Professional passion, improvement, and my confession.
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10-06-2016, 01:00 PM
Professional passion, improvement, and my confession.
Well, I have a secret. I don't even tell most friends because I think there is a chance it could impact my professional future. But I often come here to TTA to expose myself for the "terrible person" that I really am. So why stop now?

My secret isn't anything big, I suspect many feel the same, even if they don't say it. But here it goes.

I find professional improvement beyond the scope of "necessary" to be a waste of time. I like to get stuff done. Give me a task and I'll do it. Tell me to build something, and I'll build it. Give me a problem, I'll solve it. I actually enjoy doing so. Even if I've seen the problem 100 times before, I still like solving it. Yet there are those who do continuing education for no perceivable benefit (like getting your masters in CS after you have already been a developer for years). Or seem enthusiastic about reading up on the latest tech, or attending some convention, or listening to a "talk". If it's required by your work, fine, whatever. But when people just willfully do this stuff, or spend time learning skills that might very well never be used. Frankly I don't get it. It seems like a waste of time.

But in the professional world, it seems like having this sentiment is viewed very poorly. "How could you not have a passion to continue improving yourself?" "Isn't it all the new blah blah blah exciting...?"

It's like no, it's not really exciting. Just give me stuff to do, and I'll do it. I'm interested in the work only as far as I find it interesting to build solutions to solve problems. Beyond learning the tools that are available to me to do my work, I'm really not that interested "improving myself" (professionally).

To clarify, I mean that beyond the scope of my job. If I choose to switch to a different technology, of course I would want to learn the new tech and get up to speed with it. But until then, it's just unnecessary to me.

It kind of reminds me of that interview question, "where do you see yourself 5 years from now?" I'm just thinking, "You know what, I just want to get hired and do work for you and see if I enjoy it." But of course an answer like that isn't really acceptable.

---
A small personal note. I've been constantly pushed by my managers in my jobs. Always complimenting me and telling me they want to keep putting me on bigger and bigger things. As such, nearly everytime I master a "type" of work, I get whooshed up the ladder involuntarily and put on a bigger scale. Then I look back at my co-workers who are doing what I used to do and I'm just thinking, "you lucky bastards, that was my job." A while back, my manager approached me saying he thought I could take over this team someday. I flat out said (in a very polite, playful, and friendly manner) no, I'm not interested in a management position.

I should be grateful, and I guess I am, as it has boosted my resume greatly and resulted in very nice raises and promotions. But there seems to be a disconnect between capability and desire for me. Sure, I might be capable of doing a whole bunch of stuff. But that's not what I necessarily want. I find completing a whole bunch of simple (relatively speaking) tasks more rewarding than completing a few very complex tasks. But I feel it would be professional idiocy to ever admit that at work. It seems like I have an unacceptable stance. If you don't want to improve, there must be something wrong with you.

Shoot, I just like getting my work done.

Can anybody relate? I know, I know. I'm messed up.

I prefer fantasy, but I have to live in reality.
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10-06-2016, 01:12 PM
RE: Professional passion, improvement, and my confession.
(10-06-2016 01:00 PM)Adrianime Wrote:  Well, I have a secret. I don't even tell most friends because I think there is a chance it could impact my professional future. But I often come here to TTA to expose myself for the "terrible person" that I really am. So why stop now?

My secret isn't anything big, I suspect many feel the same, even if they don't say it. But here it goes.

I find professional improvement beyond the scope of "necessary" to be a waste of time. I like to get stuff done. Give me a task and I'll do it. Tell me to build something, and I'll build it. Give me a problem, I'll solve it. I actually enjoy doing so. Even if I've seen the problem 100 times before, I still like solving it. Yet there are those who do continuing education for no perceivable benefit (like getting your masters in CS after you have already been a developer for years). Or seem enthusiastic about reading up on the latest tech, or attending some convention, or listening to a "talk". If it's required by your work, fine, whatever. But when people just willfully do this stuff, or spend time learning skills that might very well never be used. Frankly I don't get it. It seems like a waste of time.

But in the professional world, it seems like having this sentiment is viewed very poorly. "How could you not have a passion to continue improving yourself?" "Isn't it all the new blah blah blah exciting...?"

It's like no, it's not really exciting. Just give me stuff to do, and I'll do it. I'm interested in the work only as far as I find it interesting to build solutions to solve problems. Beyond learning the tools that are available to me to do my work, I'm really not that interested "improving myself" (professionally).

