Something I learned while unemployed

  • Rod at work

    SSC-Dedicated

    Points: 33401

    Comments posted to this topic are about the item Something I learned while unemployed

    Kindest Regards, Rod Connect with me on LinkedIn.

  • Stefan LG

    SSCommitted

    Points: 1936

    Rod, thanks for the useful tips!
    The challenge is to find the time (while employed) to stay up to date with new technologies and trends.
    Also, employers will provide and/or pay for training that will benefit the current business model, not employees' careers.
    I am funding most of my 'career' training out of my own pocket, which can be a problem if you are unemployed or do not have enough money...

  • Jerry OLoughlin

    Old Hand

    Points: 394

    Rod at work - Monday, January 23, 2017 9:04 PM

    Comments posted to this topic are about the item Something I learned while unemployed

    You're right on target, thanks
    I read this as a wake-up call !


    -gol

  • Gary Varga

    SSC Guru

    Points: 82166

    Great article covering a difficult time if/when one suffers it.

    It is worth remembering that everything takes time and to used elapsed time wisely (not saying Rod didn't). As soon as you find out that your job is at risk then it is worth spending time discovering what fundamentals you are missing. Possibly sacrifing personal time you wouldn't under different circumstances. Rod highlights a way of discovering missing fundamentals: job ads. Even if you are not ready to apply for jobs, if you read job adverts like you want to apply and can see a commonly occurring reason why you might be overlooked for roles then you know what to tackle first. If there is more than one the prioritise.

    Remember that the hardest thing in this situation can be honest self-belief and this is a situation where you might end up low enough to question your self-worth. Call out your concerns. Ask for help. Possibly not from colleagues that may be in the same situation. Where then? Family. Friends. Community. That means here too. Spend enough time here and you will see hints or full on disclosure of peoples' personal circumstances. It is difficult to open up. But do it. Be brave. You may get the role that gets you out of the unemployment line that way. You will definitely be supported.

    Gaz

    -- Stop your grinnin' and drop your linen...they're everywhere!!!

  • ben.taylor.devops

    Mr or Mrs. 500

    Points: 502

    Stefan LG - Monday, January 23, 2017 9:44 PM

    Rod, thanks for the useful tips!
    The challenge is to find the time (while employed) to stay up to date with new technologies and trends.
    Also, employers will provide and/or pay for training that will benefit the current business model, not employees' careers.
    I am funding most of my 'career' training out of my own pocket, which can be a problem if you are unemployed or do not have enough money...

    I've had employers in the past who have offered training, my biggest problem was always finding time as there was always something "more important" to do rather than spend a day, or even a few hours, doing training. I've ended up doing the vast majority of mine at evenings and weekends, either free courses (MongoDB was a particularly good one) or working through a collection of online tutorials and ebooks.

    I'd be interested to know how common this is, do other people struggle to find time for training during work hours?

  • Gary Varga

    SSC Guru

    Points: 82166

    ben.taylor.devops - Tuesday, January 24, 2017 1:53 AM

    Stefan LG - Monday, January 23, 2017 9:44 PM

    Rod, thanks for the useful tips!
    The challenge is to find the time (while employed) to stay up to date with new technologies and trends.
    Also, employers will provide and/or pay for training that will benefit the current business model, not employees' careers.
    I am funding most of my 'career' training out of my own pocket, which can be a problem if you are unemployed or do not have enough money...

    I've had employers in the past who have offered training, my biggest problem was always finding time as there was always something "more important" to do rather than spend a day, or even a few hours, doing training. I've ended up doing the vast majority of mine at evenings and weekends, either free courses (MongoDB was a particularly good one) or working through a collection of online tutorials and ebooks.

    I'd be interested to know how common this is, do other people struggle to find time for training during work hours?

    This is so common. Across the board. Across sectors. Permanent or contract. Public or private sector. New to the profession or world renowned. Not everywhere. But most.

    Gaz

    -- Stop your grinnin' and drop your linen...they're everywhere!!!

