“What would you do if you were stuck in one place and every day was exactly the same, and nothing that you did mattered?” – Phil Conners (Bill Murray), Groundhog Day
I am a fan of Bill Murray and this quirky movie. This quote could have just as well come from a Scott Adams Dilbert comic strip. As a person who has spent my entire career in large corporate IT shops, I have often pondered that very thought.
Many baby boomers can relate to my current position in the workforce. Retirement is fast approaching; two years for me. I have enjoyed my IT career, especially the twenty five years in data modeling.
I have a responsibility to transition my role. That seems like a simple statement that really isn’t. I don’t fancy myself as an expert but see my knowledge as something valuable that I need to share.
Like many mature workers, my role encompasses more than the simple job description. I am in a profession where the talent pool is small and aging. My skill set is a unique combination of my personal traits, interests, documented job responsibilities and varied other duties as assigned.
I am actively engaged in my departure and transition strategy. I thought it would be worth sharing the realities I discovered in my personal introspection. They are most likely not unique to me.
- My job is not out of the box. My job description may be database designer, but my focus has been on many other duties beyond creating an ERD. I have seen the good, the bad and the ugly over 25+ years. I offer insight on data beyond the data model.
- It’s difficult to find a new me. The chance of not finding a clone to replace me is pretty much a given. The pool of data architects is small. I have a unique combination of talents; as do many people. There is a good chance that parts of my role will be distributed or left unfilled.
- Knowing that I made a difference. Pride in my work is important to me. Quality work has always been my priority. I want my coworkers to see the difference I have made over the years. I hope that they will run with my work and make a difference in everything they do.
- I am not dead yet. (Still checking off the to-do list.) I have no desire to mark off the calendar days. I am a strategic planner and continue to map out the next few years of my work. I am employed and owe my boss work that helps the enterprise realize the benefits of data.
- More chances to share knowledge. I am a communicator and enjoy writing and talking. The coming years give me an opportunity to mentor and educate. I always look for opportunities to tell the story of data to new employees and employees new to the world of data.
- Keeping data management fresh. The data management world has changed greatly over my watch. It continues to change faster these days. I continue to keep myself fresh in data technologies. Data architects are on the forefront of realizing and selling the value of data to the enterprise.