Thursday, February 9, 2012

Lady's Failure Goal

No my parents weren't hippies, I'm writing with a psuedoname.  I want to explain that this is not an act of overt privacy, it's an act of respect for my failure goal of being in a new job by the end of the year.  I am currently employed and using the Failure Club to launch into my next career step.  It has taken over five years to convince myself to become a certified Project Management Professional (PMP) and change my career.  Since I have not formally announced my intent to switch jobs, I'm using Lady Aspiration and  Company X as a way for me to document the journey without over sharing my intent before I'm ready.  If you are a friend and have figured out my identity, I ask that you also respect the nature of this project and not share it with others.

My goal of becoming certified in project management and finding a new job to fit those skills has been on the back burner for over five years.  I would say it started within the first year of working at Company x.  I was a happy little college graduate turned tool application developer.  I thrived on being master of my own little corner of the universe and my confidence was boosted with each new level of expertise I achieved.  I was delusional to the point of thinking myself a rising star.  Maybe the thought of being a technical leader in Company X had merit, until my project reorganized and I found myself adrift in a new job.  Due to the nature of the reorganization, I was unable to choose my new position or stay with the team that initially hired me. 

Even in my state of green ambition, I couldn't muster anything more than a daily "I must do this" attitude.  The processes included new coding standards with detailed design documents that left little room for me to creatively code a solution.  My freedom to develop tools in a free form process was gone.  I was no longer allowed to personally gather the requirements, outline a design, and bring it to the team for approval.  Being the new man on the team, I was issued a long line of defects and small requirements that felt more like copy paste than using a degree I spent over four years to attain.  I was spiraling into depression and anxiety to the point that I would often have anxiety attacks when I returned home.  I was a mess and had severe doubts if I had wasted my college education on the wrong career path.

Hope arrived about six months later in the form of a new manager that recognized my dissatisfaction and helped me to find a new position in Company X.  We worked together and eventually I transitioned to another team where my skills matched the project needs.  My satisfaction increased dramatically and, as a result, my performance increased.  It didn't take more than two years before my skills in breaking code outshone my ability to develop code.  I was soon appointed the new testing guru and transitioned to coordinating the project testing effort a few years later.

Today I realize what I should have known my whole career:  I enjoy managing projects.  I love working with stakeholders and shaping their requirements into a useful application design.  When I was removed from the requirement and design process, my job brought me little joy.  Being able to coordinate and organize resources allows me to use my skills to achieve an objective.  For six years, my mind was closed to the fact that my degree didn't define me, it enhanced me.  I brainwashed myself into believing that I had to be a coder in order to use my college education.  I have since changed my perspective to appreciate that college prepared me for my first job and now it's up to me to find a job that aligns with my skills.  That's where the Failure Club comes into the picture.

Over the next year, I will push myself to achieve the goal of landing a PMP level job.  Can I achieve my PMP certification early in the year?  Will the current job landscape provide the opportunities to change job roles?  How will this goal impact my personal life?  I fully expect to be challenged to grow in ways I can't even imagine.

Welcome to my adventure.  I hope that you can find joy in sharing this experience with me.


  1. You are very inspiring to me, Lady Aspiration. Oh, and I love your pseudonym