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Today I made a conscious decision to take a risk with my Career. I had two choices I could make, A Safe option and the risky option.

The safe option involved working on a network that sounds like it is in the position that the network of my previous company was in when I got to it. A well assembled network with good quality equipment and servers and services which all worked really well but could be integrated onto a single network and centralise all the management onto a handful of servers. I could do this job with my hands down. I could do it really well and I could implement things I had learned at my previous job. There were a few technologies that I don't know but would learn quickly, but much of the system sounded pretty vanilla. I would have enjoyed it and the environment it was in. And got along well with the people who I was working with. The company has similar socio-political leanings as I do and so it would have been good but it wouldn't stretch my brain. The only thing about this role that would be foreign to me is that it is over the other side of the city.

The Risky option was a complete change from what I know. It may not work out. I may find that I cant get my brain around the concepts that I need to and I may find that my brain has been "microsofted" to much. The Risky option was a technology which has massive growth potential and minimal people with real skills to make a go of both the technology and the human side of this technology. Everything about this role is an unknown. I don't know the people I will be working for (Well I know the manager but only through the interview), I have never used the technology to the extent that we will be using it in this new business, and I will be actually programing in languages that I would have blinked at not too long ago. Everything about the job is foreign to me. just about the only thing about it that is familiar is the business location. I know the area well as I have worked at 3 other jobs in the area.

I chose the risky option. I chose to stretch my imagination and push the boundarys. I chose to really put it all on the line and see if what I have learned over the last 10 years can be translated from the "skills I know" to "the way I learn those skills" Everything about this new job is going to be learning and stretching my mind.

I have been in AutoPilot for the last few years. I haven't been learning much new stuff but have been maintaining the systems I was responsible for and slowly improving them, This new role, if I can actually do it is going to stretch my mind in new directions. If I can do it well its going to shape my career in computing for the next long and unknown time period.

If I cant do it then I have my old technologies to fall back onto. I have skills that I know I'm good at that I can rely on, and I still have a significant proportion of the redundancy package left with which I can use to continue to find new work.

I'm both excited and scared of what I'm about to do.

Is taking a risk everybody's thing? No. Most definately not. I'm lucky to be in a financial position, thanks to the redundancy, that I can play around with my career and see what else I can do. Risk may not be your thing, But I urge you to think about it carefully. You never know. The risk you take might be the best thing you ever did. I don't know yet about this risk. Only time will tell.

It is interesting, it seems that another one of my friends has also today decided to take a risk and see what happens with their own career.

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May 2009

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