Turn a Bad Job into a Good Experience

  • Comments posted to this topic are about the item Turn a Bad Job into a Good Experience

    Tim Mitchell, Microsoft Data Platform MVP
    Data Warehouse and ETL Consultant
    TimMitchell.net | @Tim_Mitchell | Tyleris.com
    ETL Best Practices

  • Perfect and well said. I had one job where I quite literally did just about everything for the company from learning how to run a letter folding machine to pulling and terminating CAT-5 and CAT-3 cables to planning the electrical load for a new office to writing my own (small) database. It was a LOT of hard work and I wouldn't trade away a minute of it. Someone would have to go to school for 20 years to learn all that. Heh... life is school and I'm still learning. What a blast!

    --Jeff Moden

    RBAR is pronounced "ree-bar" and is a "Modenism" for Row-By-Agonizing-Row.
    First step towards the paradigm shift of writing Set Based code:
    ________Stop thinking about what you want to do to a ROW... think, instead, of what you want to do to a COLUMN.

    Change is inevitable... Change for the better is not.

    Helpful Links:
    How to post code problems
    How to Post Performance Problems
    Create a Tally Function (fnTally)

  • The exact kind of situation you describe is actually what turned me into a DBA. My soul was getting crushed regularly and the saving grace was that because I was pulled in so many different directions, I had the opportunity to get a very wide base of experience and figure out what I was most passionate about. As frustrating as the experience was, I am glad I had it, though it would have been nice if the stay at that job was a bit shorter.

  • Great article, it really struck a chord with me.

    These types of in the trenches roles build character and I consider them almost a rite of passage to becoming a well rounded and versatile Data Professional.

    After all, how will you know when you hit the big time with a dream job if you’ve always had it easy? 🙂

  • Good thoughts, and I've thought the same about bad/weak managers, you get chances to do things that you might not with a stronger and more capable manager. Still, it's easy to fall into a rut and stay past the point when you should have left. The trick - with no easy answer - is figuring out when that time is!

  • While the situation I'm currently in isn't bad, it is a dead end as far as growth and any real challenges other than boredom of doing the same tasks. So I'm hitting the books, databases and code to bootstrap myself out of here.

  • Glad you've moved on, and a nice editorial. I agree that these challenging jobs help you learn, but I agree with Andy. Easy to get stuck there.

    I think you need to keep talking about this with your spouse/family, and keep looking for something new when you are struggling in your job. You don't want to get stuck in a crappy job for a long time.

  • The best thing you can do when you discover that you are in a bad work situation is to first, learn from it and second, start looking for another job. With regard to the first point, I mean learn everything: policy, practices, process, management, politics and coworkers that contributed to the bad experience. All of this will come in handy later on. It is not enough to recognize that you were bored and not challenged enough. You have to figure out why the situation you are in is as bad as it is. Just doing the analysis puts you more in control of your current situation. You might find you can improve your work environment and turn a bad job into an acceptable one (and you get to ignore my second recommendation).

    One very important point: when in a lousy work environment, it doesn't help to complain. It does help to point out problems and recommend solutions.

  • Great editorial Tim. That's just what I needed to read right now.

  • Awesome article!! So I am not the only one in the same boat. Back then it did suck but now looking back it was well worth it!

  • I have had a few jobs very similar to the one you write about. They are all a part of my experience and contribute to my current skill set. They were definitely worth doing the time...for a while...to get a broad perspective and learn about some far flung things I might not have learned otherwise.

  • Andy Warren (8/16/2010)

    Good thoughts, and I've thought the same about bad/weak managers, you get chances to do things that you might not with a stronger and more capable manager. Still, it's easy to fall into a rut and stay past the point when you should have left. The trick - with no easy answer - is figuring out when that time is!

    I like that you bring up the bad/weak manager topic and also the topic of knowing when to leave. Though bad jobs can be good for the career, they can be extremely detrimental to the esteem as well as the career if you don't figure out the right time to leave.

    With a bad/weak manager you could be belittled on a daily basis in private or public. You could also be expected to accomplish things that have never been communicated or communicated entirely differently (I know that can happen despite the manager) and then be subject to the belittlement.

    Granted, even with bad managers there is plenty to learn. For some, a bad manager means you learn how to manage and do the job for the bad manager. This can also teach one how to deal with adversity and work well under pressure. However, it is essential to keep your self aware of the situation and prepared to leave at the appropriate moment. Bad employers deserve as much loyalty from the employee as they give.

    Jason...AKA CirqueDeSQLeil
    I have given a name to my pain...MCM SQL Server, MVP
    Posting Performance Based Questions - Gail Shaw[/url]
    Learn Extended Events

  • What dosen't kill you in life tends to make you stronger. It's all one big test! 😀

    "Technology is a weird thing. It brings you great gifts with one hand, and it stabs you in the back with the other. ...:-D"

  • Nice stuff Tim - oh, and good to see you at SQL Saturday 28 in Baton Rouge this w/e!!

    Another thing I have found to be important and telling about an individual is how you behave and handle LEAVE(ing) one job when transitioning.

    Kevin G. Boles
    SQL Server Consultant
    SQL MVP 2007-2012
    TheSQLGuru on googles mail service

  • Just what I needed to read!

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