Carving Your Career

I’ve decided to take a week off my research and write about something we all think about, our career. I believe that your our current job is a vehicle for our career. Your vehicle will take you on an awesome road tip filled with sight seeing, rest stops, and most importantly the City of Retirement. It’s your responsibility to keep up with routine maintenance on your vehicle. Yes, vehicles will break down to no fault of your own. I have been stranded on the side of the road and I hope to never be there again. Everyday I treat my job as the vehicle that will take me to retirement. I enjoy reading SQL books, blogs, and anything that will….fuel my vehicle. What’s also interesting is, someone else watches my driving. Someone who will critique my vehicle and how I take care of it. This theory of measurement is what interests me. The Art Of Possibility fascinates me.

Carving of any kind is an art. It takes skill, patience, understanding, and you always have to have the final project in mind. You cant carve anything unless you can see in your mind what your building. I learned this as a young boy working in my grandfathers wood shop. He was a high school wood shop teacher and retired shortly after I was born. He had his own wood shop that I spent many hours in. One of my first wood projects was a wooden   California Least Tern. The California Least Tern is a endangered bird. A protection group asked my grandfather and other wood carvers to carve out hundreds of these birds. They wanted to have this birds with long stick attached to bottom. The took these birds and stuck them into the sand. These wooden birds were decoys. The real birds saw these wooden birds in the sand and followed by example. They nested in the sand. The protection group protected this area of sand.

Michelangelo is often quoted as saying inside every block of stone or marble dwells a beautiful statue; one need only to remove the excess material to reveal the work of art within. As a young boy I took a block of wood and little by little carved a little beautiful wooden bird that helped greatly increase the number of California Least Terns. How can that be measured?

How can we apply this concept to our career? We need to carve off all the excess wood and along the way we will be measure. It was in the book The Art Of Possibility that inspired my blog entry. In Third Practice discusses “Giving an A”. “An A is not an expectation to live up to, but a possibility to live into” So how do we apply that to our little wooden California Last Tern. ie. our Career. In the The Art Of Possibility  Ben and Roz decided to give all their students an “A” at the beginning of the semester. They were not measuring their students ability to learn. What they did was open their minds to achieve something that is not really being measured. The one requirement to earn this ‘A’ is they needed to write a letter dated next year. The bases of the letter was “I earned my ‘A’ because.” The needed to explain detail of their past year. They need to look back at what they accomplished, what they learned, and how they were better today because of the last year. As I mentioned earlier “You cant carve anything unless you can see in your mind what your building.”

Each of us during our career will be reviewed. What if our boss told us the same thing as Ben and Roz told their students. “I’m going to give you the heights marks, but I want you to write a letter explaining…..” etc. Here is my letter:

Dear Mr/Mrs. Boss,

When I found out I would be getting top marks on my review this year I was puzzled with great excitement and confusion. All I had to do was write a letter, really! One could think “wow free pass” while another could think “this is some kind of mean test”.  I wondered how I could I ever measure up to such a high mark. I almost felt like I was being set up to fail. So after a few hours of thought, intense sweating, and dehydration I came to a conclusion. Not only was I going to earn my top mark, I was going to do so awesome my management would not have had any other choice. Granted the top mark was already giving, it was the desire to earn it that made it real. So the desire was real, the work was far more intense. What I put myself through in the past year has been so rewarding I find it difficult to put into words. Doing a good job is hard that’s why it’s called work. However, being I accomplished so much, learned more about this trade then I ever thought I would, and exceeded so many expectations I feel as though I have not worked a day in the last year. Carving my career in the past year has been like carving a beautiful rose out glass. I can see this rose and it’s amazing. Whats also amazing is it’s still very fragile. As long as I take care of this glass rose it will stay beautiful forever. If I miss use it or handle it incorrectly…..

Your Humble Employee,

Erik M. Disparti


About Erik Disparti

I started my IT career in 1999 and in January 2011 I became a SQL DBA. So far I'm loving every minute of it and learning more and more everyday.
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