Career Calculus

Eric Sink has some really good analysis of looking at acquired knowledge over a career span.

I agree that learning over time is vitally important, there needs to be someone there to realize the value of your cluefulness.

There are also free ways to increase cluefulness.

  1. I look to user groups and their SIGs. Java user group, Microsoft regional site. If you are interested in more San Francisco Bay area resources let me know.
  2. I check out conferences in the area I may be able to browse during a lunch break or an evening. Exhibition passes and keynotes are usually free and some sessions are easy enough to sneak into without the expensive passes.
  3. Read through the source code of a respected open source software project. Look for both style and content. Sourceforge is a good starting point.
  4. Loiter at Borders. Most big bookstores now have a cafe where you can sit down and drink some coffee while you read about a new concept that interests you. I wanted to learn about Acrobat SDKs but did not want to buy a book, so I spent an afternoon at Borders instead. Yeah, it’s pretty nerdy, but I at least fill semi-social because there are other people bustling about.
  5. Network to find fans of your cluefulness. It is nice to have people to bounce ideas off of and hopefully they may know a way for you to capitalize on your skills.
  6. Be the boss of something. It’s easy to be bitter at managers always holding you down. I started my own sporting goods business because I wanted to have absolute control over something. I learned a lot about what it takes to run a business and I now have management experience without waiting for someone to promote me.