Today I had one-on-one meeting with my manager. They are pretty standard, mostly consists only of question of how I'm doing and what I like/dislike. Sometimes my manager want to know my opinion about something specific and that's it. Today though we had discussion about my career — what I want to achieve in next 6 months, 12 months or even further.
I'm not fan of that since it's really vague. I understand those questions though since moving forward without any plan may give mediocre results. I know where in what direction I want to go and even know what specific skills I should improve. The problem I have is that it's hard for me to split some big goals into smaller, maintainable chunks of work. After all, goal to improve own communication isn't specific, objectively measurable or timed correctly.
But this is why I have manager though. What I found during my career so far are two things. First is that managers aren't always needed — it depends on company structure and culture. Second thing is that if there is manager, his role is to be lighthouse for people that report to him. He's the person which should unblock you and know what should be done to achieve goals.
I write all this knowing that my manager is really cool person but in longer period of time I will probably leave my team. Not because of the people but because of the work that my team focuses on. Different people can find spark of joy by doing different things. What I like to do the most is proper full-stack work — completing features from bottom to top, from back to the front. That's not possible in my current position.
But I still don't feel ready to leave my team — there are still things that I can learn.