Careers

Guy Kawasaki learned this crucial career lesson by quitting law school after 2 weeks

VIDEO1:1201:12
Guy Kawasaki learned this crucial career lesson by quitting law school...

Silicon Valley venture capitalist, author and speaker Guy Kawasaki has made a successful career for himself in the world of technology and entrepreneurship, working at Apple and a number of other tech companies over the years.

But early in his career, Kawasaki says, there were several times when he realized he needed to change jobs, or even industries, altogether. One of those moments was in his first month of law school.

"After college, because of the influence of my parents, I went to law school," Kawasaki told CNBC Make It at the New York Synergy Global Forum. "I figured out I just don't want to be a lawyer, so I quit law school after two weeks."

While he doesn't encourage people to simply quit something they aren't happy with, both the experience of attending law school when he wasn't really committed and the experience of quitting almost immediately taught him an important lesson.

When it comes to a career move you're not happy with, "people usually stay too long as opposed to quit too early," he says. "And I think that when most people look back, they'll often say to themselves, 'Why did I stay so long? Why didn't I make that move earlier?'"

Staying on a career path or a job when you know you're unhappy, he says, is one of the biggest mistakes people make.

"One of the red flags for hanging around too long is, I think, that you're just not interested," says Kawasaki, who is now chief evangelist at digital graphics company Canva.

One of the red flags for hanging around too long is, I think, that you're just not interested.
Guy Kawasaki

Kawasaki found himself in this exact situation later in his career when he realized he wanted to leave the jewelry business and move into technology.

But he cautions that you should try to stay in a position for at least "a year or two" to see if you can improve your situation. This will also help you avoid appearing disloyal by constantly switching jobs.

"If you're not excited about a particular market, or a particular product, or something," he says, "you really should find something that excites you, because it's not just about the money, it's also about what interests you."

Check out The lesson Guy Kawasaki says every person should unlearn after college

VIDEO1:1601:16
How Steve Jobs transformed Apple according to one of Apple's early employees

Like this story? Like CNBC Make It on Facebook.

Video by Jon Fazio.

make it

Stay in the loop

Sign Up

About Us

Learn More

Follow Us

CNBC.COM