Making career decisions

by daniel on June 24, 2009

Career decisions
This is a post by a software engineer trying to make a career decision.
The question can be summarized as: “do I need to take this path or the other one?”.  These career decision questions are normally phrased as stumbling upon an opportunity, encountering a dead end or you simply feeling the need to make a change. I have a problem answering the questions, as the questions only show one aspect of the dilemma.

The questions show the dilemma as choosing a path and looking the direction this path takes you, expecting a clear view of the outcome. The rational is to select the best outcome and see the decision as a critical point in time. My perspective is different, there is a process and a change evolved in making career decisions.

The process of career buildup requires dedication, perseverance and constant adaptation to change.  There are no shortcuts to building competence, as detailed in the post on learning in 10 years. There is an amount of experience you need to accumulate and some errors to be done. Then the question regarding career paths becomes a question of experience given and taken in the specific role.  Why giving? Because making errors is a way of giving to the company, making the errors an opportunity and in turn making the question not about choosing but about attitude and actions while doing the job.

My answer to the question presented in the beginning is actually a new proposition: “where do you think you will make most errors, and where would you be accumulating the experience in doing something?”

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