“We’re here to put a dent in the universe. Otherwise why else even be here?”Steve Jobs
While my goal might not be as ambitious and impactful as Steve Jobs (arguably one of the best product designers of the 21st century so far), we all have to start somewhere, do we?
And although this might sound very selfish, I hope to make a dent in any company I work in, one that will make people remember me for time to come (for the good, of course).
I hope to enter a company where I’m one of the most ignorant in the room and slowly climb my way up to become one of the most capable in the company – that’s one sure-fire way I know my efforts paid off.
I mean, sure, we can work just for the paycheque and some level of job satisfaction.
But personally, I feel that working is a chore for the most part since not many of us really enjoy what we do, so why not try to make more good out of it?
And often, we have to push ourselves hard enough to the point of discomfort to gain more out of it.
It’s the same with working out – you’ll only see results if you push yourself out of the comfort zone.
Decent relationships with colleagues and bosses
I briefly talked about this in a previous post, but in a nutshell, there’s no point in being capable if no one in the company likes you, right?
It’s not easy building and maintaining decent or even good relationships with everyone.
But at the very least, I wish to have amicable acquaintance with colleagues, superiors, and bosses.
Navigating the workplace is tough when you feel like you’re alone in the battle, and especially so when you need something and you’re not sure who you can depend on.
Even if I were to dislike a certain person, perhaps because of personality mismatch or something, I would still do my best to be on some level of good terms with him or her.
Who knows, maybe I might even grow to like him or her as a person and colleague, which is always a nice bonus when working with a bunch of once-strangers.
Coach and groom juniors to overtake me
This might sound counterintuitive because of my goal of becoming one of the most capable – why would I want my juniors to overtake me? Let me explain.
I’m still thinking about whether I want to be a people manager in the years to come in my career, but I do know that I like helping others become better.
And accelerating their learning so that they won’t have to go through the exact same setbacks as I did would mean that I’m a good coach.
I am seeing some results in some of my juniors at my current workplace, and that both encourages and humbles me – I never knew I could help someone in such ways.
In this current company or my future ones, helping people younger than me avoid unnecessary setbacks is one thing that would give me a lot of satisfaction.
Furthermore, it’s something I would have wanted for myself when I was younger and just starting out.
Influence processes and culture for future generations
At the highest level for me right now, helping out with company processes and culture is something very new to me, even after about half a year in a managerial position.
Out of the two above measures of success, I would say this last point will be my biggest challenge yet for 2020.
It’s not easy to pitch to my boss about certain processes that I think is due for some change, especially when I’m still new to management.
I don’t have a personal guideline for this yet, but I think as long as I can point out certain gaps in the current workflow processes and put my suggestion in perspective, such pitches should go better than worse.
Also, if I can put my suggestion into practice and show that I have the ability to head that initiative to fruition and hopefully, success, it’d be extra brownie points in the bag.
Will I make it?
I’m not sure if the fire in me would be strong enough to bring me along this journey until the last day I work for a company, either because of retirement or I end up starting my own business.
I do know that I’m willing to put in more effort than most people, and that (most of) the world is structured in a way that rewards effort more than luck or anything else.
I hope I can keep up with chronicling my career progression and one day when I look back, I can say that I’ve helped people whom I’ve worked with, and people who read what I write.