On my first day on the job, with the Indian Police Service, we landed in the Kerala Police Headquarters to formally call on the DGP and other senior officers. Given the rank-obsession in the police, I was quite intimidated by these two and three-star generals.
With my piddly rank of an ASP, I felt that these guys were the ‘real deal’, and my 'real career' would start when I got to those ranks.
But over time, you realize that even if your formal authority goes up, your power declines. Once you get used to the rank, comforts, and the paraphernalia of drivers and gunmen, you are no longer free. You need those things. And like the Buddha said, desire creates suffering :)
When you need things, you become fearful of loss. You compromise, and you diminish.
This is true for many of us. As we grow older, our role, rank, and salaries go up but we become fearful of losing them.
So if you are fresh out of college, don't envy the CEOs. Possibly some of them might envy you.
American General John Kelly once said, "The best job I ever had was as a sergeant in the Marine Corps.” I think he was only half-joking.
Live your life now, and live it fearlessly. There is nothing better coming up.