Plinky.com asked me what my professional goals are for next year (and the next five after that).
And I immediately thought, "crikey, 2011 has hardly started and they're asking about 2012". But then I thought that their grammar was out again, and decided to talk about 2011 and the four years after that.
First, the four years after that – don't know yet, will decide when I get there.
I don't make long-range plans
[if you've followed me at all at http://VinceT.net you'll know this is a recurring disagreement I have with the prompts here]
instead having vague notions of accomplishments that I expect to have complete – and some sense of when – then I get to it. I've described this before as like spinning plates: http://vincet.net/2011/01/07/how-do-i-stay-focused-by-getting-what-im-doing-done/ and it seems to work for me.
Also, I spent the whole year last year breaking down the barrier between work and home – actually I would describe it as blurring the boundaries. I wrote that in http://vincet.net/2011/02/06/memento-the-answer-to-the-ultimate-question/ which will give you some sense of how open I've become to experience and how I'm progressing multiple areas of life WITHOUT A PLAN.
It's a glorious feeling. Tremendously liberating. I don't know that it's for everyone, mainly because of guilt and fear of discovery.
Let me explain that.
In decades of hiring, individual workplace counselling and helping teams and organizations get stronger, I've come to see that most everything people do professionally is driven by being seen to be doing what's expected. Sometimes, that happens to intersect with what people enjoy doing and their working life is a joy.
Others however, run on fear: fear that the boss will want a status report at any moment, fear that upsetting a peer will show up somewhere in the end-of-year performance review, fear that I'm not worth what I'm getting paid, fear that if someone finds out that they'll get rid of me and give my job to someone else, fear that I'll be outsourced, fear that…
Well, you get the drift. Many people are play-acting their professional life, desperately clinging on to whatever parts of their ego are defined by their position, resource, personal or expert power.
And, in my experience, these people – frightened as they are – are the people who proudly produce their to-do lists, their project plans, their carefully manicured powerpoint presentations as a buffer zone to keep their fear in clouds of denial.
I never felt like that. Or, if I did, it was such a small drop in the ocean of my self-respect that it never got a look in. I thrived in my corporate life without a plan – except for specific projects, which ALWAYS need a plan – drifting in the direction of higher performance and growing others. It worked for me.
But ultimately, it also shaped me into someone I'm not. Which is what I remedied in the last year
[and no, I'm not re-telling the post I linked above]
So let's look forward instead. Here are the things I want to achieve this year; my stack of plates to be spun.
* Complete my first original screenplay (Team Building, already done)
* Get Team Building optioned or, if the plate spins very fast, on track for production
* Complete the adaptation of Family Rules to a movie (and Do Sparrows Eat Butterflies? and Karaoke Criminals)
* Write my first original play ("In Consequence") and get it on track for production
* Book enough consulting work to keep me safe from direct corporate employment for the forseeable future
* Find a partner to help me deliver v2.0 of DidWe.net
* Record my next record (concept already in place – yes, it has a concept)
* Get Monkey68 and my solo show gigging regularly
* And most importantly, enjoy each moment of my family and my life as it unfolds and unfurls.
I think that's everything
[at the moment]
and I've suddenly grown bored of writing this – a sure sign that it's getting close to a plan!