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On GenY Careers: “Go That Way… Really Fast”

March 21, 2012
by Dave Ellis, YouTern

I love to quote movie lines.

In almost any movie, from blockbusters to low-budget “B-movies” nobody should spend too much time on, I find pearls of wisdom that perfectly fit real-life situations – and share them freely. I call it “pop-culture philosophy”.

A case-in-point is a great line from an ancient ‘80s movie called “Better Off Dead”…


There’s a lot of advice (and pressure) from parents, professors and well-wishers to choose a career; to work your way up the proverbial corporate ladder – to be practical.

They are dead wrong.

And this is why I love the line: “Go that way… really fast. If something gets in your way… turn” – because most of us will have more than one career in our lives. At this point in your college life or young career, of course you should pick a professional path that interests you, where you can exhibit some passion – and “Go that way… really fast”. Take on several internships. Find a mentor or two. Develop yourself, your network and your transferable skills.

If at some point, whether it’s after a couple internships, or several years into your career, you decide what you’re doing is not working out as you thought – and it’s time to change directions – “turn”.

Have I tried this advice myself? I’ve lived it. I’m on my third career, and I’m doing more than fine. And this after heading into college graduation with zero idea what I wanted to do for a career.

I started in minor league baseball and worked my way toward my goal of a season with the San Francisco Giants. From there I moved on to marketing in big high-tech corporations. Now I’m into my second start-up. I’ve given my best effort to each of these career stages – and learned a ton at each stop.

Most important, I grew along the way – and took the new lessons learned – and my transferable skills – with me into my next career adventure.

Choose not to stress yourself out. Choose to not listen to those who say you must know what you want to be before you graduate. It’s not required of any of us.

Find what you like, and go that way… really fast.

And yes… it’s okay to turn – and then go really fast again.


About the Author: Dave Ellis, is an original member of the YouTern team and instrumental to its success… in fact, he’s so awesome there wouldn’t be a YouTern without him (and he might have written this bio himself). In his spare time, Dave volunteers, rescuing and rehabilitating sea lions and baby elephant seals. Follow Dave on Twitter!

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