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Manage Your Career


Manage Your Career

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Steve Jones
Steve Jones
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GSquared (4/22/2009)
Steve: You should read the first chapter of Problems of Work. The editorial reads like an excerpt from it. The book has some very good advice on how to handle careers, jobs, etc. At least, I find it tremendously useful.


Thanks, and I pinged the publisher for a Kindle version. We'll see if they get one. Otherwise, perhaps I'll pick it up for a camping trip. Got a few where the Kindle might not be a good idea.

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Steve Jones
Steve Jones
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blandry (4/22/2009)
I've made great money, I like my work, but the truth is the truth - any career in high technology manages you, you don't manage it.


I'd disagree here that you have to accept this. Being asked to learn a new technology or figure out a gadget isn't the same as choosing to move to a new employer. You can manage your career, you can choose to learn what you want, or develop the skills that you want in the long term. Perhaps not the short term, but over a few years you can change your direction.

I still believe you should be thinking about what you want and make steps to move in that direction.

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Steve Jones
Steve Jones
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richard.rabe (4/22/2009)

do it right, or do it over and over, it's up to you


Excellent quote, Richard. And congrats for finding a place that works for you.

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Alvin Ramard
Alvin Ramard
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Steve Jones - Editor (4/22/2009)
blandry (4/22/2009)
I've made great money, I like my work, but the truth is the truth - any career in high technology manages you, you don't manage it.


I'd disagree here that you have to accept this. Being asked to learn a new technology or figure out a gadget isn't the same as choosing to move to a new employer. You can manage your career, you can choose to learn what you want, or develop the skills that you want in the long term. Perhaps not the short term, but over a few years you can change your direction.

I still believe you should be thinking about what you want and make steps to move in that direction.


The key is not too learn only what you need for that job.



Alvin Ramard
Memphis PASS Chapter

All my SSC forum answers come with a money back guarantee. If you didn't like the answer then I'll gladly refund what you paid for it.

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kwitzell
kwitzell
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I don't mind doing this job, most of the time, however as I get closer to retirement age I find my interests have shifted. Instead of climbing the career ladder (not that we have one here) I am more interested in climbing on an organ or piano bench and practice. Steve mentioned finding passion in something and I think I found mine. My job is a means to an end; it allows me to provide for my soon to be college bound daughter and pay my mortgage. As for managing my career I have gone as far (up the ladder) as I can with my current employer, and this is fine with me, I have security and have no interest in starting over in a new job for a little more money. As the years go by I find myself focusing on non-job related activities, anyway my two cents worth.....



nelsonj-902869
nelsonj-902869
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My 2 cents worth....It seems that your editorial addresses two items: jobs and careers...and there is a big difference. A career requires planning, education, 'jobs', advanced training, networking, seminar attendance and many more disciplines and events. Jobs, however, are stepping stones in your career. I've always felt that if I know what I want to do (or have "found my passion in life") then all things should support that idea/goal.
Everyone decides 'when' they have reached that goal. Some get sidetracked into specializations that they discover along the way. Some find that their choice while in the 'learning phase' is not panning out to be want they envisioned it to have been and they decide to change their goal or career. This could mean changing jobs, going to a tech school, going back to college...whatever.
Basically, you need a goal(career) and a plan. And stay flexible. Not everything goes your way in life or in work. Some times you have to work the crap schedule, or take on the crap tasks, or even jump at the opportunity to accept MORE responsibility in your current position. Anything that furthers your quest for the goal, be it more/less pay, a nicer office, a new position at a new company, getting married or whatever it may be. That's life.
Ray Hastie
Ray Hastie
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I enjoy the work I do. After a career of 14 years in development, 11 of that consulting, I again accepted a permanent gig. The job is not rocket science but I am not a rocket scientist. Going back to a perm gig meant a large cut in pay but I am doing what I am good at and letting the kids' work in the sweatshops.

As to keeping up with technology, if it is moving to fast, have you considered moving to the darkside? Into management? That way you can view the tech from the 100ft level and not have to be up on the how-to's of the latest and greatest phase?
GilaMonster
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Something my previous manager told me that's stuck in my memory.

"When you accept a job, have a plan for what you want to do next."

Gail Shaw
Microsoft Certified Master: SQL Server, MVP, M.Sc (Comp Sci)
SQL In The Wild: Discussions on DB performance with occasional diversions into recoverability

We walk in the dark places no others will enter
We stand on the bridge and no one may pass


katedgrt
katedgrt
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I am very happy with my career right now. It can be difficult to steer, but it can be done. There have been two times in my working life when I decided to make a change: once, when I decided to become a programmer, and taught myself FORTRAN while working on a proprietary reporting database, and once when I decided to become a Data Architect after exposure to some very poorly designed databases in contracting. Both times it took some work, some luck, and some back pedaling as far as income and seniority (which is difficult but worth it if you have a goal). Both times I was able to find an employer willing to give me a chance and some time to come up to speed, that I believe was the luck part. But the fact that I have done it twice and succeeded points to a lot more than luck.

We have all been through the buffeting of the winds of change in IT. I didn't decide to become a so-called expert in SQL Server (or DB2 or Teradata), the jobs just found me and I took the opportunities. But that's not to say I had absolutely no control. You always have choices. If you choose not to decide you still have made a choice, as the song goes. Now, that may be a legitimate choice and the right one for you but you should recognize that is one. When you do you'll feel you have a lot more control over your life.

Cool Kate The Great w00t
If you don't have time to do it right the first time, where will you find time to do it again?
David Reed-223505
David Reed-223505
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Thanks for a good "first day on the job" editorial, Steve. I completely agree. It's my career. I own it. I make sure that I've got the skills required and to always be looking for the next fun thing to move on to.

It ain't workin', if'n you love what you do! Cool

For anybody who's looking, there's an empty chair in Redmond that I vacated yesterday.
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