The 2015 Plan

This is the last day of 2014, and we begin a new calendar year in 2015. It’s a time that many people make resolutions and I’ve got a few you might think about for 2015.

The first one is that I’d urge you to be sure you find some balance in your life in 2015. Whether you’ve had balance or not, remember that life is short, and you never know when you will leave. I’ve had friends die early, and I was touched by recently reading this last post from Derek Miller. We can look forward, we can plan, but we never know what the future will bring and what life will drop in our path.

If I look back at my life, there are many things I’ve chosen to do, or lived through, that I might not have imagined even five years before the experience. It’s unlikely that I’ll be able to guess with any accuracy what will happen in the next five. No matter what your beliefs, I do think that you must continue to live you life while you are on Earth, and hopefully the best parts of that life are outside of your career.

That being said, while you find a balance with life outside of work, don’t neglect your career. For many of us, our careers have grown over time as we learn more and gain skills. Make time in 2015 to do this somehow. I’ve got two suggestions for you to work on building skills, no matter what your job.

The first is to pursue a certification. I’ve been interested in Collen Morrow’s series on prepping for Exam 70-463. We can argue about whether the certification proves anything, but I do know something it does do. It guides your knowledge growth and gives you a goal. Both are good things that can help you improve your skills. It’s also motivating to learn new skills and pass a test. Colleen has inspired me a bit as this is the last exam I need for certification and I may follow along with her and take the test in 2015.

The second thing I might suggest is tackle a project of your own. It could be a piece of software, a database design, a web site, anything at all. Build something, write about it, display it to the world. Whether it’s practical or not, whether it’s useful to others, it will showcase your skills in whatever areas you tackle. This also gives you a goal to work towards, as well as a potential resume item that can help you in your next job search.

It’s amazing to think that 2015 starts tomorrow. I hope you all have a happy, safe, and enjoyable celebration tonight.

Steve Jones


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