I woke up today morning to this question from Adam Grant, the celebrated organisational psychologist at Wharton Business School, on my LinkedIn newsfeed. And the short answer to the question is, “Don’t bother about it.” Grant gives two reasons for this:
- In a decade, there are going to be jobs that are interesting in workplaces that don’t exist yet.
- Some of the jobs and organisations that you are excited about now may not exist ten years later.
So, does that you mean you don’t make any plans at all? No. Grant urges us to focus just on the next one year and ask ourselves the following questions:
- What do I want to learn?
- Where do I want to have an impact?
Makes sense, right? As I listened to the nugget of wisdom he shared it took me back to the time I made a leap of faith to pursue my passions. And I figured as it is end of 2018, it is a good time to do some reflection on the path I took over the last few years, my learnings and what I look forward to in the next year on this blog.
I started my professional life working with Google India in 2007 just a month after I graduated in English Literature. The move was a completely unplanned one as it was the first time that Google hired students from my college got through a campus placement drive. My original plan in the final year of my college was to either pursue a PG in Journalism from Asian College of Journalism or to move to New Delhi to study for the Civil Services Examination to enter the Indian Bureucracy.
In the context of Grant’s comment, I had no clue about the potential of entering the digital marketing industry which was very nascent in India at that point. All I knew was I was excited to work at a company like Google at such an young age and was keen to learn new things. And that step proved to be one of the best decisions I’ve taken in my life. The work ethics, the people I met at Google and the work culture that I experienced there remains unmatched in any other professional organisations. And more importantly, the time I spent at Google honed my professional skills and gave me a solid foundation to have the necessary confidence to discover and pursue my dreams few years later. In short, as much as I loved Google I didn’t make a 10 years career plan even then. I allowed myself the time and space to explore and discover myself and the world around. I’ll share more on that in later posts.
I would love to know what these questions evoke in your mind? Have you ever considered making a five or ten year career plan? Have you thought about what you would love to learn and make an impact in 2019?
This is an invitation to share your thoughts in the comment below. If you’re interested in learning more about my journey, you can read more about it the coming posts.