Episode 019: “Process Over Outcomes” and “Dreaming in Bands”

Welcome to episode 19 of the Nerd Journey Podcast [@NerdJourney]! We’re John White (@vJourneyman) and Nick Korte (@NetworkNerd_), two VMware Solution Engineers who are hoping to bring you the IT career advice that we wish we’d been given earlier in our careers. In today’s episode, we have a discussion about Process-oriented thinking over Outcomes-oriented thinking and dreaming in bands of possibilities instead of being hyper-specific.

Original recording date: 2018-11-25


2:00 Process over outcomes

  • Cultivate an attitude that rewards or chastises yourself for your process rather than your outcomes.
    • You control your process, while your outcomes have influences you can’t control.
  • Alan Schoonmaker
  • Annie Duke
  • Background: Poker boom of the 2000s
  • Preface on the morality of gambling
  • Important parable about odds
  • Annie Duke – “Resulting”
    • Best decision you made last year
    • Worst decision you made last year
    • Probably the first was a good outcome and the second was a bad outcome
  • Tom Vanderbilt
  • Applying this to career management
    • Reward yourself for good process
    • Re-enforce your good processes
    • Correct your faulty processes
      • Be brutally honest in your self-assessment
        • Alan Schoonmaker  – Principle No 1: Your greatest enemy is denial
      • Examples
        • Tardiness
        • Calendar mis-management
        • Chronic procrastination
        • Disorganization
    • Correct, don’t engage in negative self-talk
    • Seek outside opinions
    • Reward your good processes even when there are bad outcomes
      •  Scenario: Didn’t get the job
        • Asked for coaching during the process
        • Did a great edit on your resume
        • Great prep for screening and early hiring-manager interviews
        • Great mid- and late-process interviews
        • Reward yourself for great process
        • The outcome was ultimately outside of your control
          • It was always about probability, not certainty
          • Did you do everything your reasonable, ethical power to tip the odds in your favor?
    • Practice, take notes along the way, self-assess

22:05 Dreaming in Bands

  • “Bands of possibility”
  • “Working at Company X is my dream job.”
  • There’s no single dream position and no singularly wonderful company to work for.
  • SE @ VMware was John’s dream job
    • But he became one three years ago. What now?!
    • Get a new dream? Or should the dream have been more expansive to include a band of possibilities and a path
    • Was it good process for John to fix singularly on a single position in a single region at a single company?
      • NO!
      • AWS? GCP? Cisco? Resellers?
      • SE? Solution Architect? Pure sales? Post-sales consultant?
      • California, Arizona, Colorado, PNW, Nevada?
  • What’s John’s dream now?
    • The bands of possibilities
    • Role, location, even company
  • Why have a dream?
    • Too out of reach?
    • Too much fantasy while the reality of our jobs passes us by?
    • People might dream too far in the future without thinking about the intermediate steps
    • It’s fine to use the word “goal” as a less lowered word
    • Have both short, intermediate, and long term goals
    • The further away the time frame, the more we should think about a band if possibilities
    • Maybe a dreamer is an expert goal-setter?
    • Having progression as a goal
    • Be open to possibilities

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