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The Success Trap

By Andy Warren,

Today we have a guest editorial from Andy Warren at Steve Jones is on vacation.

Most of us enjoy the stability of a steady job, of working with the same team for several years at a time, learning the complexities of an environment to the point that we really understand how it all works together. We play for the team, and that often means that we do two things that have an interesting impact on our career:

  • We hyper-specialize on a product or a subset of a product
  • We invest time in learning business specific solutions

It’s what it takes to be successful, and it makes sense.

The challenge is when you go to the next job. If you’re the company champ at backup, restore, and service packs are you going to interview well when you hit the job that needs all of that plus creating SSIS packages, performance tuning, and whatever else? If your company doesn’t use those parts of the product, or doesn’t give you the opportunity to use them, how do you stay proficient?

Our options are to build a professional development plan that makes sure we at least have some knowledge of those unavailable challenges, talk the boss/client into letting us move around some, or finding a new job to make sure we stay relevant. Or some combination of all of those.

The success trap only hurts when you leave. Maybe you’ll have that job until you retire? Don’t give up on success now because you’re worried about later, but don’t sacrifice later without at least giving it some thought now.

Have you fallen into that trap? And if so, will you make changes now, or deal with it if and when it happens?

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