"Where do I want to be in four years?" was the question a woman leader in business and technology encouraged us to think about at a recent talk. The question, directed at an audience of ambitious ladies, stayed with me and has preoccupied my mind ever since.
You want to have a direction, the female entrepreneur said. I agreed with her. You want to know where you are going in order to get to a place where you will feel comfortable and happy.
Not too late after this talk, I got a chance to attend a networking event for current students and alumnae at my college.
"Who do you want to be when you grow up?" asked me one student with a smile. As a recent alumna, I was supposed to give her some good career advice. Yet I didn't have a fixed answer to that question. Was I supposed to say "a writer," "a consultant," "a manager" of sorts? There was really not one role set in my mind.
My intuition tells me to follow what I love doing and see where I end up. For instance, I know I love writing; I love the idea of bringing social change and I love learning about new media technologies. These are the things I expect to be exposed to four years from now. These are the things that make me happy. Who cares about what my role/title is if I engage in these activities?
This has been my philosophy all along. Thus far, I've followed my passion for writing and gained new interests along the way. I kept an open mind and built my academic focus as a hybrid between writing and technology. That led me to my current job and these passions are probably going to take me elsewhere in the future.
So here I am trying to reconcile two very different notions—the search for direction and my love for spontaneity. In William Stafford words, I just want to make sure that "following the wrong god home," I don't miss my star. What about you?
Photo credit: rojam