4 things I wish I learned sooner as a DBA

This topic continues from an earlier blog written by Mike Walsh. I was tagged by a my good friend Tim Mitchell. Here is my take on 4 things I wished I learned earlier in my DBA Career. I hope they are helpful to you.

You Are not Alone

You are not alone in your database career. Even if you are the only SQL Server Professional in your company the SQL Server community is always there to help. I was in these shoes once and I stuck to myself and didn’t even know there was a community out there to help me grow and become a better DBA.  As SQL Server Professionals we have several free events like  local user groups, SQL Saturday’s and virtual chapters that give us the opportunity to connect, share and learn.

There are seven days in a week and someday isn’t one of them.

One of my mentors and friends Thomas LaRock gave a presentation a few years ago titled SQL Someday.  I still watch Tom’s presentation  occasionally to remind me of this very simple quote

There are seven days in a week and someday isn’t one of them.

The concept is very simple. There are somedays that will never happen. There are somedays that will happen. There are also somedays that have happened and you didn’t even know they happened. For someone who is goal oriented like myself it can be easy to only focus on that next goal. I wish I could go back in time and truly enjoy some of my great achievements instead of just pushing forward for the next goal. At the same time there are several things that are out of our control. I wish I spent less time focusing on things that are out of my control.

Work Life Balance

When your career is also your hobby you can easily forget to have a good work life balance.  I used to have two calendar reminders weekly to tell me to stop working. One was at 5pm and it said “Stop Working.” I had another at 6pm that said “REALLY, STOP WORKING NOW!”  Occasionally, I still run into problems with my work life balance but it is better than it use to be.

Soft Skills > Technical Skills

Through my career I have learned that soft skills are important. If you cannot work with people to solve business problems with technology you are not going to go far in your career.