I used to play in a band in high school. I stood in front of crowds in bars and restaurants, dreaming of being a Rock Star. It never happened, and I’m not sure any of us had that much musical talent, but we had a lot of fun. As with most dreams, it was revived a few times in college, but eventually I let go of it, moving on to more practical, and less risky, career choices. However there are still times I’ve thought, “What if I’d tried harder….”
I’ve had a great career and wonderful life and have no regrets. I’m lucky enough to work for a great company, and I get to spend my days at home, doing something I really enjoy. I get to travel as well, doing talks and meeting lots of data professionals all over. Both of those bring a smile to my face. Over the last couple weeks I participated in the SQL in the City tour, and while it was a tough schedule to follow, I really enjoyed the chance to meet so many DBAs and developers all around the country. We’ve still got one more event, on Monday, Nov 5, in Seattle, the week of the PASS Summit. Come by if you’ll be in town. It’s free, just register.
Our tour covered five cities across eleven days, fortunately circling around Denver so I was able to go home a few times for a day or two. It’s much less grueling a schedule than many athletes or musicians follow, but it did teach me one thing: I wouldn’t have done well as a rock start. Delivering the same talks every two or three days was harder than I expected, and I didn’t love that part of the events. I would have preferred a little more variety of presentations, and it’s something I want to consider for future tour events.
One very important thing I’ve learned across the last decade or so is that I need to understand who I am and what I like to do. I realized that often in my career I was willing to bend and flex to meet the demands of various employers. However when the bending and flexing was too far from my comfort zone, or occurred too regularly, I haven’t enjoyed the jobs.
It’s important to know what you like, what you don’t, and what you are good at accomplishing and then finding the job that fits you. I might do another tour, but I won’t do them constantly. It’s not something I like or want to become a large part of my job.
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