Friday, October 27, 2017

My Career Trajectory

This blog post is inspired from the first episode of the US smash sci-fi hit, Heroes Series 4 - Orientation. Claire Bennett's (AKA the Cheerleader) room mate at college has plotted her own career trajectory and placed this on a board above her bed. I paid little attention to it at the time, things may not have been great at work but I was coping and getting on with it.

Several months later, I realised the significance of that TV moment and went back to watch that segment of the show again.

The topic came up again, in a one to one with my manager, just over eight years later. As you have guessed I tend to have several blog posts drafted and abandoned from years ago and I always like to go back and think if perhaps this is the right time to revisit past topics. All our career choices are leaps of faith. Beit, decisions made with a great amount of thought, research and gut feeling. Sometimes things work out, other times they do not but you have to be honest with yourself and learn from the lessons of the past. In my case, you can go from regretting a decision and looking for opportunities externally. Only to find yourself a mere ten months later moving to a different team a different management and becoming the happiest I have ever been in a workplace. Is it not strange how things work out?

All our opportunities are half chance, but then so are everybody else's. Thanks to Spotify, I have been listening to Hush again by rapper and Lip Sync Battle host LL Cool J. There are some amazing lyrics in this song.

Certain doors that we go in The people we meet The hands that we shake

To complete the circle, the video features a young Dania Ramirez and she went on to star a mere year later in the Heroes franchise. (For younger readers, the "Game of Thrones" from the early 2000s.) Your career will never be a series of happy accidents, you have to plan to be successful. I totally agree with this but it is actually getting more involved outside of my day job that has seen my career accelerate. I cannot state a single event which meant everything started to head in the right direction. A previous mentor mentioned that environment is key. Does Andrew have the conditions where he can succeed? Of course, but my success is defined not by the people around me, the company overall but decisions made many many years ago.

When I was contracting at Microsoft, in my previous position, I would speak to one of my close colleagues and agree that the dream was to work in the same town I lived (Slough at the time) but the sentiment was always there. Location, location, location. When you are younger, the four-hour daily commute seems a minor inconvenience. You only appreciate the travel distance of a mere 15 miles with the maturity of how valuable time is. However, even with my current employer, I get the best of both worlds. We have a City office and I can work there whenever there is a need. In fact, the next scheduled visit is next Tuesday.

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