And when I started my first real job I thought that I already knew enough about work so I quit that job after 18 months.
Today I know that I don't know enough. But that's ok. Because I also didn't know it back then.
And the fact that I didn't know it back then helped me to be foolish enough to think that I could make it own my own.
It took me more than three years to figure out how to make it own my own.
And before I had my first real job I tried all sorts of different jobs.
Most of them were just pretty casual jobs. I didn't have to support a family or something.
But all of these jobs helped me to see what it might look like when you have to do that job for the rest of your life.
When I turned 14 I was a paperboy for a while. I think that was the only job you were allowed to do by law at that age.The only thing I remember was that one time a friend of mine helped me out but I never gave him his cut. It would have been something like €12. Don't worry, next time we meet you'll get those €12. I'll even make it €20. Promise!
And then when I turned 16 I worked in a mall on the weekends and sold clothes in a shop for over a year. The only thing I remember was that one time a guy came in and I sold him more than €1000 worth of clothes. And that standing around the whole day killed my legs and feet.
And once I graduated from high school, I think I was 19 or something like that, I worked as a floor fitter for a month or so with my older brother. The only thing I remember was that once I was done with my work my brother basically had to re-do everything I did.
Next thing I knew I was 20 years old and I had to do civil work in some sort of center for old people for 9 months. It was required to do this in Germany back then. Either that or military.
It was the best time of my life. No responsibility for my own life, no education, no worries, no nothing. The only thing I remember was that the old folks there played cards all day long and many of them forgot a lot of things.
Now that I think about it I also forget a lot of things...
From the ages 21 to 28 I was basically working all sorts of jobs. All of them part time. And during the holidays I worked full time. Because technically I was still enrolled in university. But I never really went there. Most of the lectures were a waste of time. I only went there to take exams. Sometimes I also went there for the more difficult engineering classes.
While I was studying I did the French customer care for a dating platform. I worked for a few big telcos in their business development, which basically consisted of drawing fancy slides all day long using already existing templates...
At one point I even had two jobs and was studying two majors at the same time.
I wasn't really good at any of these things. I wasn't a really good student. I also wasn't a really good employee. But what I was always good at was finding ways to somehow make everything work out.
I was always really good at getting the maximum results with the least amount of work possible. That's what I've basically perfected over the years. That's what I still do to this day.
I'm not recommending this to anyone. It's just the way I work. The way that has always worked for me. Over and over again. I always wanted to see as many different things as possible. To make up my own mind of all the things out there. And that was the best approach for me.
I would never have been hired by Google. Or Facebook. Or Tesla. Or what not. So if you want to work there it's probably not a good idea to do what I did.
I never wanted to become an expert in anything. I just wanted to know enough so I could do something good enough. Not perfect. Just good enough.
And at one point I went to China where I did an exchange program. I somehow also managed to get an internship there and somehow managed to be able to write my master's thesis there. And no one was really “mentoring” or helping me.
Which was great for me because, well, you know I wanted to loads of other things. And that's what I did. I taught English at a Japanese and a Chinese company to generate enough cash to finance my other stuff. Like that clothing company I started in China that failed miserably. And I wrote my thesis in a month or so.
So when I came back to Germany to start my first real, full time job I already worked more than 10 jobs or so. I saw many different fields. Many different paths. And many different possible lives.
I ended up working for a pretty big company. And the only reason I accepted that offer was because I was able to see as many different things in the shortest amount of time possible. Well, that's actually not true. I also did it because they paid a lot and I could fill up my bank account.
They hired me as a management trainee. So within less than two years I saw five different areas of that company. At a level that most people would probably never get access to. And when I learned and saw everything I had to see I went ahead and quit that job.
Is this selfish?
Yes and no.
Yes, because that company paid me a lot of money. And no, because I'm sharing what I've learned with other people now. To multiply that knowledge.
After all, everything you read or hear from me is a result of what I've learned over the past couple of years. Working loads of different jobs. Doing loads of different things.
Every single word you just read whether it made you angry, upset, happy, positive or what not is the result of every single thing I ever did in my life.
Every single word you ever read from me was crafted by every single newspaper I ever delivered in my entire life, by every single slide I ever created in Power Point, by every single English word I tried to explain in front of that class, by every single t-shirt I printed in my living room in Shanghai and by every single class I never attended but still passed...
You are the result of your past experiences, adventures, feelings, thoughts, ideas, encounters, difficulties, struggles and successes.
So try to make sure that all of these things will help you to move towards the future you want to create. So you can get to where you want to be. Where you have to be...
The world is changing. Faster than ever before.
What worked yesterday might not work anymore tomorrow. But some things will always work.
No matter how many robots are out there. Or how many algorithms are replacing our jobs.
Learn these 14 micro skills and you'll never have to worry about your future ever again (of course it isn't that easy, but it's a great start.)
You can download a free report where I discuss these skills below.
Click here to claim your copy now (it's free, for now)...
[Related: I stopped giving a shit a long time ago]