If you work in IT, the office becomes your second home. It’s where we make a living, and most of us take a lot of pride in the work we do. We feel good when we’ve put in a successful day at the office, however we also have those days where instead of feeling successful, we feel discouraged. When the discouraging days start to outweigh the successful ones, we may start to question whether or not we’re heading down the right career path. The office can be a great place to become motivated, but it can also get you down quickly when things aren’t going well.
Combat the negative thoughts by spending time honing in your craft at home. You’re probably saying “I don’t have time”, and I hear you. Between family, errands, and other commitments many people believe there is no way they can fit anything else in. If you’re in this boat, I challenge you to really think about this. Write down your schedule for a typical week and find gaps. Once you’ve found the gaps, decide which ones you can fill with learning. Come up with a training plan and write it down. Is there a book you’ve been meaning to read? A new feature that you haven’t had a chance to play with yet? Want to get that blog started?
Once you’ve found the time, all you need is motivation. A technique I use is viewing my accomplishments at work and at home as two separate entities. This way, spending time on my skills at home feels like a new challenge. I’ve reached the senior level for my position, but in terms of building my brand and contributing to the SQL Server community, I’m at a pretty junior level. The best part about this technique? I decide when I get promoted.