Back to the Future

  • jcrawf02

    SSC-Insane

    Points: 24198

    I wish I hadn't blown five years of college on a Jazz Performance degree that I now don't use, as much fun as it was. (decided not to move to NY/Chicago/etc, and wanted to actually eat :-P) Also regret that I didn't just finish the damn thing when I was there, 'cause now I'm still working on getting my first bachelors degree after work hours, and it eats into my family time something fierce.

    Professionally, no regrets, I've been very lucky in that respect. Wish I'd found SSC sooner, I guess. 😉

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    How best to post your question[/url]
    How to post performance problems[/url]
    Tally Table:What it is and how it replaces a loop[/url]

    "stewsterl 80804 (10/16/2009)I guess when you stop and try to understand the solution provided you not only learn, but save yourself some headaches when you need to make any slight changes."

  • jcrawf02

    SSC-Insane

    Points: 24198

    RBarryYoung (6/12/2009)


    I wish I'd spent more time at the office.

    Damn, now I'll never be able to use that phrase again - "You'll never hear anybody say . . ."

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    How best to post your question[/url]
    How to post performance problems[/url]
    Tally Table:What it is and how it replaces a loop[/url]

    "stewsterl 80804 (10/16/2009)I guess when you stop and try to understand the solution provided you not only learn, but save yourself some headaches when you need to make any slight changes."

  • cy-dba

    SSCarpal Tunnel

    Points: 4149

    I wish I had become a professional soccer (football for non-US residents) player. I'm not sure I would have made it, but I definitely would have tried.

  • Chris-232075

    SSCrazy

    Points: 2070

    Early in my career, I was never happy with my employer and changed jobs frequently. I didn't realize it then, but I was looking for a boss that agreed with me 100 percent of the time--an impossible goal.

    I wish that, in the early part of my career, I was more respectful of the decision makers who I reported to. I hadn't realized that I was only responsible for giving my honest opinion (upon request) about decisions that needed to be made. I was stupid not to come to the logical realization that I'm not going to always agree with my superior's decisions. I wasn't belligerent with anybody, but I invested too much time being angry at my boss(es) for making business decisions that I didn't agree with.

    I recently read on a church marquis that staying angry at somebody is like drinking poison and then waiting for the other person to die. It's true.

  • jeff.stanlick

    Old Hand

    Points: 328

    I got my BSCS back in '95 and have been in the IT industry ever since. My first job was doing a lot of Oracle DBA work but I hated being on the road for 2 years straight. So, I took a development job and did development stuff for the next 10 years. Then I started doing SQL Server DBA work part time, and I finally do it full time. It was a longer road than it could've been but it's always been database work that I've enjoyed, and I'm back at it again and probably better off because of the variety of things I learned along the way.

    The only regret I have is that I should've spent more time honing my soft skills earlier in my career instead of focusing solely on 1's and 0's. Playing company politics and selling your ideas is a skill I've needed at every employer I've had. Unfortunately, I've always run into someone at those companies who was much better at it than I was/am.

  • Tyge Goodfellow

    SSC Rookie

    Points: 27

    I've worked my way through my career as an IT Generalist, though I've been titled a Sr. Systems and Network Engineer for the last 8 years. I subscribed to Steve's and SQL Server Central's newsletters in appreciation of the content and information about SQL server about 7 years ago. I've enjoyed my career and have worked my way through ground level PC and Server hardware manufacturing to systems and network administration for a number of different companies and through a couple of corporate bankruptcies. I was fortunate early in my career to have attended a seminar put on by the company I worked for where a college professor gave a discussion about change in the work place as many employees were being transitioned to an outsourcing partner that had won the contract to ourtsource all of their IT operations. The professor made one point which stuck with me through my career and serves as a grounding point for me. Many of the employees were very stressed about being transitioned because they had been with the company for 20 years or more in many instances. The professor said that the modern workforce was transitioning as companies began to treat employees as resources instead of people in many cases. The core of the professors point was that everyone should focus on their employability by learning skills and taking opportunities to improve their value. Focusing on employability makes it possible to take ownership and responsibility for your career. It seems like basic common sense point now, but back then, I didn't fully understand it. As I've worked for different companies, I've naturally focused on improving my skills by taking on tasks that made me stretch. As a result, I've improved my employability by learning new skills and by actively contributing to the company's goals in measurable ways. I don't have any regrets about my career or having worked for several companies simply because I've always been employable as a result of the work I've done. As to Steve's topic today, I think many people would be better off in their careers and more satisfied in whole if they focused on their employability rather than the job. Pursuing something new and interesting to you will naturally benefit your employability in the long term. Doing this throughout my career has exposed me to so many different uses and focuses on technology and business that it has given me a wide range of skill sets, and the years I have spent in IT and different companies have given me depth in experience. If I ever had one regret, it was that I didn't pursue my degree earlier in my career. I recently finished my BS in IT out of a personal desire rather than a necessary one. The skills I had learned in my career by focusing on my employability made completing the degree much easier than I it had been when I first attended college.

  • peterzeke

    SSCrazy Eights

    Points: 8998

    jcrawf02 (6/12/2009)


    I wish I hadn't blown five years of college on a Jazz Performance degree that I now don't use, as much fun as it was....