  • call.copse

    SSCoach

    Points: 17208

    @Ben, it's definitely a struggle to find time for training during working hours for me, even for directly job related stuff that I need to pick up on desperately. It's not so much that there is no time at all, it's just getting a decent span of time that I can use. For myself, I can't learn things easily when interrupted. Ideally I'd be able to use a full day to work on something but it just won't happen. Still, I can get by OK - to some extent it's a question of forcing myself to do it, not easy when already worn down by getting things done.

  • funbi

    SSCarpal Tunnel

    Points: 4992

    ben.taylor.devops - Tuesday, January 24, 2017 1:53 AM

    Stefan LG - Monday, January 23, 2017 9:44 PM

    Rod, thanks for the useful tips!
    The challenge is to find the time (while employed) to stay up to date with new technologies and trends.
    Also, employers will provide and/or pay for training that will benefit the current business model, not employees' careers.
    I am funding most of my 'career' training out of my own pocket, which can be a problem if you are unemployed or do not have enough money...

    I've had employers in the past who have offered training, my biggest problem was always finding time as there was always something "more important" to do rather than spend a day, or even a few hours, doing training. I've ended up doing the vast majority of mine at evenings and weekends, either free courses (MongoDB was a particularly good one) or working through a collection of online tutorials and ebooks.

    I'd be interested to know how common this is, do other people struggle to find time for training during work hours?

    Absolutely. Even when I've been told I have half a day a week for training there is always actual work that is more urgent than my own training. My current employer sends developers away for the occasional seminar which is a good way to go about it I think. For me the best way to learn on the job is to tackle a work task in a new technology/language (if the new tech is the best tool for the job of course!).

  • Jack 49290

    SSChasing Mays

    Points: 620

    I'm currently in pretty much the same situation, but would modify to "underemployed" (working 10 - 15 hours / week).  In the tight economy a lot of employers (mostly small) are looking for small / short term projects and have adopted the contingency work force.  Right now I'm trying to work on learning optimization.  I have Grant's book and read many other articles and listened to MANY webinars, but the problem I'm having is finding / creating a system "under load" to practice the theories.  ANY suggestions are appreciated.

  • Gary Varga

    SSC Guru

    Points: 82166

    Jack 49290 - Tuesday, January 24, 2017 4:14 AM

    I'm currently in pretty much the same situation, but would modify to "underemployed" (working 10 - 15 hours / week).  In the tight economy a lot of employers (mostly small) are looking for small / short term projects and have adopted the contingency work force.  Right now I'm trying to work on learning optimization.  I have Grant's book and read many other articles and listened to MANY webinars, but the problem I'm having is finding / creating a system "under load" to practice the theories.  ANY suggestions are appreciated.

    Have you read the article Load Testing Your Storage Subsystem with Diskspd here: http://www.sqlservercentral.com/blogs/anthony-nocentinos-blog/2015/09/15/load-testing-your-storage-subsystem-with-diskspd/

    Or, perhaps, Stress Testing SQL Server here: http://www.sqlservercentral.com/articles/Miscellaneous/2634/

    There will be plenty others too...and that's just here!!!

    Gaz

    -- Stop your grinnin' and drop your linen...they're everywhere!!!

  • brenda.large

    Valued Member

    Points: 71

    Thank-you for your post today - I too had to swallow the bitter pill of realising I didn't have critical skills.  I'm now funding my education in order to 'catch-up' and eventually hopefully overtake the folks that haven't kept up.
    The one thing I would add - CV - keep your own up-to-date.
    Additionally, keep up-to-date with the current way of writing a good CV ( keep to max 3 pages ) - CV presentation/writing has changed at least five times in my career

  • mercurej

    Mr or Mrs. 500

    Points: 556

    ben.taylor.devops - Tuesday, January 24, 2017 1:53 AM

    Stefan LG - Monday, January 23, 2017 9:44 PM

    Rod, thanks for the useful tips!
    The challenge is to find the time (while employed) to stay up to date with new technologies and trends.
    Also, employers will provide and/or pay for training that will benefit the current business model, not employees' careers.
    I am funding most of my 'career' training out of my own pocket, which can be a problem if you are unemployed or do not have enough money...

