I was too young even if at the same age of everyone else. Over the last 2 years I have wanted to be everything from an investment banker to a pilot (even though I have a slight fear of flying). Furthermore, life is fluid – meaning that there is no one set personality you can have in life. Case in point – instead of being conservative I should have bit the bullet despite what people may have had to say about the idea.

    I know I sound obsessed with money but at the end of the day, it’s important and will be a significant issue in how good our quality of life is. Why work hard for a good job? It comes down to money to support ourselves at the end in a lot of cases.

    If there was any light at the end of the tunnel or benefit to turning down the deal I wouldn’t be so disappointed in myself, and hating myself.

    What makes me realise how important and true and grand this was, was not just the proof or evidence, but the fact that I still regret my decisions now, a year later – It’s hardly like I would get a deal like this ever again.

  2. #2
    Xbox why have you forsaken me? moospot's Avatar
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    First off, you shouldn't dwell on your decision. You made that decision for a reason. So move on. You can't live life looking backwards. Take what you can from this situation and learn from it. Apply it to your life. Make lemonade from lemons, so to speak.

    Secondly, if you think you will never get another opportunity, you won't. Use the power of positive thinking to open up other opportunities in your life. Who knows what will happen in the future. You were obviously destined to travel another road. That road may bring you far more happiness that this venture ever could. Like you said, you are only 20, you still have 45 working years ahead you to make it in this world.

  3. #3
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    Basically to stem off what moospot said, everything happens for a reason. and you can't dwell on the past. what has happened, happened. you have to move on and reach your goals.

    Like you, I'm 20, and also like you, I worry about if I'm going to be making x amount of money with my job, and if I'm going down the right path with everything. Yeah it sucks worrying, but you can't sit there and worry all the time. These are some of the last years we'll be able to "have fun" so to speak, I'm not saying you can't have fun when your older, but when you're in college, fun is just a different level then it is anywhere else.

    You seem a lot like me. I'm negative when it comes to things, but I'm learning not to be. I can tell that once you get the negativity out, as in thinking you won't get another opportunity and such, you will be fine, and you will be successful.

  4. #4
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    What annoys me is that some of my justification was not really true and applicable for not biting the bullet. Even worse is that there were practical problems in me joining this venture, showing it's not meant to be and it was a bit of bad luck out to ruin things and make them as hard as they can be (more then necessary).

    Furthermore, it is worrying that I am studying a Business related degree and my reasons for not biting the bullet also linked to underlying personality traits - for example, the concern that the company may run into problems and I'd be obliged or face pressure to do something which I may not be able to do, links to an underlying problem with fear, which has no place in business.

    This makes me thing I won't cut it as a business owner/entrepreneur when my course focuses on this (then again, I don't want to start a company as an ambition).

    There is a lot I can take from this situation (all learnt the hard way - the only way), and it all fits in with the general advice I am told. I've realised these things are indeed meant to be, and another twist not talked about here has proven this was not meant to be and could have been a problematic venture waiting to happen (problem for me).

    My mate once told me, when I was discussing a problem (not this) with him a while back, "everything will work out". He didn't give me a reply on what next to do with my problem, he just said this one line to me rather than type paragraphs and he had hit the nail on the head as he was so correct, as everything did work out for the best/fine. This does not mean, in this case, I recieve a permenant job earning £x amount (I'm from the UK btw) and raking it in, while the glitches do not present themselves. It does not mean I get the most desirable outcome (for example, scoring a nice girl) as this is not always the definition of "everything will work out" or the best outcome. That phrase serves well here.

  5. #5
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    You've got four months off -- start coding your own sites. Get a job at the local fast food joint if you have to in order to pay for hosting. It isn't that expensive, really -- what are we talking about a couple of pounds a month? I've got one hosting account with unlimited sites for $16... Clients and employers will want to see what you can do and a portfolio of sites will go along way to getting you a real dream job or starting your own business. If your mate could do it, so can you. And, the dream job you passed up at 20 might not seem like such a bad move when you are older. You just might make more than he was offering. And, at 20, what seems like a lot of money, isn't necessarily the case.

