First of all, I’m not a big fan of New Year’s resolutions. It seems to me that we should get better all year round, not just January 1st. Human nature being what it is, my gym will be more than crowded in January but will thin out a lot in February and March as the treadmills give way to donuts for many.
However, I think it’s a good idea to set aside time each year to review your current career trajectory and make adjustments that can yield more money, more job satisfaction, or hopefully both. To that end, here are some New Year’s resolutions that many of you cloud professionals should consider.
Diversify your cloud skills
We live in an age where cloud skills are defined by specialization. People aren’t just cloud database experts, they’re experts on a specific cloud database on a specific cloud provider. The same is true for cloud-based business intelligence, a specific SaaS vendor, or cloud operations focused on a specific operating system configuration. We seem to fall into niches.
This limits your options if your specific cloud technology becomes less popular. It’s better to have a skill waiting than to learn one at the last minute. Check job boards to see what are the most in-demand skills that are somewhat related to your current skills and get the basic chops that will allow you to work your way into a new gig if needed.
For example, if you’re only focusing on a single cloud object database, perhaps inquire about another object database or two on another cloud provider. This should be a relatively easy transition given that the concepts are pretty much the same.
You can still diversify, like learn more about cloud-native development if you’re currently a cloud developer. Or take it a step further, learn about cloud architecture like databases, development, operations, etc., and strengthen your core skills. Architects are well paid.
Depending on how you learn best, look for online training or books. Most employers will pay for this and even give you time each week to study on the job. New skills can end up being money in the bank when you need them.
Learn about emerging cloud computing concepts
For this resolution, instead of branching out into already established areas, focus on emerging areas that may not yet exist in businesses, including yours.
It could be emerging trends that we discuss here, such as finops, metacloud, multicloud, observability, internet of things, advanced computing, AIops, or other subjects. It helps to understand these concepts at a level where you can participate in conversations. You can certainly impress your leadership and colleagues while expanding your thinking and career opportunities.
Learning these topics can be a bit difficult. There are new online courses, but emerging concepts are changing rapidly. It’s not just about taking a class or reading a book. Be a continuous learner, read the latest research and form your own opinion. Reading this blog every week is a good start.
Improve your relationship skills
I had no interpersonal skills when I started my tech career – basically, I was another introverted geek. It only got me so far, and when I was appointed to leadership positions, I struggled.
Eventually I got it, but it would have been better to develop leadership and people skills early on. Not just the corporate leadership gibberish you get in college these days, but how to work with people in ways that help them (and you) be productive and happy.
This requires some training, but more importantly, an inner search to discover your own most effective approaches as a person and as a leader. Find your own path to these skills and be prepared to adapt as you learn.
Either way, have a great New Year.
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