Frank Chen

Frank Chen

the year of experimenting with careers

2022 has been the year of experimenting with careers. I'm trying something new and looking to sharing my experiences in writing and in public. ๐Ÿงต about how I've approached it:

I've jumped around in the tech space, from digital healthcare to web3, from data to product, from employee to consultant. I've tried and am trying other things too, like being a jiujitsu athlete and instructor, supper club host, and an intern at a 2-star Michelin restaurant.

To make these jumps less daunting, I've learned to:

  1. de-risk
  2. find the right people
  3. have fun
  4. take the good with you and discard the rest

Let's run through it:

  1. De-risk the experiment. If you have a job, keep it. Find some way to explore what you want in the off-time that you do have. Think weekends, nights, part-time, interning.

It's always good to keep in mind that once you've de-risked it, the worst thing that can happen is you find out whatever it was you wanted was actually boring, unfulfilling, and not what you expected. No worries, reset and repeat.

Let's use a cake analogy. ๐ŸŽ‚ Think of what you're experimenting with as getting to eat a piece of cake. The end goal is to have a tasty-taste of a complete slice.

Once you've had a complete slice, you can determine if you want to eat more of that cake, or if there's only a part of it that you liked.

Just thinking about cake gets you nowhere. Getting only part of a cake (frosting or just the sponge) is delicious but is also not the complete picture.

  1. Go to where the cake is. Talking about cake with the people who eat it every day is a step closer. They can help you understand the realities of eating that cake, and help you get a slice.

  2. Eat the slice of cake. Enjoy that shit.

  3. Review that slice of cake. What did you like? What did you not like? How would you do it differently next time? What else is like this cake that you would similarly eat? Let's go find it.

I've probably beat this analogy to death already, but unless you embark on the process of procuring and eating a slice of "cake", all your hypotheses, hand-wringing, and worries mean nothing. Go forth and experiment. Also, stay tuned for the next story. It involves duck legs.