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How I think about my career goals (3 mins read)

The definition for "career" that I'm using here: is "an individual's metaphorical 'journey' through learning, work, and other aspects of life." I think of a career as more than just what job title fits me best.

There's a lot that I want to write about this topic that I'll add here eventually. For now, I'll say that my career is ultimately all about meaningful impact, which again is very subjective and I'd like to add an umbrella definition to it. I'll add below how I've been thinking about career planning so far which could be a bit dynamic over time:


Other related topics I've written about:

  1. Product Management Resources

  2. Frameworks I use for Product Management

Note: I have started to read this article once every few months and revisit how the below should be framed, lots more to add.

First principles


What I care about in order, short-term (next ~5 years)

  1. Personal growth: leadership; strategy; improving hard skills; getting better at understanding consumer product challenges, and being more eloquent in writing.

  2. Doing work that has transferable learning. Getting better at critical decision-making with at most decisiveness.

  3. Spending my time doing things that interest me (cross-functional collaboration, working on scalable problems, strategy, building products/policies with quantifiable impact)

  4. Being able to live the lifestyle I want

What I care about in order, long-term (looking back when I die)

  1. Doing work that is socially impactful

  2. Spending my time doing things that interest me (leading teams, working on scalable problems, strategy, building products/policies)

  3. Personal growth: leadership; strategy; improving hard skills; better understanding econ/policy

  4. Being able to live the lifestyle I want and building social capital.


How I think about social impact

  1. I fundamentally believe all humans have equal right to:

    • Survive: food, water, basic clothing, shelter (housing), life, health, hospitable planet, equality under the law

    • Prosper: community, education, access to capital, liberty, data privacy, mobility, freedom of expression, and participation in culture

  2. I believe the biggest inequalities today derive from a lack of access to economic goods/services that enable people to survive

    • I believe our system today is laden with incentives and historical privileges that have directly caused many communities to be excluded from much of the wealth we've thus far generated

  3. I define social impact as moving us toward a world where these inequalities are eliminated

    • This can be done ​by building new products and services that expand and make more accessible what we all can leverage to survive and prosper

    • Building technologies that can enable more businesses and individuals to contribute

    • This can also be done by focusing on governmental policies that create guardrails and incentives to better ensure fair treatment

  4. Causes I'm currently exploring

How I define “the lifestyle I want”

  1. Able to survive and prosper (as defined above)

  2. Ensure my family (parents, siblings, etc.) can survive/prosper if/when they need help with that

  3. Ensure my close friends can survive if/when they need help with that

  4. Invest a lot of myself into building and growing my community

  5. Live in any city in the world that I want to live in

  6. Pursue things I care about in my personal life (music, travel, fitness, etc.)

How I define personal growth

  1. Gaining skills, knowledge, and experience that are useful to firstly achieve the goals of the company that I work for and eventually something that will help me build scalable and impactful products. 

  2. Improving how I think about the world to refine what I fundamentally believe in / care about, so that I can continue honing in on a path I’ll be content having gone down


Explicitly didn’t put here

  1. Growing/cultivating/maintaining community within the context of my career

    • Defining community as people whom I enjoy spending my time with regardless of how they fit into my career

    • May or may not come from / be a part of my career life - it’s irrelevant

    • Currently, believe this part of my life develops primarily outside of my career

      • Can and would love to bring people into my community from my career, but not thinking about my career with this as a high-priority goal

    • Note: Generally speaking, building and maintaining thriving communities is one of the most important things to me in life

  2. Making as much money as possible (not a goal: see lifestyle goals section)

  3. Achieving high status (I’m actually averse to being too widely admired; all I want is to feel respect and belonging with my community and to be able to meaningfully impact people around the world)

How to achieve the above career goals


Possible career paths

  1. Leader driving vision/execution for a consumer internet business

  2. Working in a domain or a product that has a high scope of evolving over time (Eg: Uber --> Uber Eats; Paytm --> Mall etc.) and is technically driven while being future compatible.

Things to learn to grow into possible career paths

  1. Building better scalable products

    • Independent contributor

      • Understanding user empathy and getting better at prioritization

      • Choosing good trade-offs 

      • Advanced experimentation (technical)

    • Org leader

      • People management

        • Uplevel mentorship efficacy

        • Accountability

        • Setting team members up for success however they define that

      • Org design

      • Defining cross-org vision and influencing the team towards it

  2. Behavioral thinking

    • Deeper understanding of user behavior on variable factors

    • Deeper understanding of customer acquisition, retention, monetization, and growth strategies

    • Marketplace dynamics

    • Experimentation

    • Writing elegantly

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