I’m sorry, but in working a recent recruiting effort for a mid-level developer I’ve run across a string of applicants that while their age indicates adulthood, their career actions precludes them from inclusion.
Understand this isn’t a bias that I have against younger generations as this is about how your actions show the world what’s important to you (quote of the day), and by no means am I saying that these people aren’t responsible human beings in other aspects of their lives. It’s simply that I’m seeing people who have missed the boat on their career and more than likely will have some level of difficulty along their continued career path.
So what does it take to be a career adult? Not much really, but you should have a
* General direction for your career with identified steps along the path
* An understanding of a typical timeline from one step to the next
* The ability to focus on today’s job while understanding how it helps prepare you for tomorrows career
* Enough market awareness to determine if your path is best served by your current employer or potentially at a new one.
* Finally, the ability to make the difficult decisions along the way to stick to your career goal in the face of all the obstacles
(RIF’s/downsizing, family needs, relocation, etc.)
IT careers tend to track along pretty typical lines and if your head is in the sand when the opportunity (whether it is internal or external) comes along then you’ve missed it and most likely it’s not coming back. So remember it doesn’t take long, it doesn’t take a career coach, but it does take some intelligent thought and the willingness to work towards what it is you truly want.