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Career Guidance

Career Guidance

Career Guidance

(OP)
I like the organization that I work for, a non profit that does a lot of good for people. However, my supervisor knows less than I do and can not teach me anything, the it department is understaffed and constantly puts up roadblocks and/or delays everything, and I would like a higher salary.

I've been working for my organization for over four years now. I manage our databases, create reports, and have other responsibilities that are not IT related. The longer I stay, the more my skills will degrade. I have found myself recently identifying people who can take over certain responsibilities, so that when I do decide to leave the transition will be a smooth one.

I enjoy working with databases. Creating and maintaining them. Increasing the usability. All of that stuff. Call me crazy but it is interesting to me. I have a B.S. in Information Science. I have several years of experience supervising people (several non IT employees) and I have learned a ton about that. I am almost done with a class in Visual Basic. I plan to take an online class starting December in ASP.NET. To gain some experience, I am going to attempt to place a current Access database online using SQL Server and ASP.NET. Not sure if I can pull that off at this time, but I am going to try. I am also pretty proficient at using Crystal Reports.

It looks like I should be aiming for some sort of junior database developer type of position. Or possibly a lower level database administrator position. I think my main focus will be leaning as much as I possibly can to start possibly as a consultant. Any advice or suggestions about what else to focus on, what to look out for, etc is greatly appreciated.

RE: Career Guidance

Quote:


place a current Access database online using SQL Server
Huh?
That being said, I would get instruction, either classroom or self-directed, on using SQL Server and SSIS, especially if database design & reporting interests you.

"Don't be irreplaceable. If you can't be replaced, you can't be promoted."
 

RE: Career Guidance

Quote:

I think my main focus will be leaning as much as I possibly can to start possibly as a consultant.
Being a consultant can be a tough gig.  If you have a day job, you clients can get annoyed by having to wait for your time.  If you don't have a day job, the unsteady paychecks can be a burden.

In my opinion, trying to be a consultant when just starting out and learning is asking for trouble.  I would recommend trying to increase your duties at your current job, or finding another job where you can learn and grow.

RE: Career Guidance

I sent to warn people just getting into the database field away from consulting.  When most companies are looking for a consultant they are looking for someone who already knows the platform well and can hit the ground running.

Don't get me wrong, the extra clean up work pays well, but I hate having customers that some to me angry about the last consultant (currently dealing with that now).

I agree with KornGeek, increase your duties at your current enviroment.  Take some database specific classes that will help focus you in the database arena.  Check out your local SQL Server users group or PASS chapter (www.sqlpass.org).

Denny
MVP
MCSA (2003) / MCDBA (SQL 2000)
MCTS (SQL 2005 / Microsoft Windows SharePoint Services 3.0: Configuration / Microsoft Office SharePoint Server 2007: Configuration)
MCITP Database Administrator (SQL 2005) / Database Developer (SQL 2005)

My Blog

RE: Career Guidance

Following the link, I get a Big Ugly Runtime Fault. Does it stand for Passed Away Sql Server?

+++ Despite being wrong in every important aspect, that is a very good analogy +++
   Hex (in Darwin's Watch)

RE: Career Guidance

PASS is having a big summit next week so the site is probably getting hit pretty hard.

Denny
MVP
MCSA (2003) / MCDBA (SQL 2000)
MCTS (SQL 2005 / Microsoft Windows SharePoint Services 3.0: Configuration / Microsoft Office SharePoint Server 2007: Configuration)
MCITP Database Administrator (SQL 2005) / Database Developer (SQL 2005)

My Blog

RE: Career Guidance

If your employer is an NGO they either:

- have an advanced DB/CRM package to track donations, campaigns etc.

- don't

Doing a bit of SQL study in your spare time is easy enough so do that anyway.  See if you can get involved with the inhouse DB work - doesn't matter plaform it will give you knowledge in data integrity, design, performance, data cleansing etc.

 If not build a few DBs and try freelancer.com etc.  But be warned don't take any paying jobs until you are expert in the areas of backup/restore and healthchecking (i.e. lab it up) - often a client will present a job as straight forward and the reality is it's something their inhouse guys hit and bounced or messed up.

Plan C - find another NGO who needs DB help - because they're NGO they may be a bit more patient and if you've done your homework you'll understand their needs.

Plan D look at sharepoint services - intranet, DB and reporting rolled into one, plsys nicely with MS office and its free.  VM it up on a laptop show business how cool it is and IT will fall into line.  Just make sure they understand the storage requirements.

Hope this helps.
 

RE: Career Guidance

No matter how sweet your organization is, you don't need it to burn up and get tossed away. If you see your value decrease, it is time for action. What that action is is up to you. It may mean change of job or position (in the same organization or another one), a course, a good talk with your boss about your workload, etc.

Alas too many companies "burn up and kick out" employees. If you experience that, leave.

Good luck!
 

+++ Despite being wrong in every important aspect, that is a very good analogy +++
   Hex (in Darwin's Watch)

RE: Career Guidance

Hi CherrySoda, Beware of being in a position where you have little opportunity to improve yourself. I am glad that you are one of those who take initiative and learn new stuff on your own. Although your situation right now may be far from ideal, you do have the benefit of knowing more than everyone else.

Try showing other people how to handle different tasks and in the mean time learn something new and experiment as much as possible. You have the advantage of having the time to do so. In this sense you are very fortunate.

Finally, it doesn't hurt to have your updated resume on monster.com or other websites. I am not recommending that you quit your existing job (that is up to you), however it cannot hurt to see the kind of opportunities that you are contacted for. You might even be contacted for a job for which you are under qualified. But even that will give you an idea as to where you are lacking and picking up those skills will enable you to get your desired job

good luck
moskhan2
 

RE: Career Guidance

Quote:

Finally, it doesn't hurt to have your updated resume on monster.com or other websites. I am not recommending that you quit your existing job (that is up to you), however it cannot hurt to see the kind of opportunities that you are contacted for.
Actually, if your current employer finds your resume, it could potentially hurt.  I'm not saying don't do it, but just be aware of the potential risk.

RE: Career Guidance

KornGeek has a point, many employers and managers check the job boards to see if they can find there employees looking for new work.

Denny
MVP
MCSA (2003) / MCDBA (SQL 2000)
MCTS (SQL 2005 / SQL 2008 Implementation and Maintenance / Microsoft Windows SharePoint Services 3.0: Configuration / Microsoft Office SharePoint Server 2007: Configuration)
MCITP Database Admin (SQL 2005/2008) / Database Dev (SQL 2005)

My Blog

RE: Career Guidance

A very long time ago, I had another career.  I retired from that in 1998 and launched a new career in IT.  Yes, I did the dance, hopping from job to job seeking higher salaries and bigger challenges.  I was always looking for bigger challenges and a bigger paycheck.

Now, I work for the #1 company to work for in the US, and command a fat salary, but there's a price to be paid for what it took to get there.  It's sort of like the larger macroeconomic position the US finds itself in;  you can only borrow for so long and eventually the bills come due.  I've recently discovered that in 18 to 22 months I will pay the ultimate price for my past decisions.  

Think about your position now.  Are you happy? Is there stress?  Is there a balance between your professional and personal life?  What are your goals?  Is it all about the benjamins?  Does quality of life mean something to you? Is it professional recognition, advancement; what exactly is it you seek?  

Decide this first.  Set your priorities.  Evaluate those priorities against the position you currently hold.  A little soul seeking goes a long way.

XMSRE.

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