The question always stumped me. I never thought that far ahead, and never particularly wanted to. But recently it had started to trouble me. Though not in the way people might think: I was troubled because I suddenly felt like I knew exactly where I would be in five years.
I had made it out to LA to follow my dream of working in the movies, and after trying my hand in just about every facet of film-making I landed on editing as my preferred focus. After putting in many an unpaid or underpaid hour and schmoozing around town, I was finally at a point where I was getting pretty steady work, but for all the glitz and glamour associated with “the industry,” at the end of the day it still felt like a job to me.
And there was a bigger problem: I had no idea where I would go from here. Sure I was doing pretty well for right now, but in five, ten, fifteen years would I be doing the exact same thing? The thought horrified me. Could I really have hit my career peak in my late 20’s? I desperately searched for potential outcomes. I could become a director…no that’s never really been my thing. I could start my own production company…but what would I make? Would I really still be doing the same work I’m doing today in my 40’s? Was there really nothing more to learn in this field?
That’s when I started thinking about software development. I had some friends who had gotten into it without needing to go to school for a CS degree, so it suddenly seemed like a realistic possibility. And the range of outcomes was so much greater than where I was now. So I looked into training programs I could get involved with, found Sabio, and the rest is history.
A month ago I started a new job as a web developer, and I love it. But the thing that I like the most about coding is that I feel like I’ll never reach that point of being at my peak. Technology is changing so rapidly that there’s always new stuff to learn. New languages, new frameworks, new standards, new development methods…it can be daunting at first, but it’s also empowering. It gives me a clear way to make sure I will definitely not be doing the same thing in ten years, or five years, or even next year. It gives me clear goals to work toward and an obvious way to constantly improve and set myself up for long term career growth.
So where do I see myself in five years? I have no idea, and that’s just the way I want it.