What do I want to be when I grow up?

Dave 0

I am honestly not sure what I want to be when I grow up. Still. I can’t really say that I’ve been looking for long, but I’ve certainly not just been sitting on my hands. I’ve had some great experiences, and have done a lot of different things. Too bad that can’t be my job :)

I had lunch with an old friend the other day, Bill Brown, and he’s starting a new job next week after 16 years with Eddie Bauer. He even said that he never planned on getting into IT management, but it just happened. I’ve read that a lot of people just ‘end up’ in their careers. I’m not quite sure what I should be doing though.

In deeply miss being an engineer on the locomotives at Disneyland. But I also miss being a "Walk in Walt’s Footsteps" tour guide there too. I enjoyed working in downtown Seattle at Ernst & Young working on a website product. I liked the freedom of driving all over Southern California fixing credit card terminals. And being an IT guy for several Orange County Kinko’s stores had the benefit of copying/printing anything I   could possibly want. Doing pre-press work at an offset printer taught me a lot about the printing world. Being a projectionist at Bella Bottega Theater in Redmond was fun, even while I was working at Microsoft at the same time. All of these (and a lot more) were fun and interesting, and I learned so much. So after all of those jobs and experiences, why haven’t I found what I really want to do in life?

I’ve been working at Microsoft for the past 10 months on a contract, which is up in mid-January. When that contract ends, I have to take a "100 days break-in-service". (It’s a legal thing they do to make sure they don’t get sued again.) So I’m looking right now at planning for the end of this contract. Do I bum around for 100 days, then go back to Microsoft? Do I look for a "career" job and stay there for 5 years? Do I move back to Southern California and try to get work at a movie studio? Or, I could move to Pennsylvania… or New York… or Australia… or Ireland…

Part of the problem is (I think)… that I have nothing really holding me anywhere. Perhaps that’s of my own doing. Not wanting to get "tied down" somewhere. Or to someone. Is that why I’m still single? It’s hard and interesting to dissect all of this and try to organize it. If I work on a relationship and get a serious girlfriend, maybe I’d be more likely to ‘settle down’ and stick to a career. But what woman wants to date a guy who jumps from job to job and doesn’t stick with something? Or, maybe if I stick to a job for a while, I’ll be more prepared for a serious relationship. Or… or or or… that’s part of the problem.

There was a great line towards the end of "The Soprano’s" series… "More is lost through indecision than through wrong decision." As I said when I started – I don’t think I’ve been sitting on my hands. I’ve got tons of skills that other people don’t. I’ve had experiences that most people will never have. I’ve gotten to learn about so many different things through hands-on experience that I’m afraid I won’t be able to settle into one thing. I really do enjoy being challenged and learning and doing.

What am I supposed to do now? Where should I be? WHY should I do anything? I have lots of "passions" in my life, but I still don’t know what I’m supposed to do. All I know is that I love technology, and I love working with people. Those are pretty broad topics, even when put together. The problem now is figuring out how to use those skills in a single career, and find a company that will value me as much as I value them.