I was speaking with a friend recently about joining Mozio, and he had some doubts. I tried giving him advice but after a while I told him that he really needed to figure out what type of career he wanted before I could honestly tell him if Mozio was the right fit for him. That kind of thinking works for me: I know what my end goal is, I know exactly what I want my life to be in 40 years, and that allows me to plot my next step. It’s a very simple *greedy best first search* with the criteria to evaluate the best next step being “likelihood to end up being Elon Musk.” 😉
However, after thinking it through and talking to some friends, I realized most people don’t know exactly where they want their career to be in 40 years, and I’ve revised my original opinion a little: I don’t think everyone needs to know where they want to end up, but I do think everyone needs to know the algorithm, the method by which they want to advance their career.
They don’t necessarily need to know the end point, but they need to have a method for selecting the next step.
I spoke to a super motivated friend who told me that he doesn’t know if he wants to start his own company, go into VC, be a VP of marketing at a big company or what. But he selects his next gig based on where he can learn the most, be given the most responsibility, and advance his career the most.
His “greedy best first search” criteria is “position most likely to learn a ton in + position mostly likely to be given responsibility + position on the business side of a company”
Someone looking to become an ace coder might have the criteria “position most likely to let me explore multiple programming languages.”
Or someone with a family or other financial concerns may optimize on “position most likely to make the most money.”
I have my opinions about which algorithms work better than others (optimize on learning, not money for instance), but in the end I think it’s important to have thought through how you want to choose the next step in your career, even if you haven’t figured out the exact final goal.