Advice for Steve Jones

I was tagged by Mike Walsh in a blog post entitled: 4 Attitudes I Wish I Had Earlier as a DBA. It’s a look back at Mike’s career and a few things that he wishes he’d known earlier in his career. These are four mental ways of viewing the world, soft skills that might have made more successful, or successful faster. Mike asked a few people to share their thoughts, and there are some good ones from Brent OzarErin Stellato, and my favorite Aunt Kathi.

I’ve got lots of advice for the young Steve Jones. I’ve had a successful career, with few regrets, and I think a small number of decisions I would undo. However I have some advice for myself, based on things I’ve learned, or things I’m still learning.

There is no Plan
There is no master business plan, and the people making decisions don’t necessarily make the best decisions. They’re not right, but they are in charge. Argue your position, give your professional opinion, and when the decision is made, support it and make it work.

Take a breath
Before you rush into decisions or actions, especially in a crisis, take a breath. It’s better to be a little slower than compound one mistake with another.

We’re not saving babies
Most of us don’t work on systems that affect human life. If you do, that’s fine, but for most of us our jobs aren’t that critical. Learn to keep things in perspective, and try to help your boss remember that as well.

Be your own person
Be honest with yourself. What do you like, and more importantly, what do you not like. It’s easy to get caught up in what others think. It’s easy to let yourself get drawn into a path that is not your own. Choose your own path, but more importantly, learn where your path really leads.

I’ve written a bit more, a slightly longer post on my blog with a few more items. However these are the pieces of advice I’d have liked to have learned earlier in my career. Perhaps hearing one of these items will help one of consider yourself a success a bit sooner in career.

Steve Jones

The Voice of the DBA Podcast

Listen to the MP3 Audio ( 2.7MB) podcast or subscribe to the feed at iTunes and LibSyn. feed

The Voice of the DBA podcast features music by Everyday Jones. No relation, but I stumbled on to them and really like the music.


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Editor, SQLServerCentral
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