Stories - Chapter 22

Stories - Chapter 22

Huiwen Wu 24/03/2018 10

I was miserable. I thought it was because of the company, the people, the incentive system – all flawed. I was struggling. I wanted changes. I tried, in many ways. One day, I finally told my boss that I wanted to quit. After that, they changed my job title, content, salary. So I stayed. But still, I was unhappy. I went to career councils. I didn’t know what was wrong. I didn’t know what I was doing and why. I felt that I was wasting my life. I felt like a boiling frog. I was frustrated, desperate. I was lost.

I probably still am.

MBA is such a concept that I never really understand. Even until recently, I still believed that it’s purely bullshit, and I didn’t understand why people would spend so much money and time for that. I am surrounded by people graduated from the world’s finest B-schools: Wharton, Chicago, INSEAD, and Harvard. Seeing how unhappy I am and how little faith that I have in this company and this industry, I couldn’t understand a penny why these people come here. But here I am, writing my essay, polishing my CV, trying to apply to Harvard Business School. This would be something that could eventually get me out of this misery, and allow me to make a change. I believed so, until I talked to Paul.

If you have ever read or watched the famous speech that Steve Jobs gave at Stanford in 2005, the one that says “You’ve got to do something that you really love” – Now imagine this: right after his speech, you ask Steve Jobs to write a recommendation because you really want to be hired one day by a company like Apple. Right, my conversation with Paul was like that – it ended up with a big slap straight in my face.

That night, I couldn’t fall asleep.

But then, all of sudden, I seemed to realise something: what was really wrong; why I was so miserable, unhappy; why I was so much trapped by the noise, the buzz, or many other seemingly  important or non-important things. I thought the problem was the company, the people. But it’s not. It was me. It was because all these years, all what I have been doing, was trying to please others, and meet their expectations. Looking at my CV, the career path, the degrees, the certificates…even the idea of applying to Harvard – all what I wanted, in the end, was just to impress someone, to prove to someone, someone that I probably don’t even know or care, someone else but me. I was living in the expectations of others, and that’s the problem.

Ironically, while writing the essay, telling the story about how I transformed from my past failure into a new “free me” ten years ago, I was exactly making the same mistakes again.

Sometimes, you do need big slaps, or you will never wake up.

I still don’t have a clear idea what I really want to do in my life. But I know what I really don’t want – I don’t want to be told what I should or should not do. Life is too short. No more meeting expectations, no more building CV. I will be on my way again, looking for something that I really love. And then, do it on my own, and for myself.

After all these years, for the first time, I feel alive again. And I know, this is just the start.

Sylvie the Cancer


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  • Justin Reynolds

    That's your opinion but an MBA will offer you a wealth of advantages, especially when it's offered by a top business school with a very good reputation.

  • Robert Davern

    You should get out of your comfort zone to know exactly what you want to do in life.

  • Steven Crouch

    Most of us have big career dreams and want to turn them into reality.

  • Jon Hills

    Hope that you will find your dream job

  • Alan Dean

    I do still believe that people can find fulfilment in their jobs, and not feel oppressed at work.

  • Paul Stearman

    If you hate your boss or organisation, nothing improves no matter what you do, and you feel like you can’t leave, you are not free.

  • Jamie Cottrill

    We can love doing a million and one things, but there are probably only a handful that are so valuable to others that we can leverage those activities to pay the bills.

  • Abdelkader Dhahbi

    Experiment what feels best and natural for you. The key is to let the world see how you think. Let your authentic personality and voice come through.

  • Daniel Levitt

    Career mobility comes more easily when you stand out and stand for something.

  • Christopher Schaefer

    When you know that you are in demand, and what you are truly worth in the market, you have the confidence to shape your current job into what you want and need it to be.

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Huiwen Wu

Social Expert

Huiwen is an experienced entrepreneur based in London. She completed her bachelor and master's degrees at Tongji University, ESSEC Business School and the London School of Economics.


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