Career Advice: Stuck in Rut?

A buddy of mine from my college days called up. We haven’t chatted in years. As we were catching up, he told me (obscuring details) that he’s living in a really nice area doing some work that he does enjoy, but he’s kind of in a rut. He wasn’t sure what to do, because that area doesn’t have a great job market, so he’d have to cut back significantly in order to get by with something else. I’ve been there. Here’s part of what I said:

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Career Advice: IT Lightbulb Joke

Q: How many IT people does it take to fix an issue?
A: Before this week, 3. After this week, 4.

Just take it in stride:

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Career Advice: Develop a Poker Face

In support roles, you’ll have people explain situations in ways in any means possible, whether it’s logical or completely absurd. The good support individual will keep a straight face, a “poker face,” translate the non-technical situation into technical terms, solve the situation, then move on to the next one. How do you practice your poker face in a professional environment?

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Career Advice: Certifications Versus Degrees

I’ll often receive questions from people asking how I got to where I am today. They’ll ask how I know certain skills or they’ll ask the value of this certification or that degree. Most of the time it’s just idle daydreaming, but this afternoon, I had a question from someone that seemed genuinely motivated to change his course in life. Here’s the analogy I used:

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Career Advice: Occasionally Dress Nicer

The key to getting ahead in any job is to not rest on your laurels. I actually have a theory that being comfortable is actually the worst thing for your career. A comfortable job is also one where you’re not learning, growing, nor developing your career closer to the life you want to live. Comfort is stagnation.

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Career Advice: XX Year Plan

They’ll ask about your five-year plan in interviews, and while I have a good practical answer that involves where I saw myself five years ago, this question deserves more thought.

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