There must be a new year coming up because change is in the air.
I haven’t written about my job in a while, so I’ll take the liberty of giving you all a brief update. In May, Context Optional (the company that brought me to San Francisco) was acquired by Efficient Frontier – a search optimization and advertising company. I won’t get into the details of the transition, but it hasn’t been easy.
A few weeks ago, Adobe’s intent to purchase Efficient Frontier (and subsequently, Context Optional) was announced, and the transition and integration wheels have been turning rapidly.
While I don’t know the details of what’s going to happen with this acquisition, everything seems to be really positive. But situations like these always make you stop, think and reassess where you are in your career and where you want to be.
I’ve been asked of late, “What’s your five year plan? Where do you see yourself in five years careerwise?”
And overall, I’m stumped.
I’ve been blessed with an incredible job (that may be just as incredible at Adobe), and to be honest, I haven’t thought about where I want to be in five years. Being inexplicably happy doing what I do right now, hasn’t left much room for aspiration outside moving up in my current company and learning all I can from the extremely intelligent colleagues I currently work with. I’ve taken each day one at a time and haven’t thought too far ahead in the future.
For those of you who know me well, this might be surprising. I’m a planner. I thrive on making plans, and to be frank, I feel out of control and unorganized without them. My problem with plans is that I always want to do too much. I end up over-extending because I want to do everything.
I had an interesting and timely conversation with a colleague and friend today at lunch during which she gave me probably the best career advice I’ve received:
“Look at your boss. Do you want their job? If so, do you know what you need to do to get there? Create that plan and that track for yourself.”
This goes for anyone — WHO has the job I want? And how can I get it? What steps do I need to take to get where I want to go? Now, that’s a five year plan.
The hard part is figuring out where I want to go.
Right now, the future of Context Optional, of my job as it is, is not confirmed or really predictable at all. And that’s okay. For now. I’m okay with sitting still for a bit and letting the chips fall where they may, but I’m a creator of reality and waiting for opportunity to fall in my lap is not my style.
So, I’m going to do everything I can to decide where I want to go, and determine if I’m on the right trajectory to get there.
The most important thing? Be open to change and opportunity. And that’s what I’m focusing on right now.
Ahh, change. How I love to hate thee.