Raj De Datta, CEO and Co-Founder at BloomReach, the Silicon Valley based cloud marketing platform, urged 20-somethings not to join big tech companies straight out of college. In an open letter on LinkedIn, De Datta argues that while it may be far more tempting to join Google, McKinsey or Goldman Sachs because the brand feels impressive, the pay is good, and it feels like a good career stepping stone, it is in fact a far better investment of your time to work at a start-up or growth company. Why? Because you will learn fast, and you will find your true professional calling.
De Datta says that the trouble with the big tech companies "is that your learning curve is unbelievably slow.” De Datta, a Princeton and Harvard graduate, who himself spent a number of years in his 20s at Cisco and Lazard, says that he learned ten times more about himself and the path he wanted in life at a start-up named FirstMark Communications where he was a founding member of the team at the age of 23.
"Going to work at a start-up or growth company in your 20s will put you on the fast-lane learning curve. It will be the best investment you can make because you’ll find yourself. The folks who have come into BloomReach in their 20s unclear about their passions, often emerge knowing who they are – becoming business development people or founders or product managers or people managers. They find their calling fast because the pace of the business requires it."
De Datta believes the time in your 20s is better invested in finding out more about yourself, and what you love, so that you can spend your life doing just that, instead of "searching for what you might love.”
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