Career iteration - Why I started The Prepary

Career iteration – Why I started The Prepary

One important thing I’ve learned from the startup world is that your original idea doesn’t much matter. Startups “iterate” constantly and generally end up in a totally different place than where they started.

To iterate is “to adapt, build upon, expand, or pivot an existing product/service”.

To me, it means this: You try something. It doesn’t work.  You tweak it.  It works better.  You tweak it more and more.  It’s finally right.  Not perfect – nothing ever is totally perfect – but right.

For example, what we now know as Groupon started out as a business called “The Point”.  CEO Andrew Mason described the former business idea as “a platform for groups of people to come together and say, ‘I’ll do something but only if enough other people do it with me.’ It could be used for raising money. For political campaign. For some kind of charitable cause.”  Of course, we know what it turned into and what it is today.

What people don’t necessarily realize is that careers operate very similarly to startups.  You rarely ever end up exactly where you thought you would.

Founding The Prepary, is part of my own career iteration.  I don’t think it is the last stop, but it’s going to be a great one.

To rewind back to college, I chose my major psychology based on a slight inkling that I was interested in the way people think and the way they make decisions.  This led me to find my first job in Campus Recruiting (at an Investment Bank) because I thought I’d like to help people find careers and educate them on different programs and options.  I liked the recruiting part, but not so much the finance industry, the politics that came with working at a huge company, and the lack of creativity.

So with that in mind, I plotted my next move.  I landed in a recruiting role at a company I greatly admired in the fashion industry.  The environment and company were exactly what I needed.  It was fast paced, growing like crazy, creative, and entrepreneurial. I loved pretty much every minute of working there.  But the absolute best minutes were the ones where I was helping someone land a job that I knew they’d love.

I thought to myself, how do I get to do more of that? How do I do that as much as possible?

That’s when I decided to launch my business (The Prepary) where if I succeed I will get to spend tons of my time helping people land in careers they love.  I will also get to share what I’ve learned about the best ways to do that.  To put it simply, I launched this business to do more of what I’ve learned that I love.

I don’t think I’m done iterating yet either.  I think from this current venture I will learn even more about what I like, what I’m good at, and what will bring me success and I’ll make tweaks and changes as I do.

I think people are too hard on themselves when they’re starting out.  They put pressure on themselves to figure out the career they want for life.  Most people don’t figure that out from day one the same way startups don’t figure out their billion dollar idea on day one.

Your career is a journey and each thing you do will be valuable in some way.  You will learn things about yourself that help you shift gears or make you bear to the right or left.  Some parts of the journey might make you do a total u-turn but it’s all part of the process of succeeding.