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Matan Yungman is a Technical Evangelist and senior consultant at Madeira SQL Server Services. His job is to get the word out about SQL Server. He speaks, lectures, writes, teaches and consults about SQL Server, focusing mainly on performance tuning, database development, high availability and database design. He’s passionate about SQL Server, technology and the SQL Server community.

The 3 Factors That Will Get You a Job You’ll Love

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It’s T-SQL Tuesday time, and this month’s host, Boris Hristov (blog|twitter) chose the topic of interviews.

Over the time as a SQL Server professional, I’ve come to an understanding about 3 important interview-related factors you’ll need in order to find a job you’ll love (Of course that’s only my humble opinion).

1. Knowledge

This is pretty obvious, but what are the good ways to gain this knowledge?

I already wrote a long post about it, which essentially consists of two tips:

  • Learn a lot of what you find interesting
  • Challenge yourself

I also emphasized that the really big jumps of my career came when I challenged myself. I’m also aware of the fact that while I’m a database geek and I really love what I do, it wasn’t always the case for me, and it’s certainly not the case for every single DBA. And yet, I believe those two tips are extremely important.

Another great and important way to learn is by attending local user group meetings. Over time, the presentations give lots of great tips, experience from the field and other point of views that will enrich you. Yea, it sucks if you don’t know anyone, but you can make it easier if you start sounding your voice and getting in touch with people online (we’ll get back to that).

Now that you have the knowledge, you also need…

2. Intuition

Knowledge can get you the job, but you need to know that you really want it. You can read about the company and consult with people who know what’s going on there, but at the end of the day, it all goes down to how you felt during the interview and during your stay at the company’s office. There’s a lot of questions you can ask yourself, like whether the job sounds interesting and fits your skills, whether you felt comfortable with the interviewer, and so on.

But what does your intuition tell you? How did you feel when you walked in the hallway? Does it feel like a nice place to work at? Did the people you saw seem like people you would like to work with? What do you feel about your potential boss?

It’s not easy to decide and you won’t always be right, but sometimes all you have is your intuition, and in most cases, it won’t let you down.

3. Luck

Intuition is very important, but it won’t always be right. A few years ago I was interviewed at a company which seemed very cool (as a side note, the interview was held at a coffee shop, so maybe that misled my intuition). I really wanted the job, and I was very disappointed when I was told they decided to hire someone else. After about a year, this company closed its offices here in Israel, meaning that if I had worked there, I would probably be fired. That was luck.

I was also lucky to get my first job, when my first boss saw the potential and decided to give me a chance, and lucky to get my fresh new job, as my current boss and Madeira’s CEO, Guy Glantser (blog|twitter), needed someone like me and gave me the responsibility for things I haven’t done professionally yet (more about that really soon).

But luck isn’t really just a matter of luck.

I once saw a TV show that talked about luck. They mentioned that A professor named Richard Wiseman defined luck as “the ability to open yourself to new opportunities.” Furthermore, in his article, “The Luck Factor“, professor Wiseman writes:

“Lucky people generate their own good fortune via four basic principles. They are skilled at creating and noticing chance opportunities, make lucky decisions by listening to their intuition, create self-fulfilling prohesies via positive expectations, and adopt a resilient attitude that transforms bad luck into good“.

So how can you improve your chances of being “lucky”?

  • Learn
  • Challenge yourself
  • Listen to your intuition
  • Attend user group meetings
  • Get connected on Twitter
  • Help out on forums
  • Start blogging
  • And so on

At some point, if you’ll be interested of course, it will become a part of your life style, and that makes things a lot easier. Another thing Denny Cherry pointed out is that while the community is growing, it blurs out the line between work and social life (in a good way). Once you are a part of the community, gaining knowledge and getting lucky are way easier.

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