TashiTalk: Risking It All To Do What You Love
As law school graduation approached, the startup venture I had been building and working on for the past three years was not only losing money on an hourly basis, but user growth had stagnated and we were running out of ideas. Despite these grim prospects, I still remember waking up everyday inspired to keep pushing forward and excited to see what fires would need to be put out next. My heart was in the right place, but my conscious was telling me otherwise. So I was faced with the choice many female graduates are experiencing today.
WHAT DID I WANT TO DO WITH MY LIFE?
On the one hand, law school had prepared me for a career and life trajectory that was easy to understand. Financial stability seemed to be a given – lockstep promotions each year, followed by increasingly generous bonus schemes.
On the other hand, becoming an entrepreneur carried every definition of risk that one could think of – uncertain career trajectory, lack of any financial stability, not to mention the sheer emotional investment one puts into one’s work every waking hour of the day. Plus I’d already failed once.
Given those prospects, I took the safe choice. I became an associate at a mid-size law firm. Months passed – the work was challenging, the people I encountered brilliant, but it slowly dawned on me that it just wasn’t the right fit. So I quit.
Quitting something you’ve invested thousands of dollars and years of your life into isn’t as bad as it sounds. My mom cried a little, my dad joked about not saving money on attorney’s bills, people gossiped for about two weeks and then everyone just moved on.
I went back to the start-up world: first as an intern, then as a full-time employee in a business development role, and eventually transitioned to the investment side of things by joining a VC firm.
AND HOW AM I DOING NOW?
Probably the most fulfilled I’ve ever felt. As many of my law school classmates encountered layoffs, I was doing something I loved, and knew that my growing niche skillset would make me indispensable. Everyday I speak to entrepreneurs from around the world – I help them grow their companies, grow their teams and see them as people grow before my very eyes.
MY ADVICE TO SOMEONE JUST STARTING OUT
Do something you love. Really. I didn’t believe it when I was told the same thing, but in retrospect my mentors were completely right. As a woman, doing something you love will ensure that you continue to stay in the workforce. It will mean that you come into work excited for what it holds. And I promise you, it will also mean that you’ll gain control over your own financial future.
And those things are definitely all worth having.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Natasha Petrukhin is a former corporate attorney. Previously worked at startup ventures, Meeteor, GroupMe, and Yext. Advises entrepreneurs with Socialatom Ventures. In her free time she is an Arrested Development trivia lover who is on a quest to learn Spanish.
Location: New York, NY
Contact Natasha: firstname.lastname@example.org
Originally posted 2014-07-10 13:00:11. Republished by Blog Post Promoter