Pillar 5: Keep your dreams and goals, even if people mock you.
I can’t tell you how many people told me my career shifts were dumb. The thing is, when you make an educated decision based on what our industry is doing, a lot of the time it looks SUPER weird. This isn’t to say that you have to be a ‘futureologist’ or anything like that. Just look at what’s new. What are people talking about being ‘the next big thing’. For instance, right now the ‘next big thing’ is IOT. If you have IOT on your resume and LinkedIn profile, you’re going to start to get more and more recruiter calls.
The reaction to this decision to pivot spawns all kinds of salty memes out there that reflect this. “Wolves rarely bother with the opinions of sheep” is one that comes to mind. A more positive version of this are the goofy pictures posted by 15 year-olds on Instagram like “sunshine in, darkness out”.
In all honesty though, the message is the same for this pillar. It points to the fact that there are a TON of people in hopeless jobs that are negative and actively disengaged. These same people WILL TRY TO SUBCONSCIOUSLY TAKE YOU DOWN WITH THEM. Did you notice that? That was in ALL CAPS, bold, and italics for a reason. I have been this guy. Maybe not as deplorable as other miserable people I’ve worked with, but pretty damn close.
When I started to make career decisions based on what was best for me, versus what a corporate agenda or comfort level of myself and others was, I got pushback. A LOT of pushback. My favorite quote from a colleague who is not-so-good with the H.R.-P.C. talk was “Damn, that idea is more special-ed than you are.”
I ended up explaining to him how to get out of a commodity tech job and become an SME 18 months later.
This has happened to me time and time again. Proof in the pudding of things other people have told me in the past:
“Don’t focus your time on virtualization, that’ll never catch on”.
“Security will eventually kill off all cloud products”.
“Information Security is a terrible career path.”
“Know what Preston, they’ll never automate the network”.
“VoIP is definitely going to stay in-house, you can’t outsource it”.
The funny thing about this pillar (5) and pillar 6 is that they could actually be the different sides to the same coin. But they take different mental approaches.
All of these things above were false statements. And by looking around and seeing the shifting tides of our industry I’ve Looked at my dreams, pivoted, added new skills, sold myself into a new role and usually bring people with me when I do it (see Pillar 1).