This is one of those perennial questions, whose answer is ever so changing. When I was a kid, I was asked, countless number of times …. “What would I want to be when I grow up”
Answers, at different points in time, varied from actor, zoo keeper, astronaut, police cop (yes it’s true), mathematician, and so on.
Post school, the same question would pop up in more subtle variations such as “child …. what are the future plans ?” . Looked as though people decided to make it their business, to know what kind of profession I aspired to be in. Well, I was kind of clear, of what I wanted to become, pretty early in my life, but I got egged here. Thanks to a lot of unsolicited advice. On the lines of… “Why don’t you do MBA?”, “Do further studies … you’ll get a more paying job”.
Anyways, as the universe was conspiring to somehow get me to reveal my plans, my lack of interest in such discussions pushed people off my conversation group, and I was in the bliss full period, where I had assumed I was past the “pesky questions”.
I was so wrong, and the question has sprung forward, from a person I hardly know. Then again, it’s vital he knows. He represents the management of my current employer, or perhaps serves as an interface to the management. I suppose, as a part of implementation of a certain process in the organization I work in, I was assigned a certain role. He casually, after a meeting asked me, if I enjoyed this particular role, or would I rather do a certain other well-defined role here.
This was thought-provoking.
The currently assigned role required me to take certain decisions, and collaborate with my team, plan for weekly release of deliverable to the client, and so on. As a part of the package, I was also required to check the health of team, which I was not too comfortable doing. It did not result in an outburst from me, because the team I was assigned to work with, was sufficiently autonomous. People are talented, responsible, and sufficiently driven. I absolutely cherish the time I spend with them (imp. not with the project, but with this group of people).
However, I also understand that with the nature of work I do, this seemingly goody good fabric of harmony might be shredded apart as and when the employer feels necessary.
The other alternate path would require me to pursue a path of technical island, and explore safe landing spot for others, actively engaged in working for a project. For those who aren’t technical vocabulary challenged … an architect. Let me point it out here, that while I would want to be doing the first role for certain aspects of work and durations of time, I also would define me to be the second option in certain points of times.
So I suppose the career paths for me do not bifurcate into directions A and B. I need to find my trail in the middle. A thing or two I’ve realized after observing myself work (the introspection in solitude 🙂 syndrome) are as follows:
- I like to work with a certain amount of ownership of the project. If I get uprooted too often from one project to another (as a technical architect would), I’d probably be driven insane. I mean, this way, I’d be providing a move on to many things, but hardly seeing anything to the end. I guess belonging is something I crave for.
- I do not aspire to check work of others and drive other people to work. I like it best when people are smart to work with, and encourage mutual discussions, and active role play in division of work. More like collaboration.
- I like to solve problems. Simple ones, or one that have that aura of mystery around them. I guess it all boils down to my belief …. “Everything happens for a reason”.
Anyways, I suppose whatever I say now will be a snapshot in time, and should be interpreted as that. I’m sure no one wakes up one day and says “I’m gonna be a <so and so> person in an organization.