I've mentioned it in previous articles but I've finally done it. I got my PMP.
The whole process really highlighted a few personality traits that I've developed at recently in my life. They're essentially as follows:
- I pursue so many things in an effort to claim that I'm too busy.
- I hate.. hate failing
- I have too many ideas
Since starting down my career path, I've made some massive changes to my demeanour. I used to be very technical. I wanted to be extremely proficient in one thing. I thought that this would be what sets me apart and what makes me indispensable. I'm now about 7 years in and I've taken such a drastic turn that I had to look back hard to determine where it happened and why.
I've focused on the "soft" skills. Over the last several years I've taken several courses funded through work that really hammer home the importance of the soft skill.
- Effective Communication
- Public Speaking and Presenting
These are all things that I DREADED through my University career. I much preferred to simply do an assignment / write a piece of code and carry on my merry way. Shortly into my career I realized that this wasn't going to be enough. Not just "not enough" for my development but not enough for me to get anything done! The tech world moves fast and in my current industry, memories are long. It took several years of pursuit to get people warmed back up to the idea of building our own software and tools. This wasn't done because of any ability to sit down and create a piece of software that was usable to the n'th degree. No. this was accomplished by my newfound ability to analyze the requirements, discuss the concerns, and paint a clear path forward on what it was that we were going to accomplish and why we were going to be successful. The funny thing is...
Yes. I very much enjoy this now. You wouldn't believe what you can learn from engaging with people that maybe don't communicate in the way that you're used to hearing. There are a load of ideas out there just waiting to be heard and acted upon. Sometimes I think that I have a great idea and I start running with it only to realize that I really have no idea what I'm talking about. Discussions with users, stakeholders, the person at the coffee machine, all yield interesting viewpoints on issues that help to create something great.
Now, how does this relate to my previous list?
I decided to peruse my PMP, my hunting license, took a couple machine learning and block chain courses through edX, kicked off a couple software projects and dabbled in 3 potential startup ventures all in the same year that I was due to become a father for the first time.
-- I accomplished none of those goals in that year
I got through the bulk of the content for the PMP, my hunting license, and a couple of my edX courses and then stopped.
-- Yes. I learned all the things, and I didn't test myself on them. Why? I hate failing. I know failing builds character, pushes you to do better, etc. However I sure do hate the feeling of failing. So I stopped and moved onto something new.
That list in #1. Seriously. I have a laundry list of initiatives on my board at work. Some of which are in progress, some of which are sitting idly by. I've started development at home on some other ideas for my own entertainment. I've got hobbies and interests that I want to pick up and I just can't seem to fit any time at all into my schedule anymore! That doesn't mix well with playing with my young boy! (FYI - I typically choose to spend time with my child over chasing random initiatives)
Self Realization is the key to success.
I believe this. Sometimes I think that I'm spinning the tires and I may be however is it because I'm not doing anything or because I'm not accomplishing anything? There's a big difference. I realized this 2 years ago and have been focusing on it ever since. I wrote an article about it earlier this year about getting back on track and every so often I have to go through that process again because my mind just likes to go, go go! That's why I'm now prescribing to the model of:
- Prioritize what's important
- Manage your expectations realistically
- Be realistic about your goals and timelines
My list of accomplishments is growing and my personal and professional "ToDo's" are decreasing.
- PMP Done
- Startup Ideas - trimmed down to 1 or 2 really good ones in active development
- Hunter's Education : Test in 2 months
- Work Initiatives: 2 more in production, 5 abolished, 3 benched.
That's essentially it for now. Focus on what's important and take it day by day!
I also plan to create more of these in the future. I'm mulling an idea on why the Construction Industry has trouble adopting technology and I think it's about time to put "pen to paper" so to speak.