Lindsy Szilvasi is an innovation coach at STUDIO.WHY and program manager of the Dutch design.school. She worked at Google as Design Thinking coach and innovation space manager. Lindsy is a public speaker and trains young professionals and organisations in entrepreneurship, creative confidence and human-centered mindset through Design Thinking, coaching and personal development plans.
“So Lindsy, you’re not working at Google anymore, what are you doing now?”
“Why the hell would you leave Google?!”
My name is Lindsy Szilvasi and I’m 29 years and 232 days old. According to society, this is the time when you need to get your things straight. Master’s degree, full-time job at a fancy big corporate, enough savings to buy a house and get children. A fully proofed life plan for the upcoming years.
Yeah, about that plan… I don’t have a plan. i don’t Want to have a plan.
In 2017, I decided to quit my amazing job at Google. I handed over my badge, the one you need to get into the tallest commercial building of Dublin. And suddenly, I didn’t have any entrance to the culture of awesomeness. A culture of team spirit, creativity, innovation, colleagues being my peers, my manager being my mentor and coach, work-life balance, and endless opportunities to learn and grown. A culture that starts with people.
I was on top of things. Promotion, my own projects, volunteering, organizing summits, facilitating innovation workshops, leading the first Google innovation space in Dublin, traveling around the world, working in Silicon Valley and inspiring other techmakers all over the world.
I loved my job at Google. Don’t get me wrong. I could have stayed there for years. But I didn’t. Something was missing. I literally felt a hole in my body. A hole that couldn’t be filled with my awesome work at Google and expat life.
And now, I’m in a constant battle trying to explain people why I made my decision. People felt that my patch of grass was the greenest. That I was at the center of some kind of holy grail. That I was at the top of a mountain and now my decision has led me to the valley.
I decided to travel around Asia with my new boyfriend. To live together in a beautiful apartment in the old city center of ‘s-Hertogenbosch in the Netherlands. With a blue kitchen and a tiny balcony where we can sip coffee in the sun with views of the canal and the city’s cathedral. My parents, his parents, our friends just 15 minutes away.
I decided to be jobless for a while. Without a plan. Just to be in the unknown.
When people started to ask me question “Why the hell I left Google”, I felt I couldn’t live up to the expectations of others. The expectations I had of myself. And as any other Millennial, expectations and opinions from others influence my thinking. It influences my behavior.
Like a chameleon, you adapt your behavior, the way you talk, according to how you think you should fit in. And it’s not your fault. We want to feel we belong somewhere. We keep asking for approval.
But it’s in the unknown, the changes and unexplored possibilities where you will find a different perspective on life. A perspective that is not one dimensional: Finding happiness and success in your work life. Because there are more dimensions in life that will decide your happiness.
I organized my life in such a way that there is always room for creativity, learning and failing. Where I do not feel the pressure to conform or where I have to live up to other people’s expectations, but where I can be completely myself.
By spending time on chasing expectation after expectation and conforming to every rule that society has laid down for you, doesn’t let you explore the unknown. It doesn’t let you explore, experiment or fail. There is a need for a culture that allows for a million perceptions and ideas being shared in a safe space of mutual respect and interpersonal trust.
This is just the beginning of my story. By sharing my story I’m hoping to open the space for other stories to be shared. Tell others how you made a switch against the current and how often you dare to take a different perspective on your work and life. Step in the unknown and tell me your story.
Want to know more? Contact: Lindsy Szilvasi
Na in De Nieuwe Poort vele meesterpreken van CEO’s en commissarissen zoals Dick Boer, Feike Sybesma en Joanne Kellerman te hebben gehad, zullen in deze reeks juist jonge ondernemers het woord krijgen. Meesters maken zo plaats voor leerlingen. Tijdens deze millennialpreken luisteren we naar inspirerende young professionals die iets spraakmakends bewerkstelligen.
De Millennialpreek organiseren wij in samenwerking met het Venture Café!
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