How should someone start with planning their career?
which @amaccormack followed up with
you’re supposed to plan it?
highlighting that I should have added more context
I’ve never really planned my career. I fell into my first role out of uni because after applying to everywhere I could, somewhere eventually took me on. From there I fell into development and then testing and was/am nurtured into community management by @rosie (the first instance of planning my career? ) so I felt like I’ve never really approached my career properly.
Bruce gave me a lot to think about with their reply
To start with planning a career, you gotta first remember that we’re not talking the next fifty years of your life (unless that’s what you want, that’s cool). I think one of the reasons planning can be really daunting is cos for a lot of us there is a lot of time ahead to plan for. You don’t actually need to plan for it all, just your next steps, your next move.
5 or 10 year plans are helpful for some people, but I know for me it just incites a feeling of slow terror. I don’t even know if I’ll be in tech in 10 years’ time, let alone anything else! I don’t know if I want to be in tech for another decade, even.
I like to think of planning a bit more in the short term. What is something you want to achieve, maybe a role change, maybe a new skill added to your arsenal, that you want to achieve in the next year or two?
There’s loads of questions that stem from there, like “how do I know what I wanna do?“; “how do I actually break down the steps to reach it” etc, which I think I’ll cover in some other answers. So when coming up with a goal, if you don’t immediately know that you have some amazing drive to go from 0 to CTO of a multi-national billion dollar company in the next 10 years, then you don’t actually have to spend a week trying to come up with something. It’s more important (in my opinion) to be able to assess where you’re at and what you want next
I thought this was an excellent answer which I’m still digesting but wanted to share it here in case others need the same inspiration or would like to discuss this further