The Process of Stepping Away and Back Again

Welcome to episode 128 of the Nerd Journey Podcast [@NerdJourney]! We’re John White (@vJourneyman) and Nick Korte (@NetworkNerd_), two Pre-Sales Technical 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 discuss John’s return as co-host, his experience buying a home and moving, and Nick’s experience flying solo.

Original Recording Date: 06-01-2021

Topics – Stress of Home Buying, Taking a Break and Flying Solo, and Lessons Learned

1:00 – John is Back!

  • John and his wife were told by their land lord and the homeowners that they wanted to sell the home in which they were living, forcing John and his wife to move pretty quickly.
    • This caused a big time crunch, and recording is what gave.

2:21 – Stress of Home Buying

  • The process of finding a house was pretty difficult. COVID is still with us, and there are certain restrictions involved in seeing houses, how long you can look around, many people looking for houses and fewer looking to move, etc.
    • In California at present, you get a 30 minute appointment to look around a house, the realtor has to be present, and you have to sign a great deal of paperwork.
    • The agent gets a key code for the door and walks around the house with you.
    • Only one interested party at a time can be inside the home at a time.
  • The house hunting process was mostly on weekends, but toward the end of 60 days they looked hard at renting again. Their real estate agent found them a place, and John and his wife had an offer accepted.
    • They then went through the 30-day closing / lone approval period and had 2 weeks to move.
    • The last 2 week was when things kicked into high gear.
  • This process was easier due to the fact that John and his wife were renting and did not need to sell a place before they could buy something (i.e. contingency sale). This was a complication on the place John and his wife ended up finding.
  • Any house John and his wife wanted to see required 24 hour notice to the home owners for a showing.
  • One of the things that worked to their advantage was the 30-day loan closing process and then the 2 weeks to move out of the rental.
    • This 30-day period was when the packing process had to take place.
  • John took a break but definitely missed it. He was able to let it go to focus on what was needed.
  • John recommends not moving in a hot housing market during a global pandemic.
  • On the topic of career, John was fortunate enough to have a manager who understood.
    • The manager emphasized that John take time off to move effectively and communicate what he needed. The sales rep John works with was extremely supportive as well.
  • John felt supported by everyone, including Nick.

12:45 – Taking a Break and Flying Solo

  • Nick remembers the day John told him he needed to take a break. He didn’t want to offend John but thought the podcast needed to keep going.
    • The motivations for both of us have always been finding things that could help others. It was never about being featured on something.
    • John was afraid the podcast would altogether stop and was surprised but excited Nick wanted to try to keep it going.
  • John had edited all 112 episodes up to the point where he took a break.
    • Nick was ok with not knowing how to edit. He would do the notes and pass them to John but never really took the time to learn editing.
    • Nick told John to take 30 minutes to tell him everything he needed to know so he could try to figure out the rest. Luckily, John had documented the process.
      • Part of our jobs as SEs is to take knowledge and disseminate to others. John felt like he had digested down everything he had learned.
      • This was an iterative process, and teaching it to someone else cements some things that are unconscious in your own process.
    • Nick didn’t even have Audacity downloaded to his computer or know how to normalize audio levels. He told John he would try not to bother him but may have a question here and there (answer when time allows).
  • Something weird happens when you go from just show notes to editing. You start to hear more than you did before (more filler words, more silences, when people talk over each other – almost like they are louder).
    • John says you start to notice when people talk over each other during an interview because it is work for you after the fact.
    • The listening with a critical ear part is a different kind of listening.
    • There is something about trying to speak and listen with a critical ear at the same time. You have to practice.
    • Nick compares this to the process of circular breathing.
    • Nick thinks he was making more edits because he was hearing more things but learned a TON in this process.
    • Hopefully if you have listened to episodes starting with 113 it was decent and was helpful.
    • John was super happy we had content to release.
    • Listen as John describes the intricacies of the first episodes Nick edited.
  • Nick says it’s really different when you’re the interviewer and don’t have a co-host. There’s no one else to bounce ideas off except your guest.
    • The key is to make any lulls in conversation sound natural. It takes practice to ask questions the right way. It’s a skill that takes practice to build.
  • We have an outline of how we want the show to go, but sometimes we go down a totally different path we never expected.
    • This is John’s favorite part. Much of what we hear from a guest we are hearing for the first time. We may have a general idea of what they want to say, but we’re pulling more details out of it (career inflection points, etc.).
  • When you take on extra work, it can have different impacts in your life. Nick knew this would be slow.
    • Then Josh Duffney recommended Nick read Give and Take by Adam Grant.
    • Nick was doing this to help John and the listeners. Though it was extra work, he didn’t care. It gave him energy actually even though he questioned whether this would be a sustainable process.
    • There was no burnout due to the extra workload.
    • John speaks to the full podcast process and the logistics of the work involved. We’ve had gaps in releases even with both of us involved.

27:38 – Lessons Learned

  • John
    • Hire movers if you can.
    • Pack over a period of time instead of all at once.
    • Every move is a chance to purge what you do not need. Maybe that should extend to your existence in general (question whether you need stuff).
      • Draw the same analogy to career when you are taking a new job. Look at the tools you have and whether they need to be purged.
  • Nick
    • When doing a collaborative project, make sure you understand the full workstream. Nick learned a ton because he was forced to do so.
  • It seems like we’ve had decent audio. John has listened to other podcasts and picked up on the fact that someone has never edited (hear variable volumes, extreme max and min volumes, etc.).
  • Nick says you learn so much from hearing people share their stories, and you get to listen to it multiple times. This is how we remember the previous episodes so well.
  • John says 99% of show notes have been done by Nick, and he feels like there are people who consume the notes without listening to the audio.
    • There are podcasts John likes to consume by show notes. It can be a faster way to answer a question. With time codes in the notes we allow people to listen to a specific section of the conversation.
    • If you interact with our podcast in a non-traditional way, let us know if the show notes do / do not benefit you. Leave a comment, smash the subscribe button, or DM us.
    • Listen to John’s fun ideas for new mediums for our content.
  • If you have a career story that needs to be told, we want to hear from you!

Contact us if you need help on the journey.

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