Friday, February 13, 2009

Things I wish I had Known When Starting my IT Career

I was tagged by Tim Mitchell in the latest get-to-know-you question. This one asks, “What do you wish you had known when you started?”

Sometimes I think I may have forgotten more than I have learned. But I always feel like we can learn more and more every day. In fact, its one of my driving forces. I always seem to be trying to learn more things and get the things I learned more perfectly implemented.

Being open to helping
Many moons ago, I was excited to be in the IT industry out of college. I’d imagine with a similar enthusiasm as a fresh IT degree grad. I felt I had a great...

Many moons ago, I was excited to be in the IT industry out of college. I'd imagine with a similar enthusiasm as a fresh IT degree grad. I felt I had a great quantity of knowledge, and often didnt share it with other coworkers. Regardless of the knowledge I may or may not have had, the point here is that I had a hard time sharing it and helping others out. I tended to gaurd the information that I had for job security. Later, I learned, that I needed to be more open with info and share with others. Of course, I often will go to the other extreme and share way too much. Its a fine science to find that middle ground of not being selfish with knowledge, but not overwhelm when not needed.
We all work with people that have a variety of information in their brain stores, and some will appreciate being taught, and others will not. And I need to remember that I too am on that sliding scale, and I need to accept knowledge that I do not currently have.

User Community
I have seen others mention this, and I felt it warranted a mention in my list of things I wish I had known. When I was in college, there was a community of people that were surrounding me, learning, willing to learn, and so on. We all tended to help each other out in class and study sessions. This group effort seemed to buoy us all up a bit more. When I entered the job force, it seemed that I hadto stand on my own. After all, I went to interviews alone. Went to work alone. Granted I had coworkers, but in the end, I felt like I had to stand up and prove my skills. At this point, looking back, I wonder what would have happened had I entered into the SQL Community...
I have benefited so much from attending Community events, and volunteering. Networking is a great benefit, and the knowledge that comes these interactions has added to my own. I suggest to all to partake in this opportunity.

Be yourself
As I am surrounded by people much smarter than myself, I need to remember that I to have a level of smarts. I have different skills that others, and bring different opinions and perspective to the table. Its often difficult to remember that one has a distinct set of skills that others. When you begin to compare yourself to others, you tend to loose yourself and your own skills in the mix.
Remember that you have abilities that others may not have. Expand your knowledge. Learn from others. But do not try to be just like them. Find your own path to SQL Stardom, or wherever your career journey takes you.

These are the first items that pop into my mind that I wish i had known. Most of them are things I am still working on.

I’m going to tag Pat Wright, Tim Ford, Louis Davidson
To ensure that this keeps moving, I will contact the above via twitter, so that they can read my blog, and move it along.

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