Career Path Thoughts

So, I went to a product management professionals meetup this evening. It was interesting, and as jobs go, it sounds like an interesting one to have. Of course there was terminology being thrown around that I didn’t get (thank heavens for smart phones). But I felt like I had a better sense of what was involved in product management. I don’t feel like more classroom time is really going to prepare me any better for such a career, but aside from experience, I’m not really sure what would.

And as I was sitting there, I had a thought, a feeling, that I’ve been going about the job hunt all wrong. It reminded me of when I was trying to find a roommate for my shiny new condo, and I didn’t want to get furniture. I made that decision because I thought “What if I find a roommate that has furniture? I mean, I can always get furniture once I have a roommate if I (we) need it.” I probably lost several would-have-been great roommates that way. I certainly lived in unnecessary discomfort for months. And forwent several months of rent. It was the belief that by not deciding I was leaving myself open to greater possibilities. In truth, by not deciding, by not taking action, I was probably foreclosing on more options.

I haven’t really picked any one thing I want to do. I very much enjoyed my union leadership position in large part because it was such a small organization and I wore several different hats. (I also got effusive praise, that helped.) It was very neat to have a foundational role in it as an organization as well. (Others were and remain more involved than I was before that).

So, I’ve considered a few courses for my future. 1) Stay with the government and resume a role in the union. Stable, safe, familiar. Not deeply appealing to me, really. (See the second half of the compound word on this blog). 2) Go for a well paying job in a large company doing tech something-or-other. May be doable with current qualifications, would require significant searching. With completion of grad school, probably quite doable. Would require me to pick between HCI and IS. Probably IS with a focus on product management, because it sounds like a better fit, even if it wouldn’t be quite as lucrative? 3) Actually pursue the startup idea I’ve been batting around for a couple years. Like seriously do it. Even if I totally fail to make money, the contacts and skills gained, and what I have to show in the end would be satisfying and could lead to other positions.

I’d go the startup road in a heartbeat if I had a trust fund. I do not. What I have is a mortgage. That’s like a reverse trust fund. Also, condo association fees. And other debts I owe to various parties, including my own retirement.

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