What do you want to do next?

The craziest things seem to make me think and question, to wonder, and dream.  During my first annual review a month ago or so, my manager asked me the question, “What do you want to do next?”.  An innocent enough question, but not what I expected from someone who had convinced me to leave my last job and come work for him.  Not something I am used to hearing from a first line manager.  It got me thinking…

To be clear, I am not going to leave VMware.  I am pretty sure they will have to shut off all my access and take my ID card and force me to leave.  I love my job, I love working with my team, and I am completely sold out on what we are doing.  We are changing the world with software.  Don’t believe me, check us out, but this isn’t a post about how awesome VMware is.

My career has taken a number of interesting turns over the past 20 years.  I have been a soldier, a police officer, an IT support technition, a DBA, a Systems Engineer, a Technical Consultant, and now a Pre-Sales Systems Engineer.  I have always been curious and wanted to learn, to expand more, and to challange myself.  I have yet to take a job for which I am qualified, I always find a position that is out of my comfort zone, something that is far beyond my current skillset, and I figure it out along the way.

In the movie Office Space, one of the characters talks about a question he was asked by his high school guidance councilor, “What would you do if you had a million dollars?”  The purpose of the question is to help you think about what would you do if money is no object, what is your passion.

One of the best pieces of career advice I heard for working here at VMware is to be awesome at your day job, but pursue your passion, and success will follow.  I have wittnessed this a number of times over the past year, people who move to a completly different role to do what they are passionate about, able to do so because they were amazing at what they do.

I don’t have an answer yet, I don’t know where tommorow will take me, I don’t have a plan yet.  I am going to focus on being the best I possibly can at my day job, and keep my eyes open, keep helping people along the way, and when a cool project comes along, I am going to jump on it, and make my little corner of the world an even more amazing place.

Think about it, what do you want to do next?

What do you want to do next?

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