Today we start a new decade. While in the broader scheme of life and happiness, this is just one other moment passing us by, it does provide a logical time to take stock of where we are, where we’ve been, and where we’re going.
So let’s consider the following questions:
What was I doing 10 years ago?
What are you doing now?
What do you see yourself doing in 10 years?
Here are my answers.
Where was I 10 years ago?
I was 5 months from graduating from Hillsdale college with a combined degree in philosophy and English. I spent my month long holiday break reading The Rule of Metaphor by Paul Ricoeur and attempting to conceptualize how I could turn my cursory understanding language creates meaning into a defensible thesis and earn myself honors in philosophy. As yet, I had no concrete post-graduation plans. I had considered grad school, but something about the application process and limited prospects for those interested in continental philosophy kept me from following that path fully.
Jumping ahead a few months, to June 2000, I graduated with those honors and a week later started a job at the Gale Group as an assistant editor. It was glorified data entry and I knew from almost the very first day on the job I needed a way out. I felt my decision to pursue a liberal arts degree was going to hold me back. I was wrong.
What am I doing now?
Jump ahead 10 years (and bypassing many interesting adventures) to today. I have found my way out and am sitting between the cusp of two careers, one as a business analyst consultant and one as a business analyst author, mentor, and coach. I am knee deep in figuring out how to blend these careers, build and grow a business, and find my own career path.
I look back and I see a varied career progression, one opportunity leading to another. But now I have fully discovered my passion for the activities of business analysis and, for the first time in my life, have a focused career direction. My passion centers around achieving and helping others achieve what I consider the business analyst’s mission:
Out of chaos, we create order.
Out of disagreement, we create alignment.
Out of ambiguity, we create clarity.
But most of all, we create positive change for the organizations we serve.
This is an exciting time. I know that where I am at now is a darn good place. I have a network of professional support that I would have thought impossible a year or two ago. I have opportunities to share my perspective and help others share theirs. I am meeting more interesting people and building the foundations of relationships I hope will grow for years to come. I am more passion about my work than I have felt for a long time, possibly since I was knee deep in that dense text by Ricoeur. And most of all, I am confident that by being true to myself, clear about my goals, honest with my peers, and dedicated to this community that something great will happen.
What do I see myself doing in 10 years?
I have never been good at predicting the future and I refuse to hold myself accountable to the next few hundred words. But I do expect that I will have found a way to balance my career and a family, continued to help evolve a profession that will have changed significantly in the recent decade, and helped several business analysts build successful and rewarding careers. I hope to be able to look back on some meaningful accomplishments and have stories to share of how I’ve helped others. I see at least a few of you being close friends and colleagues and having built stronger bonds with many more of you than the limited time of this past year has allowed. I hope I am a stronger leader, a deeper contributor, and have built a few more marketable skills and experiences so I have a strong foundation on which to build the next phase of my career, whatever that will be.
So, now it’s your turn. What are your answers? Feel free to leave a comment below or leave a link to the answer on your own blog. This is a fun question and I can’t wait to read your answers.