The 10 year plan (Part 1: The Past)

The 10 year plan (Part 1: The Past)

I opened up an old notebook this morning, and skimmed to the last page I had notes on. The note just read ‘Remember to predict the future’. Past me needs to get better at leaving me notes.

Helping friends

I was running a friend through the question of ‘Where do you want to be in 10 years time?’ last week.

There are so many jobs that ask this question during interviews, which is how we got onto the subject, and she said that she hates the question. She doesn’t *want* to be working in her current field, she doesn’t *want* to be in her current location.

The point of the 10 year plan is this: Your professional life is a project. You are setting the scope of that 10 year project.

I explained to her that what she was giving me were a lot of ‘Won’t Haves’ from the Moscow prioritisation, but that I was hearing no kind of ‘Must Have’ points: Everything was about what she didn’t want and nothing was focused on what she actually wants in life.

It got me thinking about my own 10 year plan and reflecting on the last 10 years.

Looking back

10 years ago last month, I graduated with honours, a fully qualified Chemist.

I was working for Hassnet at the time and was already doing the LPM thing when we had cases in, and then took up a local job in the midlands, really putting my degree to use. It was soul crushing. I could have designed a machine to do my job for me. I was so depressed there that I burst into tears on several occasions.

To put that in context; I was 25 – I had been working since I was 15. First with newspaper deliveries (I was terrible with that one), then hospitality (which I was great at), and during my time at college, I would do studies during the day, leave college and go to my job as a manager at the coffee shop, then leave there and go home to either work a case if we had stuff in, or to study more.

I was under the stress of three different competing priorities most of the time, and never cracked, but this one place, with this one awful manager got to me.

That was the day I started looking into better business practices. By the end of the year I had packed that in, trained my replacements (They brought on 2 people to do the work I had been doing solo) and gone to seek my fortune in London.

I started out once more in a chemistry job – Testing soil for the Crossrail project – and while doing that I was studying. Once that came to an end, I returned to Hospitality and continued studying, eventually taking on the GDL and studying law.

The following year was tough and I ended up moving to Somerset, following a combination of several things going wrong at the same time. While down there, I worked on HPC, as a Business and Systems Analyst, until 2018.

Following that, I moved home and helped my mother prep for retirement, which was my 2019. I grabbed my Prince2 qualification while picking up little bits of work for local companies.

2020 Saw me get my current role and move back to London. I spent three months working, attending tech networking events like Cloud Native and then… the world stopped for a while.

I have spent the last two years picking up more training – I have my APMG, my BA qualifications, I am now trained in DevOps and have been mentoring others in all of this, working my way up to Senior Consultant.

So the question is ‘What’s next?’, which… I think I will save for a part 2