I’ve been doing a lot more mentoring this year- entrepreneurs, tech startups, career focused. One of my “career” mentees was interested in how I got where I am. That led to an interesting discussion because the truth is I didn’t plan it.
I wasn’t one of those that had a dream job or career in mind. So I definitely didn’t have a plan either.
I kind of went where my whims and fancies took me. Literally.
I started a degree in Computer Studies because I didn’t get into Actuarial Science, which I thought I really wanted to do.
I finished a degree in Computer Studies because I hated my first year maths courses.
I took jobs because they sounded interesting.
I left jobs because I stopped learning.
I did a dual Masters degree (in Miami) because it seemed like an interesting challenge.
I left technology because I was bored with it.
I studied Arts Management (in Trinidad) because I thought it would be fun.
I returned to technology because I couldn’t get a job in the arts.
I returned to the arts because I got offered a job.
I took part in a tech accelerator (in Italy) because I applied on a whim and got in.
And that ended up leading to me working in the field of entrepreneurship, which led to corporate innovation, where I’ve been for 5 years.
There really was no plan.
But looking back, the path makes more sense.
I have degrees in Computer Science, Information Systems and Business Administration, as well as training in Project Management, Arts Management, and Strategic Foresight, all of which give me a solid grounding in principles that are useful for innovation.
I have worked in and been exposed to around 2 dozen different industries, all of which give me perspective and insights I can bring into my work.
My focus on optimising for curiosity and learning are the foundation on which innovation is built.
My background in the arts has given me a creativity that other people dream of.
My occasional stints abroad have given me a global network and perspective that I wouldn’t trade for anything.
It remains difficult for me to look far ahead and decide where I want to go with my career. But my path to this point is clear in hindsight.
So I trust that my choices now will make sense in the future.