If you’re under 30 please don’t work from home.
When I was 22 and working at a large software company that *cough* made an antivirus software by a guy named Norton *cough*, my friends and I discovered something very strange.
Nobody was giving us work.
I mean we had a few small tasks, but we weren’t knee-deep in some crazy code stretched beyond even our craziest computer science classes.
Instead, we had small scripts to write or little work here and there, and a LOT of free time to chat on MSN. In fact, we all used to brag about who did less work that day and got paid for it.
I did like 3 hours of work last week, so awesome.22 Year old Sanjay Manaktala
Was it awesome Brad?
Negative Effects of Working from Home
Working in your pj’s for a young person can be career suicide and although you may not care about your employer, it’s also bad for business.
I’m all for work-life balance, but if you want to make your mark in the world, you need to know one thing:
It’s ok to be average, but it’s not ok to treat yourself averagely.
For most of us who can relate, i.e. didn’t have much money growing up and now just want to use some of that income to party, travel, date people and experience the good life, I get it.
I really do.
Do it man, do it. You’ve earned this time to coast, and it’s nice that the only accountability you really have is to just answer your emails on time.
But I also wish I had a mentor when I was younger who would grab me the by shoulders, shake some sense into me and tell me: “YOU NEED TO BE PRODUCTIVE AT THIS AGE BEFORE YOU SEE YOUR LIFE LOSING ALL MEANING BY 30!”
For a lot of people in big fat fortune 500 corporate life, a good chunk of their career progression might be:
- Wow, nobody is giving me work, this is awesome.
- Wow ok, I’m bored, what else can I do with my time.
- Ok, I’m just going to do the bare minimum to continuously get promoted and spend money on things and hobbies I enjoy.
- Ok, I hate my job but I’m 33 and where else will I go with the skills only this job seems to appreciate, plus I have a good thing so why ruin it.
And that is a one-way ticket to mediocre.
You’ll have kids, you’ll enjoy the house and the BBQ’s and vacations and frequent flier points..but deep down, you’ll know it’s all built on a lot of fluff that you yourself can’t say with pinpoint accuracy…”I MADE AN IMPACT WITH MY WORK.”
WHY DO RICH KIDS MAKE THE WORLD BETTER?
Bill Gates dad was a well to do lawyer.
Mark Zuckerberg parents are a dentist and a psychiatrist.
Jeff Bezos took $300,000 from his parents who clearly had it lying around.
Elon Musk I’m sure didn’t grow up using socks.
Do you notice anything? I’m not saying they’re all spoiled brats who got lucky, I’m simply saying they weren’t motivated by an easy $100,000 in a 9 to 5 as the final goal.
Because they knew, probably from their parents and families…that your life has to mean more than that.
Is Working from Home Right for You?
I understand that they’re some very obvious perks of working from home. But it might not be right for you, especially at the age you need to be out there. For some peolpe, homeschooling was also better than going to a public high school, but for those of us who went and came out stronger on the other side, would you have it any other way?
As you get more responsibility in your career and learn to take charge of your life’s work, productivity and time management, make sure you know the pros and cons of how you’re spending your time. I repeat, again and again.
It’s ok to be average, but not ok to treat yourself averagely. There’s a reason you go to a gym as opposed to doing the same stuff at home, and there’s a reason you need to use this energy at 25 to go out into the world and make your mark.
Even if it just means taking your laptop to Starbucks.
Why does every single person who passes away at 90 say the same thing..that you should make your life mean something?
I’m not saying quit your job, be an entrepreneur, go make films or be a YouTuber. If you’re at a big company like KPMG or Accenture or Microsoft or hell even Google, and you’re coasting…stop doing that.
It’s not cool.
The only one who’s getting taken for a ride is you. You just won’t realize until it’s too late.
Sanjay Manaktala is the host of the Birdy Num Num podcast, all about inspiring the creative South Asian. In this post, he debunks a couple of myths about how it’s cool to do nothing and get paid for it.