At some point I would like to talk more about risk, but today I want to write about stories and our reality.
Most people think that reality is and we then have to fit into it. I’m not sure that it works that way.
When I was in college I never knew what I wanted to do, I just kept going as an engineer because I couldn’t think of anything better. I would have gotten made fun of if I switched to business because only the people who couldn’t handle engineering switched to business.
At one point I made a decision that project management sounded like it could be fun. This was probably around the same time I decided that I’ve been in college for engineering too long to change. “I might as well get this over with since I’ve made it this far,” is what I thought.
Generally, right after college an engineering student goes off to be an engineer and if they work hard and continue to learn they can become department managers or project managers.
I didn’t. After graduating from college a friend needed help with some precast concrete products and I had already worked for him before so I knew how to fabricate the reinforcing steel. It was a skilled laborer position and I was an engineer, but I did it. That company hires engineers but I don’t think they ever realized I was an engineer while I worked there. I just did it to help my friend.
A couple months later I left that job and became a project manager. I skipped right over the whole engineer part.
I remember during the interview telling my soon to be boss that I don’t have the 4-5 years experience as a PM that he was looking for. He said, “for the right candidate, we wont worry about that.”
Later I found out that they had hired me in part because I took a laborers position to help my friend instead of waiting around for the phone to ring and become an engineer.
It’s funny how things like that work out sometimes. I wonder if it all got started when I decided that project management might be right for me.
There’s more to the story but I wont go on for now. I just wanted to give an example of a story I told myself back in college and where it eventually led.
Despite common belief, we may have more control over our reality than we’d like to admit.