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Don't Let the Economic Downturn Get You Down Expand / Collapse
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Posted Wednesday, January 7, 2009 8:28 PM


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Comments posted to this topic are about the item Don't Let the Economic Downturn Get You Down

Brad M. McGehee
Microsoft SQL Server MVP
Director of DBA Education, Red Gate Software
www.bradmcgehee.com
Post #632079
Posted Thursday, January 8, 2009 2:29 AM


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He, he

I can just see the new posts being typed right now

"Dear SSC

Plz tell me what makes a good DBA and what else I need to know to become one.

No, I'm not going to give you any more information.
No, I'm not going to be any more explicit.
No, I haven't done a search to see if any part of my question has been has been answered in other threads.
Yes, posting this is all the "research" I've done.
Yes, I expect you to put in all the effort for me.

Thanks in advance


:D:D:D


Semper in excretia, sumus solum profundum variat
Post #632188
Posted Thursday, January 8, 2009 6:17 AM


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As much as I commend Brad on a good editorial encouraging people to work hard and show their value, there is a dark side to what he is suggesting and I have been dealing with just that for the last couple weeks. The 'dark side'? Information Hoarding.

As a manager and executive I have dealt with this problem before and will have to deal with it now yet again, but I would encourage others not to engage in this as any means of ensuring job security - quite the contrary - it destroys the team dynamic and breeds contempt between workers. Every company is suffering in this economy and the best way to get through it is to tighten the team and produce good efficient work. But when an employee (or worse, a manager as in the case I am dealing with) starts hoarding information from others thinking that appears to increase their importance and value to a company, nothing could be further from the case.

Keeping information from others and failing to delegate tasks to capable workers goes a great distance to showing a manager that there is a people-problem, NOT that some particular worker is somehow the Superman (or woman) in an organization. And I, like many managers, am experienced enough to know a hoarder is not any superstar - they are more a 'fly in the ointment'.

So I would say yes, work hard, show your value, and pull together as a good team member - whereas inhibiting your co-workers efforts so you might look more important is not going to fool any good manager, and will likely get you to the unemployment line faster than merely a bad economy.


There's no such thing as dumb questions, only poorly thought-out answers...
Post #632307
Posted Thursday, January 8, 2009 6:21 AM
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I work for the regional transit company heavily depends on state funding and the state budget just cut 17% of funding to my company. Should I be worried? Even there is rumor that Microsoft is going to cut 17% of its global workforce and this is the company is on the profit margin. No job is safe. There may be IT jobs available but the competition will be high and the pay will be low.

http://www.insidetech.com/news/articles/3668-rumor-microsoft-to-cut-15000-employees-this-month?referral=IT_nlet_20090107
Post #632312
Posted Thursday, January 8, 2009 6:25 AM
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I agree with blandry. One of my co-worker refuses to share information and it is considered to be his job security. The team dynamic is really affected by his behavior. No one likes to work with him.
Post #632314
Posted Thursday, January 8, 2009 7:21 AM


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I also agree with blandry. We are all replaceable, no matter how much we try to hide the secrets of our position to others.

As far as training and upgrading skills goes, we shouldn't wait around for a financial crisis. As technology-lovers, we should be pursuing our interests year-round.

One thing that I really liked about this editorial is the comment about not worrying about things that you don't have control over. If you can do this, you have made a major accomplishment in your life. The amount of stress that you will relieve yourself of is seriously substantial. My personal favourite example of this is getting stressed at other drivers on the road. You can't control what they do, so don't stress about it.

'Other drivers' are the reason why I will never get a gun license.


Mia

I have come to the conclusion that the top man has one principle responsibility: to provide an atmosphere in which creative mavericks can do useful work.
-- David M. Ogilvy
Post #632364
Posted Thursday, January 8, 2009 7:38 AM
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Both times that I was laid off due to the economy, I embraced it as an opportunity to learn new things and do something different. And although I am a loyal employee, I did leave one company because after 12 years because they put me in a rut of maintaining legacy mainframe systems and I wanted to learn relational databases, Oracle and MS SQL in particular.

I spend an hour every morning before work reading articles and following links to other articles. Many thanks to SQLServerCentral.com and all the people who post articles: I have learned so much from you!
Post #632381
Posted Thursday, January 8, 2009 7:48 AM


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Good editorial, Brad, and thanks for the break.

I completely agree with blandry and I used to tell people that worked for me if you decide not to share information or document something you're supposed to, we'll just replace you now before it's a big problem.

As far as taking advantage of this, if you're worried, now's the time to buckle down and add a skill to your resume, and get ready to look for a job. I have heard MS is looking to let people go, but I've heard 10-11%.

There are already lots of talented people out there from the financial areas and consulting. ATT, HP, a few others have let people go and I know people still looking for jobs from last fall.







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Post #632401
Posted Thursday, January 8, 2009 8:14 AM
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I don't think Brad meant hoarding information, rather being such a skilled and valuable employee that it wouldn't make sense to let you go. If you're the only one that knows how to work with SSIS (as an example) then you haven't hoarded anything but you have a skill that is essential for the company. When they look at cutting people, then they may skip you because they need to retain someone who can develop SSIS packages.

This is different than being the only one how knows how to produce the XYZ report for Mr. ABC. While you could be very proficient with it, something like that should be documented to the point that a lower level person could perform it or even automated.
Post #632432
Posted Thursday, January 8, 2009 10:33 AM
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Good advice Brad. And I wouldn't limit the focus to just DBA topics either. One must be able to see outside the box as well as inside.
Post #632633
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