I graduated with my undergraduate degree over a year late.
I almost didn't graduate because I worked full-time in a restaurant. I needed money to help my immigrant family and to pay for that college degree I almost didn't graduate from. I started my career late at 26 too. I was making good money in the restaurant, a lot more than the job offers I received as a junior developer. Back then, software engineers didn't make shit; I took a pay cut to start my career.
I thought I was too late.
Then a little after I went back for a master's degree because I had forgotten a lot of the stuff I learned; I started my career four years after school ended. When I went back for the master's, I was 28. the kids in the program were all 22 to 23-year-olds; it was one other guy and me in our late 20s. It felt like once again; I was too late.
But despite starting my career at 26, by the time I was 32, I became one of the most promoted people at a successful startup I joined as an individual contributor. I jumped six levels in 3 years. I went from a mid-level IC to Director in just a few short years. Then after the startup was acquired, at 34, I was one of the youngest Senior Directors in Walmart.
I'll tell you this from experience now: when you start matters less than the value you can add and your contributions and stamina.
These days I am thinking of starting my own company, but I feel like I'm too old and like it's already too late. The Google guys were in college when they started Google, Zuckerberg started facebook before finishing college.
It definitely feels like I'm too late. But then I recall that Sam Walton started Walmart at 44. And then I also remember that perfect timing always feels like it's too late.
"Sometimes perfect timing feels like I'm too late
But I know you still great in spite of your mistakes
Before you run your race you gotta find a pace
Just make sure you cross the line, and f*** the time it takes" -Nipsey Hussle
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