I work for an IT company. Obviously. There’s technical jargon constantly thrown around like that poor cow in the 1996 Academy Award winning blockbuster film, Twister. Our team is full of smart, talented people who can tell you the disadvantages and benefits of deploying a single-forest vs. multi-forest architecture in Active Directory without batting an eye. Full disclosure, when I first started at Aeon Nexus, the only word I understood in that sentence was forest, but thanks to the practical experience I’ve gained over the last couple years (along with, of course, Google), I can confidently say that I understand more than half of that sentence now. This post is for all of those non-technical technical people out there who may be in the same high tech boat and feeling a little overwhelmed.
Soon after I was hired, I was asked to create a five-year plan. I’ve decided to include it as my first ever blog post. Not to save time or to beat the system by submitting something I had already written, but to reflect. Being a millennial (sorry, I know; I hate that word too) in such a fast-paced, serious industry can be challenging at times, but it’s important not to lose sight of your goals. Keep your head held high and don’t let setbacks define you. Everyone gets knocked down (but I get up again; thanks, Chumbawamba). Everyone has a meeting that goes poorly. Everyone misses a deadline. Above all else, remember that we’re all essentially faking it until we make it. Don’t be so busy comparing your achievements to everyone else’s that you lose sight of what’s important to you at this very moment.
I’ve been provided amazing opportunities in the years since writing my five-year plan. I was able to create my own yet-to-be-created position and not only have I grown, I’ve learned invaluable lessons about the technology industry. So if you decide to take the harrowing trek down a new career path, just remember to dream big, allow yourself to fall down, then get back up and just keeping swimming. You may just find that you’re the perfect fit to what you dramatically assumed was a super confusing 10,000 piece puzzle (you know, the ones with the microscopically tiny pieces). So with an eye on the future, but my feet firmly rooted in the present, I leave you with this, a five-year plan from a timid girl in a new industry:
Where do I see myself in five years? It seems like a simple enough question. What are my hopes? Goals? Aspirations? It’s something I’ve obviously given a lot of thought; but when handed the task to put it all on paper, it suddenly seems a lot more daunting. What if I am aim too high? What if I aim too low? What if life gets in the way and all my plans get derailed? After some thought, I’ve come to a conclusion. It doesn’t matter. Setting goals – whether unattainable or too simple, grandiose or excessively modest – keeps your life moving with a forward momentum. It gives you drive and focus. It gives you a reason to strive for something better.
In five years, I’d like to have grown. I would love to have a higher position at Aeon Nexus, whether as a business analyst, project manager, or some yet-to-be-created spot. But to be perfectly honest, when it comes down to it, I still have no idea what I want to be when I “grow up”. However, I do know a few things. I like being organized. I like paying attention to detail. I like when you are trying to explain something to someone and you can see it *click* when they finally get it. Lastly, I do know that no matter what I write in this document, it will change. It will all change. Things will fall apart and things will fall into place… and I find all that brilliantly and excitingly terrifying.