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Work + Family +Self + Fast Paced Industry = ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

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Keeping up with the brisk pace of change requires a steady stream of investment of your time and energy. While this motivates us, it also takes a negative toll on our lives. How do you stay in the forefront while maintaining some element of balance in your overall life? In this talk I’ll share my story of investment as a baseline for discussion. I’ll share how I came to make key choices at different points in my career. I’ll discuss how it effected (and still effects) my family, my relationships, and my career. My goal is to open up dialog and make us more comfortable discussing this topic.

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Work + Family +Self + Fast Paced Industry = ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

  1. 1. @josh_atwell Work + Family + Self + Fast Paced Industry = ¯_(ツ)_/¯ Keeping up with the brisk pace of change requires a steady stream of investment of your time and energy. While this motivates us, it also takes a negative toll on our lives. How do you stay in the forefront while maintaining some element of balance in your overall life? In this talk I’ll share my story of investment as a baseline for discussion. I’ll share how I came to make key choices at different points in my career. I’ll discuss how it effected (and still effects) my family, my relationships, and my career. My goal is to open up dialog and make us more comfortable discussing this topic.
  2. 2. @josh_atwell Josh.Atwell@NetApp.com @josh_atwell github.com/joshatwell Not Winner Work + Family + Self + Fast Paced Industry = ¯_(ツ)_/¯
  3. 3. @josh_atwell Raise your hand... If you get excited about learning and implementing new technology and ideas
  4. 4. @josh_atwell Raise your hand... If you regularly feel overwhelmed trying to keep up with technology and ideas.
  5. 5. @josh_atwell Raise your hand... If you have had stress over the weekend about how much work you’d miss coming to this event
  6. 6. @josh_atwell Raise your hand... If you dislike raising your hand during presentations.
  7. 7. @josh_atwell What we’ll talk about today • We are Engineers. We are technologists. We have skills. • We have a drive to know all the things. • We have other demands on our time. • What have I done? • How can you balance this? • Note: I didn’t prepare a lot for this presentation. That was on purpose.
  8. 8. @josh_atwell Our Industry evolves quickly...and slowly • New Technologies attract our attention • Adoption directly tied to skills • i.e. OpenStack lacks skilled workers in market • DevOps faces similar challenges.
  9. 9. @josh_atwell
  10. 10. @josh_atwell Let’s talk about Skills • We are interesting and diverse people. • When we were young it was easy for us to focus. • I have a diverse lineup of skills that my wife questions at her own risk
  11. 11. @josh_atwell YoYo Juggling Line Dancing Theater Acting Singing (Karaoke) Toss games (Darts) Unicycle Public Speaking Piano Drums Woodworking Making Cocktails Cooking Comedy Data Center Design Incident Management Team Building Communicating Complex Ideas Some of My Developed Skills Hugging Being a Father Being a Husband Writing Poetry Wordsmithing PowerShell Mountain Biking
  12. 12. @josh_atwell My Skills Categorized Clown Skills YoYo Juggling Country Line Dancing Theater Acting Toss games (Darts) Unicycle Piano Comedy Work Skills Public Speaking Data Center Design Incident Management Team Building Writing PowerShell Personal Skills Singing (Karaoke) Drums Woodworking Making Cocktails Cooking Communicating Complex Ideas Wordsmithing Mountain Biking Emotional Skills Hugging Being a Father Being a Husband Poetry Driven
  13. 13. @josh_atwell Chapter 1: Aerospace Engineer to IT • I had some smartz • I nearly failed. • I nearly gave up. • Decided that if I could finish this I could accomplish anything • Immediately decided that it wasn’t the right career for me. • Selling cell phones isn’t exactly lucrative.
  14. 14. @josh_atwell Tip 1: Be honest with yourself and trust others • Pivot, but focus when you pivot. • Accept input from others, but consider their bias. • Learn to challenge self-doubt, but trust instincts • If you’re going to invest. Don’t diminish that investment by wasting time procrastinating. Leads to stress. • Beware of the Instant gratification monkey
  15. 15. @josh_atwell Tip #3 If you procrastinate, OWN IT • Instant gratification monkey Instant Gratification Monkey
  16. 16. @josh_atwell Chapter 2: Finding my Niche and Becoming my own Brand • Started automating datacenters – PowerShell • Focused a lot of energy into the VMware space – It was so hot back then. VMware
  17. 17. @josh_atwell Chapter 2: Finding my Niche and Becoming my own Brand • Joined Twitter – Learned my ideas were not completely stupid. • Started Blogging – Learned this is time consuming and my ideas were not completely stupid. – Never read the comments. • What to do next? • So many options!
  18. 18. @josh_atwell Tip 2: Don’t be a cat chasing a laser pointer • Be focused • Be introspective about your strengths and weaknesses • Your path is only linear based on today’s perspective • Set short and long term goals • Focus on skills vs a title.
  19. 19. @josh_atwell Chapter 3: What if? • Talked with spouse. • 1 year. Say yes to anything that makes sense. • Blog, Podcasts, online training, writing books, writing articles • Goal to grow my presence and brand for purpose of improving job and increasing salary. It worked! It was hard
  20. 20. @josh_atwell Chapter 3: Outcomes After 5 years of focus. 3 years of YES • Changed Jobs 3-4 times • Increased salary about 300% (+1!) • Added another child to family (+1!) • Co-Authored 3 books. Helped lead vBrownBag Podcast (+1!) • Led numerous user groups. (+1!) • Gained 20+lbs (-1!) • Worked constantly (-100!)
  21. 21. @josh_atwell Tip 3: You are not an island • Your actions and choices effect others. • Got kids? They care about Kubernetes like developers care about infrastructure. ;-) • Don’t be so wrapped up in your activities you dismiss the impact it has on people around you and on YOU.
  22. 22. @josh_atwell Chapter 4: The wholly expected and nearly serious but not so bad meltdown. • Saying ’Yes’ lead to saying yes. • Projects led to longer ongoing projects • Travel was ludicrous • Had to quit. All of it. • New baby on way • New home on way • Left HUGE gap
  23. 23. @josh_atwell Tip 4 – Know and use your safe word • Learn to see when it is time to stop • Saying ‘yes’ leads to more saying ‘yes’ • Saying NO is OK • Take a holiday, or three.
  24. 24. @josh_atwell Chapter 5: Finding Balance in the Force New lines of thinking • Balance is about incremental correction. • You have to balance all aspects of your life. • Work-Life balance is wrong. Lead with Life as much as possible. • I think I’ve over-corrected again
  25. 25. @josh_atwell Tip 5: Balance is really about good correction • Make small adjustments • Develop a balanced steady state • Constantly assess balance • When steady state is balanced it is easier to apply hyper focus without breaking things No image. Bad Josh
  26. 26. @josh_atwell Why I didn’t prepare for this session? • It was really important to me and for you, but it wasn’t a priority until this past week. • Current Focus Areas • My health – Lost 30+ lbs in last 7 months – Running • My Relationships – Wife, Kids, Family, Friends • Jump starting a new career – Product and Solutions Marketing • Sharing and Promoting DevOps at events and on podcasts • Re-learning piano
  27. 27. @josh_atwell Important Takeaway Slide • Your priorities will change over time • Invest in your skills • You don’t live in a vacuum • Be introspective and honest with yourself • It’s OK to say no • It’s OK to seek help (@josh_atwell) • http://geek-whisperers.com/2015/02/the-ceo-of-your-own-career- josh-atwell-ep-75/ • http://www.vtesseract.com/post/70495687065/the-perfect-job-for- you-part-1

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