Saturday May 1, 2004

Getting Out of the Box

Career Epiphany

[ This is an abstract of a longer commentary which I posted to my other weblog. ]

Before you can do any thinking "outside the box" you need to realize that there is a box and that you've placed yourself within it. For years, I have been struggling with the question of "what do I want to do with my job". At least a decade ago, I made a set of Pro and Con lists, variously entitlted, Programmer, System Administrator, Tech Support, Quality Lead.

In the years that followed, I added Technical Writer and Webmaster to the lists. I added a list of generic Preferences and another for Interest Areas. But I was still thinking inside my box.

Last week, I had a job interview. One of the interviewers looked at my resume and commented that I have done many different things and held many positions — programmer, tech writer, quality lead, web weaver. Then he asked, "What gets you out of bed in the morning? What do you really love to do?"

Good question.

I thought about it, and then I said "quality, process, and documentation". We talked some more, but my brain continued to churn over the question.

After a while, I had the answer. It came in the form of an epiphany, one of those insightful, lightbulb-over-the-head, "Ah Ha" moments when you feel like slapping your forehead and saying "Du-u-h! WHAT was I THINKing before this?!"

I've been asking the wrong questions. I've been mislabeling the boxes.

Read the complete article in commentary...

Getting Out of the Box ( in category commentary ) - posted at Sat, 01 May, 21:50 Pacific | «e»