Ben Petersen's Software Development blog

Setting Personal Objectives and Desired Career Goals for Work
code | 2016-09-12
Tags: Goal Planning Career Goals Personal Goals

How and why to ask for One-on-Ones with your Manager

Summary: In the past year, I’ve started to have one-on-ones with my manager and I’ve found this an essential thing to have to grow my career. It’s 30 minutes a week, usually we talk about how last week has went, how my quarterly objectives are going, and any personal projects / random topics that I want to talk about. Yes, it’s nice being heard, but more importantly my manager helps me get over hurdles.

It’s easy to become overwhelmed

During my first few monthes at Markit (financial company with many internal tools and teams), it was nice to set quarterly objectives focusing on their Product (code base, being comfortable with their pages and where they are located, and their internal teams; I also focused on advanced C# topics, teaching the team React as well as Angular 1.5 and 2.0 vs how we have it written, increasing volume of work per sprint by completing 25% more story points per sprint than I was last quarter.

Objectives and Desired Goals for Work

Talking about career objectives and timelines around it are equaly imporant. It wasn’t known at the time, but a goal of becoming a team lead by 2017 was a bit out of scope because of internal teams, troubleshooting production issues, three years at the company, and building tools for our client have to occur before an advancement is considered.

One on One with Manager

We started by writing those goals down and focusing on objectives in order to cross them off. So for example, troubleshooting production issues is a pain point for my team, typically we have random servers have issues and it’s up to us to determine the root cause and what we need to tell Dell (our server partner) to do. It could be a tough one, but creating a server port checker tool is my next objective.

Future plans and goals

That’s just one of three. I also hope to attend more Meetups, so I can get to know other developers and managers in the area, understand what they are building, pain points, and what technology they are starting to adapt. I hope to use that in order to build small tools or apps, learning the technology that others have a hard time with, and writing a blog post about it. It’s a long term goal, so for now I plan to attend more meetups, write a blog post once a week and build something on the side that interests me and share it with my team.

It’s easy to become overwhelmed, but personally I like talking about those goals and what I need to do to complete them.