Back in July I suggested that you get your resume up to date. It’s something I’d wish I’d kept up with and still something I recommend. Here’s what I did right. About 10 years ago I had a thought. I like working (I do truly like what I do), but in particular I like getting paid. Getting paid requires that I have some form of job. Whether that’s working for myself or working for someone else. Now, I know myself. I know I enjoy being a DBA and I prefer to work for someone else. All that said, if I lose my job I need to find another one. So what can I do now to help me find a job later.
Here’s what I’d like you to do this month. Have that conversation with yourself. What can you do today that will help you find your dream job in the future. Again, that might be working for yourself, working for someone else, working in another industry, etc. That’s going to be very personal to you.
Here are some suggestions. Obviously these aren’t inclusive but here are some things that helped me, or at least that I think would have helped. And also obviously, if I say SQL Server and you’re thinking I’d really like to get into woodworking instead, then replace SQL Server with woodworking.
- Start a blog <- This is what I did obviously.
- Get on twitter and network with the SQL Server people there. <- Also something I did.
- Join your local SQL Server group <- Did this but not extensively
- Groups like this always need help. Help out how you can. Maybe join leadership eventually.
- Speak. You absolutely do not have to be an expert to speak. Just come up with a presentation that shares your experience. If you need help doing so there are a lot of people out there who will help. See the second suggestion.
- Study. Learn a new skill, work on one you already have, whatever. Pick something you are interested in so it’s easier but spend some time, and hopefully it can be work time but check with your boss about that, improving yourself. Note: Again, this could be something like performance tuning, or if you want to go the woodworking route it could be the correct way to build a table.
- Get/keep up with certification(s). This is pretty similar to the study entry but it’s more codified. You’ll have a group of things that need to be studied, and when you go to interview it can help you get in the door. Note: Certificates are not proof of knowledge. You’ll still have to do any tech tests they have and demonstrate that you know what you are talking about. If you have a certificate but not the skills related to it this will almost certainly tank any attempt to get a job at that place. That said, if it’s a new skill, Azure for example, it can be really helpful in demonstrating your intent to learn even if you don’t have any professional skill.
Really the important part of this months homework is that conversation. Decide what you want and how you want to get there. Future you will thank you.