Career Goals for 2021

I’m a couple weeks late, but not nearly as late as 2020. In any case, I’m going to break these down as I did last year, but hopefully with a bit more focus. After a quick review last week, I am hoping I can do a better job in 2021.

The areas I want to focus on for my career are slightly different from last year, but still in a few areas.

  • Reading
  • Technical skills
  • Projects

I am going to go back to a monthly check-in, with a reminder in the calendar, to review the progress I’ve made, and hopefully help me keep slightly more focused. I used Outlook to set this as the last Friday of the month, ending on 31 Dec 2021.

2021-01-04 13_54_25-Goal Progress Update - Appointment Series

The details of each section are listed below. I’ve tried to be slightly detailed, but not so detailed that I don’t feel I have any flexibility.


I love to read. I’ve read over a 100 books some years, finishing 2020 with 82. I like the focus on longer reads in books, getting caught up in a topic, and I think this helps me to view the world differently.

For my career, I need to read some semi-technical or business focused books. Last year I aimed for technical (meaning code related) and non-technical (but non-fiction) books. I am going to do something similar this year, but also the realization slightly.


  • 3 non-fiction, career related books
  • 1 technical book

I’d like to do something technical, and work through some project in a book, so I’ll continue to do this. I realize that 1/quarter is probably plenty. For now, I’ll leave a template here for my updates:

Technical Skills

One thing that I’ve regretted slightly across the last year is that I didn’t focus on improving my career in a tangible way. Specifically, I need more Azure knowledge. I dabbled here and there, and could make things work, but not in a measured, focused way. I saw a few people work on certification, and I’ve regretted not going through some of the courses and work in the past.

I do want to go through some of the Azure certification paths, which have changed. Microsoft has changed many of the options, but there are some data ones, and I certainly would like to round out some of my Azure knowledge in new ways.

I also want to build more skills in these areas:

  • T-SQL
  • Python
  • PowerShell

I find these to be the most relevant for my work, and I think these are areas that I use often. As a result, I have a couple of options here for the items that will grow my career. Here are my initial thoughts in a template:

  • Certification –  AZ-900 – 0%
  • Certification – DP-200 – 0%
  • Skills – T-SQL – 2020 Advent of Code – 4/25
  • Skills – Python – 2020 Advent of Code – 0/25
  • Skills – PowerShell – 2020 Advent of Code – 0/25
  • Skills – TBD

The Advent of Code is a good, and fun, way to exercise my skills and mind. I usually find 5-6 are easy and the rest challenging, so I’m going to try and work through these across the year. Already I find that when I start in Dec, that weekends and time with family get in the way, so I’m expanding these through the year.

I don’t know I’ve measuring improvement here well, but if I compete the skills test, that’s good.

I’m sure I’ll add something else, but this is a good start.


Building something is good practice for a career project, and it’s good documentation. I think that a few of my ideas have been more fun in the past, so I’m going to focus on more tangible items.

I want to do more community work, especially with PASS failing, so I’m going to aim here, especially in the local community. I also want to continue with a technical project of some sort, and certainly share some data.

With that in mind, here are a few items.

  • Support DataSaturdays (or whatever the data platform one day event thing is)
    • Added 3 events manually in 2021
  • Speak at the 3 local user groups, at least one live presentation
  • Help organize a Denver/Colorado event, live or virtual
  • Complete my Power BI Volleyball report – I know lots of kids will use this, so I need to get it done – 20%
  • ?? – TBD

About way0utwest

Editor, SQLServerCentral
This entry was posted in Blog and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

5 Responses to Career Goals for 2021

  1. allenwrench2 says:

    Thanks for the advent of code links, they were new sources of information for me.


  2. Pingback: Daily Coping 28 Jan 2021 | Voice of the DBA

  3. Pingback: Goal Progress–Jan 2021 | Voice of the DBA

  4. Pingback: Goal Progress–Feb 2021 | Voice of the DBA

  5. Pingback: Goal Progress–Mar 2021 | Voice of the DBA

Comments are closed.