Earn, Learn or Burn

“Earn or Learn”. A couple of months ago I read Garry Tan’s post on how you should either be earning or learning (because you prioritize that type of “earning” or you can’t earn yet).

After reflecting on it, I am adding something: “Earn, Learn or Burn”. And this is particularly true at the start of your career. If at any given point you aren’t either earning or learning, you are burning…

… your best learning time: when you’re youngest. So you will fall vs your cohort. You’ll feel left behind. Which burns you…
… mentally. You will feel like it’s not worth your dedication. Which makes you underperform, leading to burning…
… opportunities to grow. You won’t get that promotion or cheers from peers. Which will burn…
… your path to earning.

It’s a tough loop to crack. If you let it be.

Audit yourself and your environment, and take action. Speak with your manager. Is earning not at reach right now? Ask for more learning paths. Is learning capped? Negotiate up. Are none available? Move somewhere else.

Just protect yourself from burning. There are too many important problems to solve, and the world needs you in your best headspace.

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