What does success look like?

Upon starting my new job, my manager asked me this very simple question. Like with most people, success looks different at different stages of life. When I was in high school, it was to win football games and now it’s to understand the business landscape to generate data that influences design decisions, which ultimately results in creating better products.

It’s important to set short-term goals that help achieve long-term goals. In my case, my long term goal has always been to find work that I’m passionate about. After establishing myself in the field of Information Technology for three years, I made pivotal decision to change careers into Product Design. It’s never easy walking into the darkness of unknown, but I wasn’t satisfied with my contributions working in IT to I had to take the leap to find work that was move meaningful to me.

It was also meaningful that I continue to live in San Francisco. As a local, I’ve seen my city turn from a liberal city that promotes artist to a place that only care about techies that can afford ridiculously expensive rent. While this change brings anger to those who have shaped this city, I’m inspired to keep learning and growing so my family and I can afford to stay home.

For me to be able to do this, it’s important for me to take it one step at a time. This is where the shot-term goals come in. What can I do now, tomorrow, or in a week to archive this goal? As I’m starting my job as a Product Designer at Sapling, it’s important to remind myself of all the experience that provided the momentum for me to take this step. This includes all negative experiences that provided the largest growing pains.

I hope one day be in a position where I can share my experiences to influence others that have faced the same challenges I faced in re-shaping my life and career.