Only noticed when you make a mistake

May 16, 2020

Overheard in the surf lineup this morning:

“It seems like the type of job where you’re only noticed when you make a mistake”

This phrase hit me right in the face. I did this type of work for a few years out of school. It’s very structured and binary: you either create the financial model with all of the correct inputs and calculations, or you make a mistake. Success is defined by volume of (error free) output.

Avoid this type of work.

Instead of being noticed for your mistakes, find work in which you’re rewarded for your creativity.

Tell a story. Create a clever abstraction. Find a signal in noise. Fill a need someone didn’t know they had. Or like the anonymous surfer, put into words an idea that is only stirring in others.

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