Wednesday, 21 June 2017

Hardware's a commodity - Why bother managing capacity? Evaluating your career path (5 of 7)

So, we’ve established that maturing the Capacity Management process can be a useful step in making your career as a Capacity Manager a more successful one.  But how do you know that’s what you want to do…or that’s the best path for you?

Constant career evaluation is necessary – whether you’re in your first year out of college/university or whether you’ve been in your career / position for 20+ years.
Most successful people have changed positions and have re-invented themselves over the course of a career.  But a person can’t decide to make a career change without having a plan that can sometimes take years to put into place.

Some organizations I’ve worked for made it very clear that my services weren’t as appreciated as I would’ve liked.  I’m sure that many of you reading this blog have your own stories.  Being able to read the landscape and put the framework into place to improve your situation or even change your career is an important step.
I’ll talk a bit about my own experience. I think my experiences are pretty typical and hopefully will get you to think about your own experiences and career path.

This is probably where I should put in the contradictory disclaimer that my results probably aren’t typical (despite my last paragraph) and your personal results and experiences will vary.
These 5 cases show that there are times when the best option is to stay and try to make the situation better, yet there are times where the best option is to try to find something that matches your career goals, whether or not they have anything to do with Capacity Management.

        Hired at the wrong time

        Hired at the wrong place

        Get out before you’re asked to leave

        I can’t believe I took this job

        I need to make changes, but want to stay...
Hired at the wrong time

“If you’d been hired a month earlier, you’d be up for a raise this year.”
“Last year was a much better year – we can’t hire anyone else now.  We need to do more with less.”

Sometimes you’re just not in the right place or perhaps it is, but it’s not the right time.

My first position coming out of school was a good starting point for my career, but 10 months after being hired I was told raises were only given once a year and I’d have to wait another year before they’d consider one.
A month later I moved to another company across the country, even though I was young and inexperienced at the time, I decided that this was indicative of bigger problems in the organization and it was time to move on.

Sometimes, you have to read your situation and decide whether it’s time to make a change.
I understand 20 years on that this is easier said than done.  As a newly married person with no kids and no ties to the community, this was an easy, easy decision.  Then again, I said that your mileage may vary.

But sometimes you have to decide if messages you’re receiving are telling you that you’re not as valued as you’d like to be.  From there you have to decide whether you try to improve your standing / situation there or whether it’s time to try to move on.
Hired at the wrong place

“We’re a mainframe shop.  Those Unix and Windows servers are just toys.”
This quote was actually said to me when I was working as a distributed capacity planner.  OK, it was said to me at the end of the 20th century, but even then it was easy to see this wasn’t probably the right gig for me, even though the position was clearly needed and we did good work.

Get out before you’re asked to leave
“We’ll need you to do more than (what you were hired to do).  The business has changed – there’s no room for specialists.”

Sometimes you can be the right person for the job, but then the job changes.

You can be the best Capacity Manager doing incredible work at an organization that (mostly) appreciates your efforts.
But you might work for a company that was just acquired or merged with another company and suddenly you’re working for someone who has no appreciation for Capacity Management other than “here’s a well-paid person who doesn’t actually manage or administer anything.”

At this point you have several choices – you can reinvent yourself (if possible) to be what the organization now needs.  You can try to get the training necessary to move into another gig (I’ll talk more about this later – and how when you NEED the training, it’s probably too late), or you can move on.
For me, it was an acquisition.  Strangely enough, I was hired just after the acquisition, but after a couple of years the company decided to focus on other things and my role was changed.  Even with me willing to change, I knew that my time was limited, and I moved on.

I can’t believe I took this job
I’ll let you fill in the blanks on this quote, I’m sure many of you have taken a position and known within two weeks that you made a horrible mistake.

For me it was a desire to stop traveling and get back into the day-to-day world of Capacity Management.  Within two weeks I knew I would never be more than what I was the day I started with the company, it still took me 18 months to escape.
How many of you have been there?  Whether it’s the manager, co-workers, company culture, the job, the direction of the company, or many other things, how many of you have immediately known that it was just a horrible fit?

Even in these situations, you have options.  For me, it was starting an MBA program (paid for by the company I couldn’t wait to leave) and learning as much as I could about various technologies the company used.  I also took the opportunity to apply for other jobs (internally and externally), sharpen my interviewing skills, and realize that others had things much worse.
If you haven’t ever been in a job like this, congratulations!

I need to make changes, but want to stay
“I love the company, but I can’t keep doing this job anymore.  At least not like this.”

Sometimes everything is right with the exception of what you’re doing for the company.  Perhaps you’ve done a job for so long that you need a new challenge.  Perhaps your life situation has changed and you need more flexibility in your working conditions or situations.  Perhaps you find yourself interested in something else or maybe you just can’t keep doing things the way you’re doing them now.

If you are a Capacity Manager and generally like what you do, but just can’t keep on doing it the same way, with the same results, then look at the Capacity Management Maturity part of the white paper.  Trying to implement changes, even if minor, to improve the process can change the job and more importantly can change how you feel about it.
If, however, you need to move on, this is the time where you hope you have some people who respect and value your contributions and can help you move on to a new challenge in the company.
There's still time to register for our webinar today 'Capacity Management Maturity Series -Repeatable to Defined'  
Rich Fronheiser
Chief Marketing Officer

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