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by SidraG
    You've got four months off -- start coding your own sites. Get a job at the local fast food joint if you have to in order to pay for hosting. It isn't that expensive, really -- what are we talking about a couple of pounds a month? I've got one hosting account with unlimited sites for $16... Clients and employers will want to see what you can do and a portfolio of sites will go along way to getting you a real dream job or starting your own business. If your mate could do it, so can you. And, the dream job you passed up at 20 might not seem like such a bad move when you are older. You just might make more than he was offering. And, at 20, what seems like a lot of money, isn't necessarily the case.
    Yeah I am going to learn some skills in my four months off. As my course is not all IT (so I'm not doing all programming and web design etc), but half business and business IT (DB stuff mainly), I am going to learn some languages such as PHP, C#, ASP, and other in demand skills. This will also be useful, as these skills will come into play, when I make my own website, which I plan to do in my time off (no excuse not to do eh?). I doubt there is a full time IT job that offers more then he did, as I have not seen any. Then again, it's arguable my position (in this company - a small one) may have been higher than if I worked in a large company doing IT work. Having few employees really pays off. Fortunately I can get free hosting with a small ad, 100mb etc, from a contact so I will use that and get commercial hosting when I earn.

    I also hope I do not have 45 years of working ahead of me!

  7. #7
    Life is short. Be happy today! silver trophybronze trophy Sagewing's Avatar
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    Life is not about money. Keep going, sounds like everything is fine. Are you going to spend the future comparing it to something that 'could have been'? That's the mentality of unhappy people. You could be more successful than your wildest dreams. You can't see the future, why assume it's not going to be as good as you think?

    Keep pushing on. You are young and everything can happen. Smile now. Life is short.
    The fewer our wants, the nearer we resemble the gods. — Socrates

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  8. #8
    ☆★☆★ silver trophy vgarcia's Avatar
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    You're 20. At this age you're supposed to be dirt poor and having the time of your life in spite of it while starting your career and adult life. Don't dwell on the mistakes of your past; rather, learn from them and use those lessons to a) not do them again, and b) get on an even better path than what you left behind.

  9. #9
    Life is short. Be happy today! silver trophybronze trophy Sagewing's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by -Blade-
    I also hope I do not have 45 years of working ahead of me!
    I hope I do! So many people want to stop working... Why? Wouldn't it be better to have work that you LOVE, and do it for your whole life? That's the pattern of truly happy people! I enjoy my work.
    The fewer our wants, the nearer we resemble the gods. — Socrates

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  10. #10
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    I think the biggest problem I have (and it is common) is jealousy and feeling inadequate. If I see someone who earns as much I do in a year, in say a month (for example, 2 yrs after uni I am earning £50k and I know someone who earns £50k a month), then I will be jealous and feel inadequate, and the important things in life like my health and education (which comes in handy when getting loans etc) go out of the window. Even worse is when I see people without a degree but plenty of knowledge in their industry, doing extremely well, financially. I guess from these people you can learn from though...

    Though I am not much one for going to raves or clubs (but instead parties of my culture), this is kept at a minimum and I do enjoy life and am not poor (don't drink or smoke so I'm not tapping into the bank account there lol).

    Thinking a lot more rationally now rather than purely venting, I suppose the thread title is incorrect as I haven't got a criminal record so I can still of course have a successful career. Hell even my dad has had to pass lucrative oppurtunities, though this is for slightly different reasons which are much more permenant and serious then mine such as thinking about kids and other factors.

    Sagewing, 45 years of working seems far too many to me lol. 20 years seems like a very long time, 45 years cannot be imagined! I guess it all depends on what the job is, and the level of enjoyment over pay, in deciding whether this palatable. What is your job anyway? Webmaster?

    You can't see the future
    Good phrase, should always remember this and in the case of this situation and to remember not to assume.

    To change the path of this thread (I can't believe I am hijacking my own thread), what skills do people recommend I should learn in terms of what is in demand by employers? I have a list of learning PHP, ASP, C#, Unix and Java for now, which should be learnt in 4 months if I work all day everyday for solid hours. This is important as next year my degree will be avoiding a lot of these skills.

    My concern is that, whilst I know SQL/Oracle (sadly my degree has only taught me basic VB, SQL, Oracle I learnt on my own accord to do an assignment whilst Access was the accepted tool - come on, Access, and HTML), SQL is quite a simple language given its nature, but C# is much more complex and larger. I am completely new to programming and I cannot sit down and concentrate to learn a language using a reference book (like in the case of using my Director reference book to learn from), so what would be the best source to learn these languages? As I live in London, a big city, there are courses run in central London but these are too expensive and not always on what I want to learn.

    Are there any books to learn these languages from, which keep your attention with questions, quizzes, etc and also teach everything I need to know (from beginner to advanced) on a language?

    What do you guys think of this list of skills (higher = most in demand): http://www.cwjobs.co.uk/contents/con...perDemand.html ??

  11. #11
    ☆★☆★ silver trophy vgarcia's Avatar
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    It's not necessarily a good idea to learn something just because a lot of employers want that skill. If a lot of employers want that skill, you can bet that lots of other people are training in that skill, and too many people training in the same skill set can end up devaluing the skill over the medium to long term. Look at the MCSE certification ten years ago versus the last 5 years for example.


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