I found an old, barely used Moleskine notebook in my desk drawer the other day and cracked it open, expecting it to be blank and ready for more scribbles. Somewhat to my surprise, I had already used the first few pages. I bought this particular notebook at some point in 2010 at Grand Central. My cell phone was running low on charge and I felt the need to organize my thoughts, so I stopped into one of the shops and bought a pack of the slim notebooks to occupy myself as I rode the train. This was actually when I started always having a small notebook on me at all times. I don’t regularly take notes outside of work, but I love looking back at the random notes and lists I’ve collected in these notebooks over the years.
What I found inside was from almost exactly two years ago, as I was preparing for my job search and trying to pinpoint what kind of career I wanted. I found on the second page (behind some mildly embarrassing manifesto about how I was going to start writing on paper more often) my 5 year goals from when I was 23 (for those keeping score at home, that puts me 2 years into them.) I hadn’t written these outside of this little lost notebook of mine and haven’t revisited them since writing the list, so it is fun revisit and see the progress I’ve made so far.
5 year goals 23 -> 28
Meaningful community service involvement
In Progress. I’ve struggled with defining what meaningful community involvement is and finding that opportunity, but I have been trying. I’m not sure what even counts– does advancing the interest of women in technology count? Does it have to be charitable? The only opinion that matters is mine, obviously, but one thing I have found is that simply donating money or fundraising doesn’t satisfy me. I got involved in a few organizations where the primary involvement was raising funds and the ever-vague “awareness”. while they were worthy causes, I didn’t get any satisfaction out of sitting in meetings and discussing how to promote expensive fundraising happy hours. Currently I’m a NYCares volunteer, but this feels somewhat superficial, as 2-4 hour chunks of time don’t give me any sense of dedication to a cause. The most meaningful volunteering I’ve done in the city has honestly been a few afternoons helping with Sandy cleanup, and hopefully that will be short-lived as our city will hopefully return to normal soon enough.
Student loans from NU paid off
Hahahahaha I had to go to a private school, didn’t I? #nonprofitproblems
Have a grad school plan/take GMAT/GRE
In Progress. Well, I have a plan and it is… grad school is not for me anytime soon. I think I still have a lot to learn working with the smart people I’ve surrounded myself with, so until I feel like I’ve exhausted all of my options out here in the real world I think Im’ going to stay away from the classroom. Though, I have determined that an MBA ins’t really of interest to me, I would be most interested in a Human Computer Interaction (HCI) or Interaction Design (IXD) degree. I guess I still have 3 years to figure out my timeline.
Meaningful & challening career
Meaningful: Now that I’ve found UX, we can check this part of the goal off.
Challenging: As I switch my focus from Product Management to UX the types of challenges are becoming less “quick put out this fire” to more “figure out how to make this awesome,” which is a very nice change indeed.
Good relationships with out of town friends
This is a hard one and is proving to be somewhat cyclical, as one group of friends is feeling loved and in touch it sometimes feels at the expense of other relationships. My relationships with my Connecticut friends are in a great place right now, mostly because we are in the throes of planning a wedding. On the other hand, I haven’t been to Boston in 9 months and even some of my NYC friendships have been neglected. It is a hard balance, and I haven’t figured out a system to keep me on top of these relationships. I hate that I even just wrote that, “a system” to manage my relationships, but I guess acknowledging that these are issues and addressing them systematically is better than being too big to admit that there is a problem and disregarding it.
Keep professional relationships close, especially JnJ & NU
Mixed bag. I stay in touch via email, but I am long overdue to see everyone face to face, particularly my JnJ colleagues. Again, this is a place where some type of systematic approach would likely be helpful. On the other hand, I have seen the handful of people who are important to me from NU and kept in touch with former CFY colleagues, so I’ll give myself some credit for that.
Stay in an apartment for more than 12 months and paint the walls!
Accomplished (mostly)! I’ve been in m current place for 1 year and 11 days :)
For some reason I always equated painting the walls in my apartment with permanence, but honestly I’m way too lazy and have no desire to paint my current place… maybe within 3 years I’ll check that part off as well.
Run a marathon
In progress. I have one more race left to complete before I qualify for the 2013 NYC Marathon through the 9+1 program. It was a bit of a whim that I started doing it this summer, but I’m really glad that I took it on. It’s a long process but I’m grateful for the opportunity to get a guaranteed entry into the marathon!
So overall I would say I’m making good progress! The goals are a bit vague, but I like that they give me some room to adapt them as I evolve in my career and personal situation. Given the recent milestone birthday of 25, I’ve been thinking a bit about what I want to accomplish by the time I’m 30.
5 year goals at 25! (aka what I want to accomplish by the time I’m *gulp* 30)
All of the above with regards to staying in touch and building relationships.
Give back to the tech community– as a speaker, teacher, or mentor
Start a side project & launch it
Have a direct report
Be fluent in html/css/js
And I’ve already put a reminder in my calendar for next year around this time to check in to see how I’m doing on all of these. Seems like a good pre-end-of-year tradition to start.