The Time I Burned The Ships

a pirate ship sailing on sea during golden hour
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I loved my first job.

I loved the people I worked with and wanted to stay with the organization after my 1-year contract was up.

I interviewed for two different positions, hopeful that I would get one of them which would have me based at their HQ.

I was surprised when I got neither, and was offered another assignment that would have me back on college campuses for a year.

If I declined the offer my paycheck would stop in 3 months. I didn’t have a back up plan. I had all my eggs in this basket. But I knew it wasn’t right for me.

I decided to forgo the safety net and find something new.

At the time I was listening to “The Obstacle Is The Way”, by Ryan Holiday. Perfect timing. The theme of the book: what stands in the way becomes the way.

This promoted a sense of urgency which led to some of the most productive months in my life.

I focused on three things:

  1. Results – I’m a believer that the best thing you can do for your future self, is to perform well now and have a good reputation.
  2. Skills – I had the most productive reading time of my life, digesting one book a week focused exclusively on professional development.
  3. Relationships – I started messaging people on LinkedIn and setting up phone calls to build my network.

This all helped me land a job at a company I still happily work for to this day.

Sometimes you need to burn the ships to create urgency. Focus intensifies when the safety net is gone.

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