Sunday, August 16, 2009

Essay on Personal Goals

Competition, the life blood of innovation, this is my life’s compass. Nothing makes a day brighter than being better than the next man. Shallow as my view may be to some, winning determines much of how I conduct myself. Confronted with a career stifled by being too good to young, I left to start my own company. While I was implementing a software product for a client that left much to be desired, I founded a software development project with a partner to make a better one. It is with this mindset that I determine and pursue all of my goals.

The most important goals in my life thus far have been growth in my industry and technical skills. As an IT company owner facing negative growth in customer spending for almost two years straight, this sector provides a lot of challenges. Having to be perceived as the best available for the least amount of money is a given these days. I pride myself on developing relationships that allow me to meet customer technology needs of today, while simultaneously creating a roadmap for their future needs. Giving them direction work to keep myself employed in the future.

Returning to school is not a decision I that gave much thought. Working for myself gives me the unique position of being involved in every facet of business. While functioning as a piece of the larger puzzle in the corporate world, one most often feels a disconnection between their work and the overall goals of an organization. My distaste for that situation, along with my general experience being an employee have led me to believe working for another was never again an option. Freedom from corporate culture I did not create or wish to participate in leaves me smiling at the end of every day. The thought of mindless meetings, dragging on way past there effectiveness; sometimes pop into my head on the way to the golf course many a Friday afternoon. All in all, I have a pretty good going here and I’m doing my best not to screw it up.

Maturity, and to a certain extent rational thinking in today’s economy, has a sobering effect on one’s view of the world. You can call it strategic planning or preparing for the worst, but sooner or later things go to hell (Murphy’s Law). It is with this new, slightly less opaque view of the world I return to school. Eventually the time may come when a new opportunity presents itself, one which involves coming to work under some else’s banner. The part that worries me the most is the lack of prestige bestowed upon workers who are not degreed from a university. Say what you may for the importance of a college education, and I’d be inclined to agree. But one must also concede the benefits of actual experience and the courage under fire that goes with it. In my employees, I must admit I look for a track record of success in their career more than a college degree. Alas, I am not in charge of everything in this world (I’m still waiting for the position to be created, which I will duly apply for). So I may someday be in the office of some HR executive, rambling away about the benefits to hiring myself for there “team”. It is for this day that I am sitting in Gen101 at the University of Phoenix.

While I am applying myself to the curriculum involved there are a few goals I have set for myself. The first, as you can probably tell, would be to come of less jaded in my writing. This not only applies to papers such as this, but also in my written communications, email, etc. I have a hard time with cynicism. Correction, I have a hard time without cynicism. Coming across as a likable personality in this medium, would probably do wonders for my HR skills as well. Some people just don’t have the thick skin demanded to work with me.

Another area for concern is my ability to manage multiple areas of my life simultaneously. As a person not unfamiliar with the 24 for hour workday, I sometimes have trouble letting issues go to deal with others of equal importance. One of the reasons I welcomed the addition of course work into my life was to break up the totalitarian grip IT work has been having on me. My girlfriend would probably love for me to have something to wake up in the middle of the night to work on, instead of those “stupid computers” of mine.

Lastly, I could use the humbling experience of working with others that have more knowledge in areas I am unfamiliar with. I do eventually have the goal of being a well rounded individually, who can have a conversation with another of differing views and come away feeling I have learned something. It is with this that I bid you and your fellow faculty good luck.


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