Saturday, December 08, 2007

When I Grow Up....

This Thursday, I had a half-day meeting with my new team at work. We talked about plans for 2008 and at the end started talking about our personal goals and what to think about before we have meetings with our managers in a couple weeks. My new boss started talking about personal development and growth and said something to the effect of "We definitely want to help you get to your goals and where you want to be in your career...just let us know where you want to be."

This has been one of my biggest insecurities since I started grad school....where do I want to be? I got so tired of trying to figure it out at that point that I just picked something different than most people and said "I want to be in strategy." I had no idea what that looked like, but it seemed to please most employers and got me quite a few job offers. Well now I'm a product manager - half strategy, half marketing - and I love my job. But I also know that I don't want to be doing this exact same thing 10 years from now. Pretty much nobody in the business world wants to stay where they are. But I don't have a clear direction of where I want to go either. Every year on our performance review, there is a section talking about short and long term goals and I never know what to put besides "I want to have a team of my own to manage."

My question is, who DOES know exactly what they want to do? I know that I like my job functions and that business was the way to go for me, but I can't say that in 10 years I want to be a product manager or that in 10 years I want to be working in Corporate Strategy or anything else. I don't even know exactly where I want to be in 2-3 years! But the more that I think about this, the more I wonder....am I going to be left behind or kept down in my career because I don't have a completely clear picture of the path I want to take? Are there people out there who really have their career path fully planned out and actually follow that plan?

6 comments:

Daniel & Zoe's Mommy said...

I still don't know what I want to be when I "grow up," do I want Advanced Practice RN? Do I want CRNA? Do I want Nurse Practitioner? Do I go to Med School?? What do I do?!?!?!?!

I do know one thing, though : I'm in the FIELD I want to be in when I "grow up" -- The Medical Field. It's a broad canvas, so I can paint with broad strokes. I've never been much of a conformist so it's the perfect field, I can float and fly...I can switch and shift. And never stop doing what I love -- helping people.

My advice is simply : find a field. Find a field that you love, that fits you, that you fit, and then float! You're young! You're brilliant! Don't lock yourself down to ANYTHING! When you find the right place/thing/whatever, I think you'll KNOW IT! Don't feel pressured to lock into what you have to "be" or "become" or "Do." Go with the flow, you won't be kept down....when a new opportunity comes your way don't say "never," because you may find that path much more interesting than the one you've been on.

Don't be scared because you're not one of those rare few who "KNOW" all the time....those who've "KNOWN" since they were itty bitty, those who go into one field and stay there forever. It's great if you're that kind of person, but for those of us who aren't? Keep your options open! If you choose the wrong place you'll end up unhappy, unsatisfied, or worse!

After all, a job is something that the vast majority of us MUST hold onto, and MUST do....may as well be something that truly jazzes us right?! :)

:)

Josh said...

Great template. I was somewhat disappointed with HEROES this season. What did you think?

JenniferReinsch said...

Not me. I have a doctorate in music, and I am a children's minister. How's that for following my life's plan.

Joel said...

As a middle aged father of 2, I now firmly believe the concept of career is yet another lie perpetuated by our parents.

Jenn said...

gurrrl, after reading that post my head was spinning. i think you ARE grown up!

Maggie said...

i know nothing about the business world at all. I do know that you very smart and will be a sucess no matther what. You are kind, honest and have high integrity- and that will help you "bop to the top"!!!! I love you :)