    Professionally, no regrets, I've been very lucky in that respect. Wish I'd found SSC sooner, I guess. 😉

    Hey jcrawf, succeeding in music is definitely a challenge. My parents both earned master's degrees at the Eastman School of Music (Rochester, NY): mom became a traditional stay-at-home mom and my dad went on to establish the music dept at the local community college. They encouraged me and my brother to learn/appreciate music, but never pushed us into a music career for the very fact that it can be quite tough to make a living.

    My critial moment of departure from seriously studying music happened in 8th grade when I was finding it difficult to practice piano, play three sports a year, and make an honest effort to do well in school. My dad said "Pete, you'll always have music but you're only young once. If sports is what you'd like to do, then now's the time to do it." So, music took a back seat just when I began to transpose piano music into a new key as I was playing/reading the music. Now I struggle to play scales without fat-fingering adjacent keys 😉

    Nonetheless, I am always grateful for knowing how to play a piano, sing, and carry a beat.

  • katedgrt

    Ten Centuries

    Points: 1197

    rduncan (6/12/2009)


    I've been working in IT for 12 years, on and off. In that time I've committed career suicide not once, but twice. First was an 18 month side trip to work in a bookstore. Second was a 2 1/2 year side trip to start a retail business (online and later brick-and-mortar). I've managed to salvage my IT career pretty well, and am thankful to be where I am. But I look back now (older, wiser, and with much less wanderlust) and wonder how much more knowledgeable I would be now if I didn't have those large gaps.

    Oh, but think of the life experience and business knowledge you gained! I wish I'd had the guts to followup on some non-corporate opportunities but other than that I am very happy with the path my career has taken. Though at times I feel I've got a rudder but no oars--circumstance drives me forward and I just nudge the process to the left or right with all my might. My main regrets involve people I have lost touch with. I'm not a bridge burner, but even all my more recent efforts at networking have not been able to raise some of those contacts from the backwaters of my address book, with expired emails and disconnected phones and only my fond memories to connect me to them.

    😎 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?

  • katedgrt

    Ten Centuries

    Points: 1197

    jeff.stanlick (6/12/2009)


    ... Unfortunately, I've always run into someone at those companies who was much better at it than I was/am.

    The trick is to make those your mentors, kiss up and LEARN! I have spent many years working on my people skills and still feel insufficient in that realm. Thus my consulting through a larger firm, as i do not yet feel competent to manage clients on my own. This is not exactly a regret, just a soft spot in my skill set.

    😎 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?

  • mazzz

    SSCertifiable

    Points: 6139

    My regret is not realising I wanted to go back to university and go for a career in bioscience *before* I got a mortgage 🙁

    Now where's that winning lottery ticket...

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    Bite-sized fiction (with added teeth) [/url]

  • jeff.stanlick

    Old Hand

    Points: 328

    katedgrt (6/12/2009)

    The trick is to make those your mentors, kiss up and LEARN! ...

    About 2 years ago I realized this is absolutely true! I just lost 12 years before I figured that out though 😉

  • Andy Lennon

    SSCrazy

    Points: 2354

    i regret not taking a year break after High School before going to college.

    I went to a public high school that had a solid reputation and a 97% acceptance/attendance rate for graduates. suffice it to say, there was a lot of pressure to go right away. I didn't think about it at the time but i was flat out sick of the educational system. I went to college and hated every class, then stopped going to classes. I can't help but think that if had given my self some space and just worked my 'summer job' (which i came back to and am working at now) for a year, i might have actually been able to stomach higher education and earned those letters next to my name.

  • sadvani

    SSC Enthusiast

    Points: 187

    I have almost the same story as JenG. I studied biology and ecology (BA and MS, respecitvely). I more or less enjoyed the biology and went back for a degree in ecology, and enjoyed it any where from passably to not at all. Before I went in, a friend said I should get a degree in CIS, and work with ecologists/natural scientist. Here I am, 8 or 9 years later, and I don't do ecology, I manage and design databases for scientific consulting.

    I wish I had know that my interest was more aligned toward technical skills rather than more academic science. I am getting better (after abou 1.5 yrs of heading toward/being a database specialist). but lack a lot of hard skills. I don't necessarily see the day to day in and out of the databases as the end (as it relates to env. sciences), but I wish I was further along on the way to having a full compliment of skills from formal education and more time on the job doing what I am doing now.

    SA

  • ChrisMoix-87856

    SSCertifiable

    Points: 7288

    I got an economics degree as an undergrad, and ended up falling backwards into an IT job (because I bought a computer from the university store that had OS/2 on it - ended up working in an IBM shop simply because I knew OS/2).

    Anyway, I went back to school recently and got a couple of Masters degrees (dual track program - an MS and an MBA). What I wish now is that I could put those new degrees to use!

  • RBarryYoung

    SSC Guru

    Points: 143327

    ChrisMoix (6/12/2009)


    I got an economics degree as an undergrad, and ended up falling backwards into an IT job ...

    Hmmm, I don't think that most of us would call that "backwards". 🙂

    [font="Times New Roman"]-- RBarryYoung[/font], [font="Times New Roman"] (302)375-0451[/font] blog: MovingSQL.com, Twitter: @RBarryYoung[font="Arial Black"]
    Proactive Performance Solutions, Inc.
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