Why Isn’t There A Magic 8 Ball for Careers?

I am unfocused because I want to look at everything.

Okay, maybe that’s not exactly true.

I do know that in my job/career field of “Information Technology” there are so many directions to go and so many things that can be learned. There are numerous topics and jobs where you can really dive deep into the geek and specialize to a nearly insane level.

Do I want to focus on security? How about datacenters and virtualization? Process Improvement? <fill in the blank> architect? Database admin? CTO?

Yes, please. They all are appealing on various levels and wish I could do them all. (Well, I don’t know about CTO. It doesn’t seem like you’d do much more than have meetings and plan budgets. “No touching!”)

And while the usual advice of “take any job” and keep moving towards what you want seems logical, it can’t possibly be satisfying. I’m definitely not saying that finding that job you want to do for the rest of your life is going to be easy or that it will fall into your lap.

My question is what direction do I set off in on this life/career journey?

I’ve been leaning towards a Release Management type of job that sits in a funny spot between project management and operations. Basically, you oversee the development, testing, deployment and support of software releases. (I might have borrowed that definition from a website.)

While I haven’t done this work officially in the past (i.e. never a job title or part of my job description), I enjoyed several roles in my past where I was the “facilitator” of things ensuring resources were available and schedules were being met.

So maybe I have a focus after all.

That thing inside of us

Recently, I watched a History Channel show called “The Men Who Built America” and a repeated theme seemed to be the drive that these gentlemen (Rockefeller, Vanderbilt, Carnegie, Ford and J.P. Morgan) was what made them a success.

Now I’m not interested in analyzing their personalities or the financial and political situations that may have helped them end up as they did. I’m more curious as to that drive that the various folks from modern times talked about. It seems they had a drive to win more than just collect money and things. (Obviously money and things come with winning…usually.)

So where does that drive come from? Do we all have it? Is it stronger in some than others? I think the answer to the last question is a somewhat obvious Yes in that some folks go well beyond others in pursuit of a passion or a desire.

The point I’m taking a scenic tour to reach is that I wonder if that drive can be cultivated. Can you learn it later in life or do you have to be born/raised with it?

I really could use some Drive these days. While I had a great motto that I was going to try and live up to for 2015 (Do. The. Work.) I’m not sure it’s that simple. That DTW motto came from the (ongoing) realization that I’m a terrible procrastinator. I will often put off quick and easy tasks just because I can. (Maybe there’s some subconcious sense of lack of control I’m fighting.) Why that delay feels like an accomplishment is just silly…from a logical standpoint.

So I think I’m going to add a little bit to it:  Do The Work and THEN Play.

While I am improving my attention towards work that needs to be done, I’m finding myself bargaining with…myself in that when I first get up, I do something besides work while I’m eating breakfast. When breakfast ends, I’ll get to work right after I finish what I was doing. Which never happens.

I don’t think that knowing there is work to do is making me enjoy the play portion of my day any less. However, it might be more satisfying to have my To Do list done before starting.

So a reboot of my non New Years Resolution.

Let’s see how long I manage to make it work. (BTW, I haven’t yet and I thought about this last week.)