When I Grow Up

It’s funny to think that even now, when I’ve reached this terribly unthinkable prehistoric age, that I should be thinking about what I want to be when I grow up. And yet, those are the decisions that I’ve been trying to make.

I’m at the stage career-wise when the next stage is “Suit”. Proper middle management, not just a developer who leads web teams. The salary and all the perks would be quite nice, but I think about doing suit-things all day and I lose the will to live. I’m enjoying my rather hybrid lifestyle of leading web teams and also doing design, branding, front-end development, information architecture, etc. But I’m stagnating. Who do I really want to be when I grow up?

My last project was a large-scale social networking site. I loved it. Online community management is a lot of fun…but I simply couldn’t afford that title/salary. Although I can do some front-end development, I would never call myself a proper developer. I absolutely love branding and marketing, the art and science behind why people buy (or why they do anything that we want them to do), but I can’t see myself doing that exclusively. I’m a maker, I like to see things that I’ve built.

Tough call. It’s just interesting…and scary, to be honest…to be thinking about making a total life change at this point in my career. When I was a kid, I thought at some point that I would actually grow up and become an Adult. Who knew that “Adult” doesn’t actually exist? Did my parents feel this way? Probably. Scary, scary thought.

2 thoughts on “When I Grow Up”

  1. I hit a crisis point about five years ago regarding my career. Did I want to live-to-work? Or work-to-live.

    I chose the latter. I sold off my shares in my company, left the (high paying) world of business consulting behind, and grew out my hair. I got a job as a personal assistant, and started writing a lot more. I fully expected a much lower standard of living, but since I was gaining a lot more free time, I figured that was a pretty good trade off.

    This year (and for the foreseeable future), between my assistant money and the sale of my three book series, I will have a six figure income.

    I’m gonna have to say, do what you want to do and don’t sweat the money. People can work themselves to death in jobs they hate and never have an extra dime to spend, and other people can goof off doing what they’d be doing for free anyway and make a mint. There’s no way to know ahead of time which way it will go moneywise, so control what you can control: how much you enjoy your life.

    Just my two cents.

  2. Your story gives me hope for everything actually working out – it’s wonderful to know someone who success finally happened for! :)

    And yes, I feel as though I’m killing myself right now, and we have to be careful about our monthly bills. What is it all for?

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