Taking the long route gives you perspective. A career is long and perspective is what you need to make good choices about your career path. It’s easy to look for the shortcut, as you would look for the shortcut to getting home fast after work, but there are few shortcuts to a good career.
Instead, you should appreciate that you have a route to take and create options.
The other day I had a big interview with a stud technology company. Humbly speaking, they liked me, and at the beginning of the interview, I wanted them. After the interview, I took the long route home…
I took a different route home and let the thoughts come into my head and just listened. Good or bad, I listened and kept driving.
The thoughts of giving up part of my soul and beliefs for this company crept into my head. They wanted 110% of me and a big part of my family time. No podcasts, no side hustle coffee businesses or consulting, less family time and all that. The long route was bringing all the big questions out.
The long drive alone with your thoughts helps when you can’t reach that friend on the phone for advice. It is you, the road and your thoughts.
By 2PM, I was in a good place and stopped at a new coffee shop in my neighborhood to get some work done. Oddly, I ran into two guys I know, and guess what they were doing? They were playing hooky from their day job at another big shot tech company and they were working on their side hustle. My long ride ended with a good discussion about tech, companies and corporate life over coffee with these two gents. Serendipity? I don’t know; but refreshing, to say the least.
With your career, it is your job to align yourself and create options. Believe in yourself, more than any corporate career ladder. Don’t complain about being poor or without money. Create options. Careers and wealth are not about money, they are about options—options to do what you love and take the long route home.
The long route home gave me the answer. I got home late but I had my answer.
Ben Martinez – family guy, coffee critic, planker, and HR & Recruiting journeyman. He has successfully worked in HR leadership roles around the US and Mexico for Fortune 500 companies (Pepsi, Honeywell, and Energizer). Most recently he was the VP of People & Culture for HireVue, where he hired 400+ people in almost five years using video, social media, and created the employment brand, VueNation in partnership with HireVue.
Ben now runs his own consulting company, Ramp Talent, where they ramp recruiting and HR for startups. From recruiting ready-to-go talent to implementing ongoing best practices to preventing legal headaches, we build the first HR and recruiting systems for fast-growing startups.
PS – coffee is for closers – Ben founded an e-commerce subscription coffee company focused on re-imagining coffee in the workplace and home – Sumato Coffee Co. They only roast your beans within 48 hours of your order.
Ben lives in the SLC, Utah area.