Work–Life Balance

This week has been a busy one!  I’m working up to a vacation this weekend, so there’s always a lot of little things to tie up to get ready.  You’ve got to make sure the rest of your team will be ok while your out.  You have to make sure you’ve taken care of any outstanding tasks before taking off.  But in all the rush this week has brought I’ve been thinking more and more about the balance between work and my personal life. 

Several years back I was working in a smaller programming shop.  We’ve all been there right?  You have to accomplish more with less.  Unfortunately that usually means working multiple roles.  That’s right, in addition to being a full time programmer, you’re also called on to be a near full time business analyst.

And a part-time IT Support technician.

And a program writer.

You see how this is growing.  At the time, I just knew I had to give everything I was to be the best at this job.  I worked long hours.  I avoided vacations.  My time off was when I was too sick to sit up and work from home. 

That was no way to live.  I was good at my job, but I was rubbish to my friends and family.  So I moved on.

It was that change in job that changed my outlook on what the balance between my job and my life was to what it is today.

Today, I work hard to help others.  I put in a full time effort into being a DBA.  I don’t volunteer to be a programmer or a business analyst.  I’m a good DBA, and little more.  I don’t want to dilute that. 

At the end of the day I spend time trying to connect SQL professionals in the community to positions that fit what they want to do, rather than what they are doing. 

I spend my free time helping others learn SQL, through writing, speaking, or one-on-one training.

But above all of this, I make sure I put my wife, my family, and my friends before anything in my professional life. 

Without them, why would I do what I do?

When you’re working why do you do it?  If you could accomplish those same goals with a different job, would you change your job?  What’s important to you?  These are the questions you have to ask yourself.  If you don’t your employer isn’t going to ask them for you. 

Here’s the great thing about asking yourself these questions.  When you know the answers…you’ll know your path.  No more wondering from job to job trying to find where you should go next. 

You’ll know.

By Shannon Lowder

Shannon Lowder is the Database Engineer you've been looking for! Look no further for expertise in: Business Analysis to gather the business requirements for the database; Database Architecting to design the logical design of the database; Database Development to actually build the objects needed by the business logic; finally, Database Administration to keep the database running in top form, and making sure there is a disaster recovery plan.

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