There’s a fairly famous quote, that goes along the lines of:
It’s the journey, not the destination.
The beginning of a journey implies that you’re leaving something behind. Is beginning something the same as running away from something else? Therefore, what am I running from?
Often enough, I quit a hobby just when I am getting good. Also, the responsibility involved in becoming a people manager scares me. I’m afraid of being seen as an expert when there is so much that I don’t know, even in the field I’m supposedly an expert in. I’m also afraid of doing the same thing over and over again, but I know that I only have a limited amount of time before I can’t learn as fast as I used to. It has already happened now in fact.
I can’t build a reputation if I keep starting something fresh all the time. This probably applies both academically and professionally. I used to think that the work should hold itself up by its own merit, but now I see that this is not the only criteria for success – one is the network of people who know and respect your work that is equally important.
The people we work with are more important than you know, not just colleagues and peers, but also superiors and people you look after. Just one person that you don’t get along with in that vast network can make the job harder to do.
Another criteria is whether your ambitions match up with your boss’ needs and wants for the job you’re employed to do. When ambition is doused, it gives one less of a reason to want to keep moving forward.
I guess that’s what makes the journey to a destination more bearable – the fact that there is an intended destination, and the people you meet along the way make it interesting.