Thursday, November 09, 2006

"It's only 2 years..."

Brandon Kennedy wrote a post about success and for some reason wanted to know what I thought about success and what makes people "successful". I started a comment, and realized it was turning into a blog. So now it is! :)

Disclaimer: I am only talking about professional success in this blog...I know that personal success can be measured in so many different ways.

First of all, if I knew what success was, I probably wouldn't be on "interviews, interviews, interviews" as Brandon mentioned! But as I think back on things, I basically find I've been viewing my life in 2 year chunks....After college I said "Maybe I should just go to grad school. Its only 2 years, and then I can do what I really want." Then I decided I want to work in strategy and discovered to get into strategy, they want me to be in consulting for 2 years. So I apply with consulting firms thinking "Its a hard lifestyle, but I can do anything for 2 years..." Then I decide that I really want to be a consultant, and now I find that consulting firms want MBAs with 2 years of work experience. So if my last consulting interview comes up short, I'll stay where I am (which I would be very happy with by the way....Sabre is a GREAT company) and then try the consulting thing again in another 2 years. After all....it's only 2 years. I can do anything for 2 years...

In a lot of ways, this scares me. Although I'm not planning on doing something for 2 years that I absolutely despise, I can see how it could be easy to fall into a trap, always just looking for something a little bit better and never being content where I am. But I really do believe there will be a point where I will get into a job that I don't feel is a step trying to get somewhere else. I'm not saying that I'm going to stay in that job forever - I get bored too easily and would want a new challenge - but at that point my next move would just be to do something that I think is interesting and not simply a means to an end.

So I guess to sum up Brandon's question - I will consider myself successful when I reach a 2 year chunk where I can't see an "and then" afterwards....when my next 2 years is simply for another challenge, and not another step to get where I'm trying to go, that is when I'll be successful.

Gotta go for now....have to finish studying for another interview tomorrow morning! :)

1 comment:

brandonckennedy said...

Insightful. I would have probably written a very similar thesis about a year ago, when I was thinking "Law school is only 3 years."

You and I agree on the interesting dilemma of success: It's hard, if not impossible, to "arrive" at success.

What my post I hope conveyed, was the idea of being "content" is not just settling into a job you like, or are good at. Being "content" may vary from person to person, but I think you and I think of it as same thing: Enjoying what you're doing now, with an eye on future challenges. This is why it seems almost impossible to "arrive" at success. You and I focus on the future challenges as much as we focus on the satisfaction of doing a good job today. My point? It is possible to be content, successful, and looking ahead simultaneously.

Good luck in your career. I wish you the best and It's really fun watching you grow up (not that I'm such a wise adult or anything at this point) but it is amazing to see the girl I knew in high school turning into a business phenom.