Today I’d like to provide one part (relevant) plug, and one part suggestion. Let’s get the plug out of the way first, and then you’ll quickly see why it’s relevant.
By now you’ll have heard (I hope) about the 2011 Exceptional DBA awards. They are NOT about being a superman. They’re about recognizing your commitment to self-improvement, and your dedication to working effectively with those around you. Brad McGehee and Steve Jones both provide great tips on how to take part, but Brent Ozar described a particularly uplifting perspective on what it takes to be exceptional which really struck a chord with me.
To cut to the chase (and simplify Brent’s message dramatically), you have to care. Care about your career, care about doing the best you can, and care about making sure that “the best you can” is always that little bit better than it was before. The results are worth it.
Transitioning smoothly: If you don’t think you’ve got what it takes to be a so-called exceptional DBA, what do you think is missing? If you’re not where you want to be in your career, then what do you think is holding you back? Maybe you feel like you lack the time or the resources to grow your skills. Maybe you don’t know where to start. Maybe you just don’t think you’ve got it in you to become “exceptional”.
There’s a commonality to many of these issues, and the give-away is the “think” part. As has been passionately explained by many a better blogger than I, so much of what drives your career forward (or holds it back) is in your mental attitude. Looking back at Brent’s point, if you care enough to think that something is holding you back, then you’re on the right track.
Of course, sometimes there are physical challenges that slow you down, but they rarely stop your personal growth completely. Regardless, putting a name to the problem doesn’t necessarily make it easy to tackle.
Thankfully, what’s great about the SQL community is that it lifts up people who are trying hard to better themselves, so I bet if you share what you think is holding you back, you’ll get some great advice on how to move forward.