— personal — 3 min read
So my birthday was last week. What a time to celebrate. The world is basically closed, no one is outside, fear, paranoia and confusion is spreading like wildfire. Nevertheless, I would like to take this chance to look back on how the past year has gone for me, reflect on what I wish I could've done better, and set some goals for the upcoming year.
It's weird to think that this time last year I was absolutely adamant on not becoming a software engineer once I graduated. Whenever anyone asked what I was going to do, all I said one of
- Equity Research
- Investment Banking
And now, one year and 2 job changes later, I can barely imagine myself doing anything else anytime soon. Maybe it's the feeling of joy that comes from being able to turn an idea I have into reality. Maybe it's the feeling of empowerment that comes with getting to build something that people will use
When first looking for a job, I had a few criteria in mind about the types of companies I would want to work at:
- A company with strong leadership and a clear vision of what they're try to do and from whom I could learn from
- Somewhere that accommodates and have room for me to grow, both as a developer and as an individual
- Talented, hardworking, and committed colleagues who are truly passionate about what they're doing
And while needing 2 job changes within 9 months to get there might be excessive, and while I accept that I've made some not-that-well-though-out decisions that otherwise would have shorten my journey towards finding an ideal company, I personally believe that finding somewhere that motivates you and where you are truly interested in what you're doing is much more important than how that journey might look on your resume/profile.
All that aside, I can confidently say that I am more than happy with where I am and what I'm doing right now.
Social and Relationships
To be honest, excluding my family members, my relationships with others is something I've really neglected in the past year. Ever since I gradated, my focus have almost been entirely on my career and personal development. And while I still try to meet new people at industry and networking events as well as hang out with friends, my feelings towards both activities seems to have changed.
Going to conferences now feels more like a chore than it ever has, and I've found myself enjoying them less than I used to. And when it comes to my friends, I have taken signficantly less initiative in trying to meet up with them or even catch up with what they've been up to than I'd have liked. And finally, when I've had to do either of the two things, one of my thoughts is always "this time could've been much better used learning/reading/building something, anything more productive than this".
Along with that, one of my goals for the upcoming year is to somehow 'rewire' myself not to think of social events as something "unproductive", but rather something enjoyable and worth doing. Alongside that, I'll try to spend more time with those around me and generly to stay better connected with them.
As for myself, as mentioned before, the main thing was that I've found it generally hard to unplug, to unwind, to relax in general. Somehow, I've gotten myself into the mindset that every day needs to be spent as productively as possible, and that activities like watching TV, playing games, or anything else that I'd otherwise normally enjoy brings no value to me. And while I've partially solved that through various means, I'm afraid that the current work-from-home situation may make it difficult for me to continue following that schedule and that I'll eventually relapse.
On the a more positive note, I do find it very liberating to now have the time to spend learning about all the random things that piques my interest (yay no more school....for now(?)). While I do feel like I still need to work on committing to learning and really understanding a few things at a time, rather than jumping all over the place as I've been doing, I feel like I'm more well-rounded than I have been in a while.
So that wraps up my annual 'self-reflection', the first one in writing, and also the first that I made public. I really enjoyed writing this and I felt like jotting it down forces me to elaborate and expand more on each point, helping me work through my thoughts and be more introspective as a result. I guess that's the case with writing down most things though.
Anyways, hope that everyone try to stay positive and here's to also hoping that this whole situation will all be over soon.