Many of us start working in technology because we enjoy programming or software or data or some other aspect of computing. We usually have some excitement that gets us motivated to start learning or apply for a job. Over time, we may move our area of focus, pick up new platforms, change jobs, and more. I'd like to think that most people actively make choices, rather than fall into the next situation, but I see the latter more often than the former. People take jobs quickly, when offered, even if the opportunity isn't one for they were aiming.
This certainly isn't all bad, as there are times when we get opportunities we weren't expecting. We may not realize what possibilities are available. However, I do regularly see people not thinking about the next step in their career until they need a job or they hate the one they are in. With that in mind, asking you to think about where you might want to go or what to achieve, I have a question for you.
What things have you seen others do and accomplish in their careers that you want to do as well?
If you look at people you read about in the media, or see speak at an event, or hear about from friends, are there things that impress you? Are there jobs, roles, projects, or something else you'd like to accomplish?
I think there are some neat goals that Brent has written about in his Epic Life Quest. These are bucket list items, and it's a mix of business, career, and personal goals. I've had a similar bucket list, but I let it go and only started to rebuild it this year, along with my partner as we think about our future together.
I will say that one of my big goals was speaking at the Ignite (formerly TechEd) conference. That was one of the biggest events in my industry, and I wanted to get there. I did get accepted, but a surgery required me to cancel, which was disappointing. Still, it's a high point of my career.
I still have a few private goals that I am aiming for in my career, but we'll see if I get them. If you don't have any, perhaps this weekend is a good time to stop and think of a few. You don't need to set them all, or even commit to them, but just start actively managing your career and make a few goals.