I was talking with a friend the other day about work and where I want to end up. Work is most always a tumultuous subject for me because I’m pretty bipolar about it. Somedays I love it, others some PM comes at me with bullshit requirements and I swear off working as a programmer ever again.
Despite my work satisfaction oscillating I do enjoy the act of programming, but don’t really enjoy doing it on a team, with products I don’t really care about. After some ventin ghe asked me what I’m good at.
This is a pretty common question in the career self help space (trust me…I’ve depressingly read everything). They say if you can just align your skills and desires you will have the perfect career!
The answer to this question is significant because it shows where your confidence lies. I’m a pretty firm believer that confidence is one of the most important indicators for success in whatever you’re doing. If you truly believe you can do something, you will generally do it. Within reason of course.
The problem is that knowing what you’re good at is a pretty difficult question if you know how it’s being postured. If it’s around a career change you need to think of something you’re good at that can be monetized. You being good at fingerpainting probably won’t result in an actual job that makes real money…though you may be able to be paid in worthless NFTs.
I’m good at programming and sales because it’s what I’ve spent most of my time doing the past decade+…which is probably why I want to move on to something else! I’m jaded to the industry. Just because I’m good at it doesn’t mean I enjoy it. It just means I’ve spent a lot of time on it getting better.
I explained this to my friend and he suggested I take it one step further out. Why am I good at programming? Well, because I like to just figure shit out. And with many things I don’t stop until I’ve come up with a reasonable solution. The thing I’m good at is figuring shit out which translates into many more granular skill sets.
This answer is a lot more inspiring than my typical, more specific answer. It opens up so many more opportunities in my head that I hadn’t considered when I just thought I was good at programming and sales. Most importantly this gives me confidence to really explore things that aren’t directly correlated to my current profession.