Find your passion, develop a plan to pursue it, and execute the plan. Once you find a passion, you will begin to “enjoy the ride” and make it a career, not a job, in the technology field.
Work should be something you enjoy doing, are good at, and get satisfaction from—it should become one of your passions. It isn’t easy to get much satisfaction if your work is a job rather than a career. A job is transient and meant to provide you a paycheck. A career, on the other hand, is something you do for your lifetime, and it should bring you much more than just monetary rewards. Many of us want a career in which we achieve certain positions, gain financial independence, and even wealth. But there are intangible rewards that go with a career, both in the personal satisfaction it brings and leaving the world better for your efforts.
“Enjoying the Ride” is one of the essential 12 behaviors and actions to adopt and practice from Success in the Technology Field that will help you to advance or prepare for a career in technology. The twelve recommendations involve adopting crucial behaviors that apply throughout your career, as well as specific actions you should take at different stages of your career.
Make It a Career, Not a Job, and Enjoy the Ride
If you don’t have passion for what you are doing professionally, recognize that not only is it reflecting on your happiness and well-being, it is also evident to others. Seek your passion in your career. Remember that enjoying your work goes hand-in-hand with being good at what you do. As described in this post, the technology field demands that you be a life-long learner, continually working on your KSAs in your particular subject. The challenge to you is to find something you enjoy doing, you are good at, and that gives you satisfaction. Those are the ingredients for finding your passion.
It is a sad spectacle to see someone stuck in a career that makes them unhappy. Perhaps the individual is so risk-averse that they can’t imagine a change, or they are close to retirement and just hanging on for monetary reasons. If you know you need to change your career, develop a multiyear transition plan. Give yourself a few years to develop new skills in your new chosen profession, while still ensuring you can pay the bills. Especially for the risk-averse, having such a plan will lighten your spirits as you embark on a journey that can give you what we all want—a sense of fulfillment in your professional life. Take classes to re-skill, seek a mentor to guide your career planning, or even approach your current employer to transition to a new position that will support you in achieving a new career path.
During your career, you will most likely have several positions in which you feel you have stalled. You are not growing your skills. The position is not what you expected. Or even worse, the environment is toxic. If you are not advancing your career or the environment is so toxic you cannot enjoy the job, then move. Although changing jobs is now more common and accepted than it used to be, keep in mind that it can take years for someone to become proficient in a position in the technology field, and the job change should be part of a larger plan to advance your career path. One of the wonderful things about working in the technology field is the variety of career choices and the industry’s continual evolution.
Early in your career, take the time to document a career plan—such a plan includes your long-term career goals, along with five-year professional objectives. If you can do just this level of planning coming out of school, you can better assess whether you should stay in your current position. Even mid-career and later in your career, having a career plan that includes a five-year outlook and objectives provides you valuable context as you both assess your current position and assess new opportunities.
You will have greater success in your career if you have a passion for the work. It shows in your outlook and ultimately in your job performance. There are such varying career paths in today’s technology field that finding your passion should be achievable. Find your passion, develop a plan to pursue it, and execute the plan. This passion will enable you to have a career that can last a lifetime, bringing you much more than just monetary rewards. Once you have found your passion, you will begin to “enjoy the ride.”
Success in the Technology Field: A Guide for Advancing Your Career
Success in the Technology Field is a practical “how-to” guide for a career in technology. It presents a holistic model, incorporating skills and behaviors that help you define and attain your career goals, whether you aspire to be an executive, a leading technologist, or a successful product salesperson.