Note: Tonight I found this post sitting in my drafts folder. I wrote this back in January, and for some reason I never published it. I’m not sure what made me want to write it back then, but I definitely know that I feel this strongly right now.
Eight and a half years ago, my solitary goal in my career was to be able to write two years on my resume next to a job. Yes back then I thought of it as a job. I had also only lasted 18 or 19 months at my two previous employers before getting downsized (remember when that was all the rage?).
Eight and a half years later, and I am now celebrating 10 years with one company. I like where I work, I like the people and the product, and I can see room for growth and change in the way we do things. Much of the time in the middle, I spent without setting any real goals. Sure, I filled out my S.M.A.R.T. goals on my review each year, but I didn’t have a vision for where I wanted to go, or what I wanted to do. I didn’t see what value I could add to the organization or the people in it beyond accomplishing the tasks defined for me in the goals that were passed down from multiple levels of management.
Today, I stand at the beginning of a new decade. I find myself awakened to what I can and still need to learn, and find myself coming up with ideas of ways I can help educate others. I spent far too much of my past heads down completing tasks, or managing processes. I lost sight of my career; I was fumbling around with no real direction. Now I have it back, and I can see here I want to go.
If you feel lost, or directionless, WAKE UP! Sitting in a chair just to collect a check sucks. Going to work because you are excited to accomplish something is awesome. Basically, DO something. DO something that excites you, that fits with your passions. If you are out of ideas, there are lots of people out there who can give you some (like Pete or Huib or Michael or James or Twitter)