I had a monthly salary of only BDT 25K (~USD 300) on my first job after graduation.
My second job paid me even less-BDT 20K per month (USD 235). And I moved here from a 10-year-old company to a less than 1-year-old 3 employee company (I was employee number 4). I couldn't save a penny, and my lifestyle was extremely frugal.
My 3rd job paid me slightly better-BDT 36K per month (USD 425). Therefore, I was still barely making it in life, leaving hardly anything to even save. This is when my contemporaries were earning close to BDT 100K (USD 1200), buying their first car, putting a down payment for an apartment may be, and flashing their amazing life through social media.
Despite having a very poor financial status, I was the happiest during these early years of my career. Why? Because I was not entering a job by looking at the salary or title, and I was not measuring my career success by the name and brand value of the company. Therefore, I also didn't pay attention to all those superficial, social media portrayals of a perfect life.
I was rather evaluating who is going to be my line manager. I was in a way reverse interviewing my future bosses to see if they can add significant value to my personal growth.
The result? I was shaped by some of the most talented professionals in Bangladesh. Some teaching me ethics and values, while others teaching me to become a master executioner at everything I tried.
I used my entire 20s to learn from the best, instead of trying to change the world. I kept my head down to work, and my senses high to pay attention deeply. I took the longer route which needed a lot of patience. But I planted the foundation for the future that I always dreamt of.
This simple mindset and strategy treated me well so far in life. If you're feeling restless and too worried about getting everything in life within the next few months or years, take a step back, reflect and look at the bigger picture.
Focus on building below the surface, putting in hundreds of hours in crafting your solid foundation like a Chinese bamboo tree. No one will see it, and it's kind of a good thing to avoid all the distractions. Then suddenly, after 4-5 years of patience, you'll rise above the ground and grow to a height that most people around you won't have the capacity to measure.