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Look How Far You Have Come

A reader wrote to me over the weekend, seeking advice on behalf of their friend, who had been feeling deflated and lost on their SQL journey.

Hi John,

My long time friend ****** is a SQL DBA and he is feeling a bit down at the moment. He is trying to advance himself in the SQL field, he studies and he has his own blog with his friends in Africa. He is also doing a degree that will help him more with his SQL, which starts in August.. But I was wondering if you had any advice for ***** to achieve as much as you have the UK SQL world?

Thanks In Advance


I can certainly relate to this having experienced the dreaded off day before myself, as I’m sure some of you have too. Below is my reply, shared with the permission from the sender:

Hi *******,

It’s very kind of you to reach out to me on behalf of *****, you are clearly a good friend.

We can all feel down about things from time to time and it’s perfectly fine to do so. After all, if being a Data Professional were easy it would be no fun at all, there’s an art to it.

The important thing is to not give up on your goals and to keep striving forward for more. Keep your mind focused on solely the single next step forward, rather than the ultimate end result. It’s interesting because sometimes we can become so focused on the prize that we forget to stop and take a look back every so often at where we have come from. We can often surprise ourselves by how far we have come and I’ve no doubt the same can be said for your friend, *****.

I highly recommend that your friend take a look at the book Linchpin by Seth Goddin. It’s a wonderfully inspirational read about pushing your career forward and how to separate yourself from the rest of the crowd.

Remember that there’s more to being an outstanding Data Professional than pure technical/SQL skills alone. Read my post 10 Character Traits of Outstanding DBAs to see what I mean.

Encourage your friend to learn something new about SQL every day and to get involved with the SQL community as much as possible. To continue to Blog, to help others in the community on SQL Server forums, answer questions on Twitter using the #SQLHelp hashtag and most of all to have fun whilst doing it!

Kind Regards,
John Sansom

We all have our off days every once in a while. Things can and will unfortunately go wrong sometimes, or maybe you’re just not feeling it but that’s ok too. What’s important is that you pick yourself up, dust yourself off and get moving forward on the right track once again. When in doubt, take some time to look at not only where you are now but how you got here and you’ll realise just how far along you’ve come.

John Sansom - SQL Server DBA in the UK

John Sansom (Blog | Twitter) is a Microsoft Certified Master (MCM) of SQL Server and publisher of the free SQL community ebook DBA JumpStart, an inspiring collection of advice for Data Professionals, written by 20 SQL Server experts. Awarded the Microsoft Community Contributor(MCC) award, John is a prolific blogger and can be found regularly writing about SQL Server and Professional Development over at www.johnsansom.com.


Posted by tnk7200 on 27 June 2011

Thanks for the tips. I think we need passion for what we do, so our motivation fuel won't be empty. Without that, everything will start to bored after a while.

Posted by John Sansom on 28 June 2011

tnk7200, I couldn't agree more sir. A life without passion is not worth thinking about.

Posted by jthalliens2004 on 7 July 2011

you should be so happy to enjoy what you`re doing,doing what you do best but if u dont have passion, you feel like nothing

thanks you all, thanks to your blogs.

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