I meant to write this post about nine months ago. A few things got in the way.
As I watched the Winter Olympics, I kept hearing a word that resonated. Progression.
It was a word that tended to come up in some of the freestyle events. Snowboarding. Skiing. Athletes in these sports were focused on progression. Progressing their skills. Progressing the difficulty of their tricks. Progressing their sport. So much progression.
At the time, the concept resonated with me. But not really in a good way. It made me realize that I really hadn’t been progressing on a couple fronts – in particular my career. I had been working for the same company for over seven years. And, effectively in the same role for at least half that duration.
That’s probably inevitable at some point. Inevitable in the sense that life happens. Inevitable in that daily routines seem to suddenly turn into years passing by. And personally, directly related to a series of conscious decisions.
First, the pace of advancement experienced in the early part of one’s career can give way to longer stints in the same or similar roles. There are just fewer rungs of the ladder to the top.
Second, other parts of your life can take precedence for periods of time (or altogether). Getting married. Buying a house. Having kids. Unexpected health issues. Loss of a family member. All things I experienced over the last eight years (2014 really sucked; potentially more on that later).
Third, as you advance in an organization, personal goals may become subservient to broader goals. I consciously chose to stay with an organization, in a large part, to be part of the team that helped take the business through a transition and provide an exit opportunity for the original investing group. Personal development and career goals were sacrificed in the process.
All that said, the focus on progression highlighted that I wanted to repriortize some things.
Fortunately, a new opportunity presented itself in the early part of 2018. Four months into that new role, I am excited to have found a new team and be part of company entering an exciting part of its life. There were a few things that introduced some chaos into our lives: moving to a new city, selling our house, finding a new school for my daughter, etc.
And the transition into an executive role at a new company has been more challenging on a couple fronts than I anticipated – but new and good challenges – hopefully leading to some progression.