Image vs. Reality in a Job

I think there’s a huge difference between the image of someone/something and the reality of it. I think this is particularly true about jobs.

For example, I today took a call from a recent Brown graduate. I had spoken to a class on entrepreneurship, and this individual followed up afterwards.

He is about to start medical school in August and realized during the past 24 months that he also may want to be an entrepreneur. He asked for my advice.

I told him medical school is a huge investment of time and money. Before he commits to it, I told him he should shadow some physicians and see what they actually do every day. I told him that many of my doctor friends love what they do.

But, I also told him about my personal physician, who is a few years into her practice but already feels burned out from all the paperwork she has do each night until 10 pm, work for which she doesn’t get paid. I told him how some of my physician friends feel that they are working harder each year to make less pay.

Similarly, I’ve met many people who want to be VCs or entrepreneurs, but don’t know what those roles require in terms of daily tasks. The idea of being a VC or entrepreneur, or any job, is different from the reality.

So, I highly recommend tailing someone to see what they do every day. Or, doing an informational interview and have them describe a typical day to you.

You know, date before you marry.

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