On Plans

In college I didn’t know what I wanted to do. All that I knew was that I didn’t want to work in a cubicle from 9-5. I saw some of my friends working this way and it reminded me of the movie Office Space (have you seen this one?). That is probably one reason that I spent so much time in school. But I am very happy with what I do now! Two things that I have always really enjoyed are traveling and computers and in my job, I do both.

I didn’t have much of a plan in college, or at least none that were realistic. I really didn’t have any good plans until after I got back from the trip to Russia. I went back to my old life and realized how small and confining it was and I realized that I didn’t want to be doing the same thing in 1 year. I did a lot of thinking and reflecting on what mattered to me really. I decided that I was going to start following my passions more and not worry so much about where the money was. I started doing that and spent more time reading books and learning things that I enjoyed rather than working in an endless cycle where the stack of work on my desk didn’t get any lower.

So my plan became to be a full time traveler and work when I had the opportunity. That is as simple as it was. I knew that this is what would make me happy ultimately. I knew that the plan wouldn’t happen at once, but I instead had set a goal to have my plan completed in 2 years. I think that was reasonable for this plan because really I could have just sold everything I owned and walked out the door the next day. But I wanted instead to be able to travel without having to worry about money. I knew that I had to start doing more things that would set me up to be on track with my plan, and that included getting a new job.

When I started looking for a different job, I first defined what I wanted out of it. That was, I wanted to be able to travel – maybe because my job paid for it or maybe because I didn’t have to go to an office. At first I had hoped that I would find some job where I could work from anywhere in the world by computer, but I didn’t find that job. I really didn’t care if I worked with computers or not, because traveling is more important to me.

When I interviewed for the position, I didn’t try to make myself look more impressive or more knowledgeable than I was because I knew that it would be a bad thing in the end. I was trying to find a job that matched myself and what I wanted, so exaggerating and boasting would have been the worst thing I could have done. I think that is the key: find a job that matches you, rather than trying to change yourself to match the job.

And now, I am well on my way towards accomplishing what I set out to – to be traveling full time and working when I can. In fact, I’m traveling pretty much full time now. It’s just not my ideal itineraries. But it is great experience for when I am traveling independently and working. I think I am farther along on my plan than I could have been if I hadn’t set my initial target high and if I hadn’t found a job that so closely matched my interests. It took me a little longer to find this job, but the reward was worth the wait.

About Beau Woods

Beau Woods is a cyber safety innovation fellow with the Atlantic Council, a leader with the I Am The Cavalry grassroots initiative, and founder/CEO of Stratigos Security. His focus is the intersection of cybersecurity and the human condition, primarily around cyber safety, ensuring connected technology that can impact life and safety is worthy of our trust. Over the past several years in this capacity, he has consulted with automakers, medical device manufacturers, healthcare providers, cybersecurity researchers, US federal agencies and legislative staff, and the White House.

Posted on February 8, 2008, in Meandering Mind and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink. 1 Comment.

  1. i’m bummed I couldn’t meet up in DC, I would love to hang out and talk more.Awesome blogs that evoke thought and insight.

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