My friend Joseph Suarez recently posted a video to his YouTube channel. In it, he reflected on his career story in comparison to the life cycle of cicadas – thinking back to where he was 17 years ago. He realized how far he has come in his career as a result.

This got me thinking. Where was I in my career back in 2004?

Here are a few insights as to what I was doing 17 years ago:

  • Celebrating 8 years at my current company, in my 4th year as a salary (exempt) employee, working in a team now referred to as Analytics.

  • Getting braver in asking for what I felt could provide others value. One example is flexing my creative muscles to develop an internal newsletter for Payments that helped us to provide technical information to non-technical people in a way they could understand.

  • Graduated with my bachelor’s degree in English – Literary Studies from Otterbein University after 8 years (almost consecutively) of working full-time, attending a few different schools, and changing my major once!

  • Decided to start my MBA program because I had a passion for learning and growing, and knew I wanted more.

The more I realize where I was back then, the first thought that came to mind was, “How on earth was that 17 years ago?” At times, it feels like it was a couple days ago. At other times, it feels like 100 years ago.

Then I realize that it was really a time where I was testing out being brave, and preparing to catapult into so many great things! 

Joe mentioned in his video that many people reflect mid-year or year-end, but it is good to see the long-term growth for ourselves when we think back a bit further.

Where were you in your career journey 17 years ago?

How does it feel to see where you were and how far you have come since then?

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