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Building a Better Career

By Steve Jones,

There's a big difference between job and career and if you read regularly, you know that I think you need to work on both to ensure that you are successful in this business. And I'm not the only one as I've seen a lot of articles like this one (8 Tips for Landing a Job in '08) that talk about how you need to be learning constantly as well as doing more than answering technical questions.

On this list of 10 career-killers to avoid, failing to have a plan and not keeping skills current, are the first two items. I'd tend to agree that these are very important in your life. While I don't recommend going out and learning every new technology that Microsoft releases, I do recommend that you keep up in your core areas and advance your knowledge.

But overall you need to have a plan. Andy Warren and I debate this constantly and we've tried to find ways to actually start getting more information out there. Andy writes a fair amount on Professional Development and we both believe that it takes effort and you need to constantly be putting that effort in. He always asks people in an interview what they're doing to improve their career including investments they're making.

It's a question you should consider and do something about. I see more and more in hiring posts on blogs that interviewers are asking what you're doing to learn more and improve your skills. It's in Part 3 of Dennis Gobo's series on hiring and I see it in plenty of other places, including MSDN.

I see plenty of complaints and posts about employers not providing training and not helping your career. That's definitely something I don't like to hear about, especially since I own part of a training business (End to End Training), but I also know that it's not always the employers who are at fault.

I think an employer should make an investment in your career and help you continue to grow, but they're not responsible for your career. You are. You need to be making an equal investment to read, visit sites like this on the web, show some initiative and spend some time outside of work learning something, working on pet projects, writing articles, automating your home DVD collection to figure out what you should watch next, or some other idea.

Show that you care about your career and you're be surprised how much more support (and funding) you get from an employer.

Steve Jones


The Voice of the DBA

Wakamojo

The podcast feeds are now available at sqlservercentral.podshow.com to get better bandwidth and maybe a little more exposure :). Comments are definitely appreciated and wanted. You can get feeds from there.

Today's podcast features music by Wakamojo, the Kansas band featuring our very own Adam Angelini, DBA from the heartland and SQLServerCentral.com community member.

I really appreciate and value feedback on the podcasts. Let us know what you like, don't like, or even send in ideas for the show. If you'd like to comment, post something here. The boss will be sure to read it.

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