Taking Stock of Your Career

Yesterday was Thanksgiving in the US, a day where families typically celebrate together and many people give thanks for what is going well in their lives. It’s also one of the days when more businesses and services are closed than any other day of the year.

This is the time of year when most businesses look forward and plan the future. It’s also a time when lots of individuals may do the same thing, getting ready to make resolutions or attempt to change their lives in the new year.

Today, I want to do something a little different. Rather than taking stock of your career and looking forward, let’s look back and find gratitude.

Is there a situation, a person, a job that you were grateful for that helped your career for the better? Who would you thank? What helped you become the person you are today? It doesn’t matter if you are an older professional like me or someone starting your career. What are you grateful for in your past to put you where you are today?

For me, there are lots of things to choose from. I’ve been very blessed and lucky. I’ve worked hard to take advantage of opportunities, but things have worked out well. There are a few things that stand out in my mind.

First, I got a job interning at a nuclear power plant while in graduate school. That job changed my life. Someone recognized my value and gave me a chance to program, to learn how to run a network, and helped me learn SQL Server (on OS/2). I also met my wife there, so perhaps that’s the situation I’m most grateful for in my life.

The other situation was the job that moved me to Denver. It allowed my family to change locations and my kids to grow up in a wonderful place. The job wasn’t great, long hours, and I slept in my office far too many nights, but I learned how not to do a lot of things. From poor management, poor software processes, and bad operations practices. It was a tough period of growth that I still value today.

What are you thankful for in your career? Let us know in the discussion today.

Steve Jones

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