I write regularly about career topics, hoping that I can help many of you think about your career more, learn more, and move in a direction that’s important to you. I’ve had a great career, one I’ve enjoyed most of the time, and think that pressing myself to become a better professional in many ways has been a large part of that. However I haven’t always had a formal plan, and don’t really have any long term goals in any detail.
I thought about this a bit in reading Kenneth Fisher’s interview of Tom LaRock. There’s a point where Ken asks Tom about his future plans and Tom paraphrases John Lennon to say he takes opportunities as they come and isn’t afraid to change directions in life.
As important as I think it is to continue to learn, and to move your career forward actively, I don’t think you need to do it all the time. I don’t think it’s a constant, every day effort that you make. There are times when you’re busy with life, or busy with work, and you may not have the extra energy or desire to pick up a book or write some T-SQL. That’s fine. Relax and enjoy your life.
Just don’t let those times stretch so far that your career stagnates. Make regular progress, not constant progress. Make plans, but live life as it passes. Make goals, but make them realistic, and pace yourself. Above all, don’t be afraid to change if that’s what’s right for you.