    I've had employers in the past who have offered training, my biggest problem was always finding time as there was always something "more important" to do rather than spend a day, or even a few hours, doing training. I've ended up doing the vast majority of mine at evenings and weekends, either free courses (MongoDB was a particularly good one) or working through a collection of online tutorials and ebooks.

    I'd be interested to know how common this is, do other people struggle to find time for training during work hours?

    Training during work hours is always difficult and always will be.  This is especially true if the management team sees your position/role as overheard and not something that drives profit.  Management will easily justify spending on training for profit generating personnel but us back office staff are often seen as already costing money.  I have started weekly lunchtime sessions with PluralSight (part of yearly Visual Studio subscription) on Fridays.  Finding personal time for training is just as difficult when family and home ownership are taken into account.

  • djackson 22568

    SSChampion

    Points: 11713

    Unit testing - I find it hard to imagine anyone who writes code in any form, would not conduct unit testing.  While I understand that there are certainly different views on what unit testing is, and certainly some do it better than others, and of course learning more about any subject can be a good thing, how can one code and not test their code?  That said, we have also all worked with someone like that, so I know it happens.  I just don't understand it.

    As to ways to keep your skills up, I understand how difficult it can be.  About 15 years ago I was unemployed for a while.  It got to the point that I started doing volunteer work for local churches just to keep sane.  I learned things as a result.  No money coming in makes this "not an option" for most people, but the point is to try to find something.  For those who have been unemployed for a while in the US, that is going to change.  Don't wait for the economy to turn around before you start working on your skills.  If there is any way to do so today, try your best to find a way.  I expect a LOT more jobs over the next few years, and this time, they will actually pay people money!

    Lastly, you didn't mention things like Oracle's and VMware's local desktop offerings that allow you to virtualize anything.  You have to have some hardware, but if you do, you can download many tools for free, and then install things, from Linux to Windows, SSExpress, et cetera.  You can learn Power Shell and other tools.  Don't ignore cheap technologies like Raspberry Pi either.  I was amazed at what I learned from a $35 computer.  It was especially fun trying to figure out how to edit files in their version of Debian to get my keyboard working, since it defaulted to a British layout!

    Dave

  • dp75

    SSC Journeyman

    Points: 90

    A great article Rod, I think the least this does is give us all a "boost" or wake-up call. And in some cases we take action so we don't lie floating rather than ascend to our potentials.
    As others have posted, its always difficult to make time learning new skills but there's always opportunities we can unravel.
    With online job postings for many years now, there's no excuse for anyone to understand what current job roles requirements are and where the industry is heading.

  • jarick 15608

    Ten Centuries

    Points: 1250

    mercurej - Tuesday, January 24, 2017 7:15 AM

    ben.taylor.devops - Tuesday, January 24, 2017 1:53 AM

    Stefan LG - Monday, January 23, 2017 9:44 PM

    Rod, thanks for the useful tips!
    The challenge is to find the time (while employed) to stay up to date with new technologies and trends.
    Also, employers will provide and/or pay for training that will benefit the current business model, not employees' careers.
    I am funding most of my 'career' training out of my own pocket, which can be a problem if you are unemployed or do not have enough money...

    I've had employers in the past who have offered training, my biggest problem was always finding time as there was always something "more important" to do rather than spend a day, or even a few hours, doing training. I've ended up doing the vast majority of mine at evenings and weekends, either free courses (MongoDB was a particularly good one) or working through a collection of online tutorials and ebooks.

    I'd be interested to know how common this is, do other people struggle to find time for training during work hours?

    Training during work hours is always difficult and always will be.  This is especially true if the management team sees your position/role as overheard and not something that drives profit.  Management will easily justify spending on training for profit generating personnel but us back office staff are often seen as already costing money.  I have started weekly lunchtime sessions with PluralSight (part of yearly Visual Studio subscription) on Fridays.  Finding personal time for training is just as difficult when family and home ownership are taken into account.

    I have been fortunate in that my team (Database Administration) has been recognized as a driver due to the fact that in the insurance industry, underwriting is fueled by analytics.  Our work supports actuarial work that supplies rating information to the business.

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