SQLServerCentral Editorial

The Senior Advantage


The senior advantage means more to me all the time, though often I feel there are more disadvantages to being around longer than advantages. Getting older is hard, especially physically, and I struggle with that. Having more wisdom, more tolerance, and more patience, are good things, but I'm not sure I would consciously make that trade.

In a business, senior often equates to more experience and time working on systems. Sometimes it means more skill as well, but usually, the internal knowledge of how our systems work inside of our environment is more valuable, even though it can be hard to get management to realize that fact.

The last two years have had many technology workers at home, doing the same work they did in an office. Over the last year, there has been contention between some managers that want people to return to the office and many workers that want to remain remote. While lots of people don't have a choice, there are some who do, and they are often the senior, skilled people. Lots of them quit, which creates a challenge for managers to fill their slots.

One would think that management would work to retain and keep more employees, but in some cases, the response is to find ways to make it easier to hire new people. One positive thing that happened is the relaxation of the rule for tech workers to have a college degree. That's good for many people that are talented and don't want to spend tens (or hundreds) of thousands of dollars on a degree. A little disheartening to me and others who think that this further devalues the experience of current employees.

There are some great employers out there, as well as some great managers that care about their staff. My company is one of them, and I appreciate how we run the business effectively while treating employees fairly. However, there is no shortage of poor employers who do not care much about their people, their training (or re-skilling), or whether staff leaves. They will continue to lean on whoever is still employed while replacing staff with cheaper, and less knowledgeable, new hires.

In thirty years, the one thing I've learned is that I need to be responsible for my own career. That means learning often, working on my tech skills, polishing soft skills, and burning no bridges. I need to be prepared and ensure I have opportunities and choices in the future.

That's my senior advantage.