Taking Stock of Your Career

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We're almost a quarter into the new year. Think about these statements: "Imagine you lose your job tomorrow.  What would you like your next job to look like?  Start acquiring the skills for your desired next job today!"

That's a quote from Jan 2, when I saw someone talking about their struggles. It was a statement that resonated with me, and it's one that I think everyone should be thinking about on a regular basis. Not worried or concerned about losing your job, though maybe that's not so far fetched right now, but more, are you moving your career forward in some way that's a) valuable to your company, and b) valuable to someone else.

Both of those are important. Certainly you want to deliver value to your current employer. That's why they pay you and keep you around. Being skilled in your position is good, and improving that skill matters. This could keep you employed, and perhaps until you retire. That's my plan, and I continue to work on skills that will help me make this job the last full-time job I'll have have.

I feel confident in this plan, and I think I do a good job for Redgate. Some of the skills I work regularly on might help me with work elsewhere, but many are likely specific to this role. I don't know that I could find this same type of job again at another company, but if I did need or decide to change jobs, I'd need other skills.

That is one of those things that keeps me learning and moving forward. I dig into various technologies, trying to better understand how they work, and thinking about where I might use them. I might not need them in my current role, and they may not be useful at Redgate, but they do ensure that I am building some skills that someone else might find valuable.

I see lots of people that feel stuck in their jobs, and without support to grow and learn from their company. They struggle to find time and energy to learn about the cloud or AI or containers or anything else. I get that. Life is busy and hard, and (hopefully) you have plenty of distractions outside of work to occupy yourself.

Take a minute and read that quote above. Now imagine you need a new job. Do you want to try and update your resume tomorrow and hope you have some current, modern skills that lots of companies need? Or do you want to hope someone values your experience already? Those aren't bad plans, but maybe having a few new tricks you can talk about, things you've started to learn about, is a plan worth considering.

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