Be Where You Are

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“What’s your next career move?” I hear people ask each other a lot. Some people even ask me, and as I’m fifty-five, statistically it’s not going to be a long discussion. Maybe I seem really fascinating, but I somehow doubt it.

If you wonder about my hobbies – writing, art, etc. – that might be of interest, but they’re not exactly careers. No, people are more asking about my job, which is IT Portfolio Management. I’m a nerd wrangler and productivity guy – which probably makes most people want to hear more about that creative stuff and not, say, workflow diagrams.

The thing is that my ambitions are more or less staying where I am. That can mean some pretty short dinnertime discussions when talk turns to jobs (and I’d like to discuss things like the latest anime).

I like managing Projects and making them harmonize together. I like data mining and measuring real performance and what’s valuable – and getting into fights over real value. I like helping people make things happen.

I mean maybe I might be some kind of Associate Director or Specialist Manager which are often more “Portfolio Manager who gets to come up with ideas.” But I’m just the getting things done guy. That’s who I am, I like where I work, so you know . . . let’s stick with it.

I think we’re encouraged to want to keep climbing, and for no good reason. If you have certain goals and so on, then go for it – I’ve met people who have achieved lofty heights (and pay rates) but it was part of a plan. But don’t climb just the for sake of climbing – the money is probably not worth it, trust me.

The other problem is if you learn to climb up, you’re going to have to learn to climb down. You need to factor in things like stress, retirement income, impact on your social life, and so on. You might also find yourself dealing with politics and publicity you might not be ready for, especially in the age of social media.

There’s no reason to keep climbing if you’re happy.

Honestly, maybe there’s a future career for someone – Reverse Job Coach. People come to you to learn how to slow down.

I just won’t be doing it. I’m happy where I am.

Steven Savage