I am a spy. That’s very cool.
More accurately, I am in my own small way a counter-terrorism agent. For example, when the FBI or CIA speak of success, there is always mention of the prevention of “countless unknown acts of terrorism.” There’s truth here, and I’m grateful that those invisible agents stand between me and unspeakable unknown harm.
Anyway, that’s kind of what I do.
In my own journey of self evaluation, I have recently discovered that my professional success may be measured not by what I can accomplish, but rather what I can prevent from being accomplished. As a Project Manager, I was originally under the assumption that I was meant to take reasonable requests for products or services and organize them into successful results. Instead, I spend most of my time collecting enough data and professional input to prove that a requested project is not at all reasonable, but is in fact a very bad idea.
Perhaps I’m more like a Jedi Master than a spy. I have my Jedi mind tricks down to an art form, with my oft used “This isn’t the software you’re looking for. Move along.”
So, when asked how I rate my own success, I guess I should say that I have saved my employer from “countless unknown acts of waste and stupidity.”