Tuesday, March 21, 2006

personal Jim's Theory of Careers

James Gerard Kobielus. Age 47. Alexandria VA.

Jim’s Theory of Careers

I’ve actually got two theories of careers. One is that careers are just one damn job after another (which sort of sums up my career thus far). Another is that careers are all that—all the zigzags, accidents, and contingencies of opportunities that presented themselves at various points of our lives—but also the story you tell about what it all means, what it’s all amounting to, and what you yourself are amounting to. If anything. I’ve been wondering about this “amounting to” a lot recently. What my accumulated investments are amounting to? What my resume is amounting to, in terms of notches on my demonstrated experience belt? What my bibliography (yes, I’m a much-published technology author) is amounting to in terms of discrete articles, books, and other items under my byline? What my stature in the eyes of my almost-grown children is amounting to? I don’t get a sense, though, that it, my career, is amounting to anything in particular—not in the sense of culminating in some grand flowering accomplishment for all the world to behold. It’s simply spooling out like I’ve always known it would. I’m aging, balding. I’ve had a career, children, a wife. A life.