The “Draw Your Own Map Pattern” is chiefly about assessing your current role in an organization and looking forward to your next professional endeavor, be it within that organization, or externally. The Problem section explicitly defines the situation such that your current employer does not have the position you’re looking for in your organization. The proposed solution, in summary, is to put careful thought into your future external position and then create a plan with micro steps to get you there; these steps will help keep your sights on the potential position.
The pattern seems to coincide very much with the steps I’ve taken in life. I’ve personally undergone a very windy path to get where I am now and will certainly be considered having an unconventional path in any career I manage to land outside of college. While I don’t always have scheduled periods of reflection in my career, I find that periodically discussing with coworkers what they want to make of their careers inspires them to pursue their goals and also forces me to look inward and re-evaluate if I’m happy with my career at that point.
Perhaps my favorite takeaway from this pattern was the activity provided in the Action section at the bottom. For the unacquainted, the activity requests the reader to make a map of three jobs that could be logically pursued beyond their current one. The authors then insist that the reader do this with the web of three jobs for each of the previous branches and assess if any of these roles would satisfy them. The exercise implores that the branching is done one more time and this final iteration should be roughly representative of your total career prospects. I found that engaging with this exercise left me feeling hopeful and optimistic about my potential career paths —which is to be expected as a student— and would specifically recommend it to others looking to make a change who may be a bit more pessimistic about their prospects. As someone who has hopped careers, the hesitancy to reconsider one’s career comes from a fear of needing to take drastic action but by using this exercise I think those in a similar situation to my own would realize that they’re not as far from their destination as they may seem.
From the blog CS@Worcester – Cameron Boyle's Computer Science Blog by cboylecsblog and used with permission of the author. All other rights reserved by the author.