Why the CEO of a billion-dollar startup says a career is like skiing a gnarly mogul run

Greg Schott’s first management job was overseeing a 17-person assembly line that built radar systems for B-1 bombers. Today he’s the CEO of MuleSoft, a hot enterprise technology startup that was recently valued at $US1.5 billion and counts Salesforce Ventures as an investor.

When it comes to planning a career, Schott says young college graduates should think like skiers. Specifically, he says, they should think like skiers staring down the face of a steep mogul run.

“You can try to map out your line for 10 moguls, but after the first two moguls, you’re usually off your line,” Schott explains in an interview with the New York Times.

“You’re never going to be able to map it out to the bottom. It’s about making sure that you’re on the right slope and you picked the right mountain. Don’t worry so much about how it’s all going to play out in the end,” says Schott.

In other words, don’t over plan every single stage of your career, and be ready to adapt to circumstances and opportunities. It’s sound advice to be sure, though Schott never addresses the risk of crossing your ski tips and having a major wipe-out.

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