Nerd Journey Bonus 04: New Year’s Resolutions

Welcome to the fourth Bonus Episode 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 talk about community resolutions, an annual career checkup framework, and our personal resolutions.

Original Recording Date: 2018-12-10

Topics – Community Resolutions, Annual Career Checkup, Our Resolutions

2:59 Community Resolutions – collected from Twitter, Slack, and other online communities

  • Responses
    • Certifications
    • Skills development
      • Focus on specific products (VMware, Kubernetes), scripting skills, etc.
    • Career advancement/refinement
      • Be more effective in your current role
      • Make a move to an area with overlapping skills
      • Revisit episode 7 on training adjacencies
    • Health and personal issues
      • Getting more sleep can solve a number of problems
      • Working on family issues
    • Non-conformist responses
      • Warning – a very broad goal like just continuing to grow professionally makes it difficult to show progress toward the goal
  • John and Nick dig into the semantics of terminology (resolution vs. goal)

10:35 Annual Career Checkup

  • Source: Manager Tools Annual Checkup
    • Endorsed by John as an amazing 3-part podcast
  • Analyze Yourself – Focus on the Present Situation
    • Questions
      • First – Understanding Your Talents
        • What am I good at?
        • What activities come easily to me?
        • What things do people say that I’m good at?
        • What easy things do I think other people make big deal of?
      • Next
        • What do I enjoy doing?
        • What things could I do that all day every day?
        • What things do I look forward to doing?
      • Alternately
        • What things do I hate doing?
        • What things do I put off?
        • What things do I avoid doing entirely?
      • Reactions
    • Take DiSC to see where you fall
      • Dominance
      • Influence
      • Steadiness
      • Conscientiousness
    • Update Your Career Management Document
      • “Kitchen sink resume” as opposed to one targeted at specific job
      • Natural language
      • Lots more detail
      • Responsibilities and projects
      • Skill acquisition
      • Maintain and add to it continuously
      • Backup this document in multiple places!!!
    • Talk to your boss about your aspirations and intentions
      • The feedback and guidance can be extremely valuable
      • This is part of building rapport
  • Know your worth
    • Periodic research
    • Salary / non-salary items
  • Enhance your value
    • What are your competitors doing?
    • What are the other companies in your industry doing?
    • What are other people in your profession doing?
    • What ideas will translate from somewhere else to your team?
    • What does your boss think enhanced value to the business means for you?
  • Invest in your future
    • Continue to learn
      • Company vs. self-funded training
    • Join a professional organization
    • Invest in your network (personal, social, professional)
      • Volunteer internally and externally
      • Coach your kids
        • Can be a networking opportunity with parents
        • Learn to organize
        • Learn to direct skill acquisition
      • Be a mentor / get a mentor
      • Contact a headhunter
    • Learn from everyone you are around in any situation, and look for ways to apply this newfound knowledge to other areas.
    • Get the experience earlier, and make the mistakes earlier.

29:04 Our Resolutions

  • John’s Resolutions
    • Planning to work through the annual checkup
    • Find a formal mentor
    • Coach someone into VMware / their next career every quarter!
    • Learn something new
    • Write a series of blog posts about how I approach career development and the books that make me think that way
    • Do a series about career advancement in chronological order
      • Self-assessment
      • Goal setting
      • Tasks
      • Resume
      • Interviewing
      • Negotiation
      • Acceptance of new role
      • Transition
      • Success
    • IT Ops to vendor Systems Engineer
  • Nick’s Resolutions
    • Exercise – two workouts per week with more movement in general
      • This reminds John that he wants to go swing dancing more
    • Be more like John White (intellectually speaking)
    • Launch of home lab
    • Blog more than once per month
    • Renew VCP (maybe NV, maybe DCV, maybe both)
      • This reminds John to stop talking in acronyms
  • John takes a minute to endorse his new Intel NUC for home lab purposes

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