To clarify, I mean that beyond the scope of my job. If I choose to switch to a different technology, of course I would want to learn the new tech and get up to speed with it. But until then, it's just unnecessary to me.

It kind of reminds me of that interview question, "where do you see yourself 5 years from now?" I'm just thinking, "You know what, I just want to get hired and do work for you and see if I enjoy it." But of course an answer like that isn't really acceptable.

---
A small personal note. I've been constantly pushed by my managers in my jobs. Always complimenting me and telling me they want to keep putting me on bigger and bigger things. As such, nearly everytime I master a "type" of work, I get whooshed up the ladder involuntarily and put on a bigger scale. Then I look back at my co-workers who are doing what I used to do and I'm just thinking, "you lucky bastards, that was my job." A while back, my manager approached me saying he thought I could take over this team someday. I flat out said (in a very polite, playful, and friendly manner) no, I'm not interested in a management position.

I should be grateful, and I guess I am, as it has boosted my resume greatly and resulted in very nice raises and promotions. But there seems to be a disconnect between capability and desire for me. Sure, I might be capable of doing a whole bunch of stuff. But that's not what I necessarily want. I find completing a whole bunch of simple (relatively speaking) tasks more rewarding than completing a few very complex tasks. But I feel it would be professional idiocy to ever admit that at work. It seems like I have an unacceptable stance. If you don't want to improve, there must be something wrong with you.

Shoot, I just like getting my work done.

Can anybody relate? I know, I know. I'm messed up.

I would happily have a dozen like you on my development team. Thumbsup

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Science is not a subject, but a method.
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10-06-2016, 01:44 PM
RE: Professional passion, improvement, and my confession.
(10-06-2016 01:00 PM)Adrianime Wrote:  Can anybody relate?

I not only can relate, it sums up how I feel pretty much perfectly.

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10-06-2016, 01:46 PM
RE: Professional passion, improvement, and my confession.
I agree in the sense that i want to do my work and be left alone but I do find myself constantly watching tutorial videos and reading articles to improve my skills but I do it on my own. I want to be a graphic artist and I studied graphic design in art school but I don't think I learned anything I couldn't have picked up on my own, yet here I am still paying off my loans.

I hope to eventually be self employed and never have to write a resume again, never have to worry about my credentials and degrees, just work for myself and maybe hire on people I like to help me if needed but I know I can work hard enough to make it happen on my own I just lack motivation and clear direction, give me a task and a deadline I will make it happen but when it's just yourself, its tough.

I hope someday soon I'll get over it, plus the fear or rejection of my art and someone stealing it...oh boy the anxiety sucks. But whatever, I'm glad I'm not the only one that feels too much education is a waste, I got my AA degree, everyone said go get a Bachelors, no thanks. I got what I need already.

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10-06-2016, 02:26 PM
RE: Professional passion, improvement, and my confession.
You sound a little bit like my husband, who is being pushed hard by the people in his workplace to move from development to managing teams of people. He's really unhappy about this. He's good at programming and likes it, but unfortunately his company is starting to hire younger, cheaper programmers and the best way for him to stay on at his high salary is to move more into the managerial side. He doesn't want to do that and is convinced it would be a waste of his skills. He's much happier getting tasks than setting tasks.

Outside of the job, my husband is constantly working on projects like improving his French, or increasing his biked miles, and that seems to be different to what you describe.

On the other hand, I'm one of those people always trying to learn new stuff about my profession, but maybe that's because I'm in the arts. Even in job-jobs, I tend to go all out; it's too boring/slow just to get the minimum done.
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10-06-2016, 02:40 PM
RE: Professional passion, improvement, and my confession.
Yep, I get it completely. I go to work to work, to do what I'm asked, do it well and go home. I do not have a shit ton of ambition. My loyalty starts at 7:30am and ends at 4:30pm with an hour off for lunch. To me it's just a job, nothing more, nothing less. As soon as I can afford to retire, I will.

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10-06-2016, 02:42 PM
RE: Professional passion, improvement, and my confession.
(10-06-2016 02:26 PM)julep Wrote:  You sound a little bit like my husband, who is being pushed hard by the people in his workplace to move from development to managing teams of people. He's really unhappy about this. He's good at programming and likes it, but unfortunately his company is starting to hire younger, cheaper programmers and the best way for him to stay on at his high salary is to move more into the managerial side. He doesn't want to do that and is convinced it would be a waste of his skills. He's much happier getting tasks than setting tasks.

Outside of the job, my husband is constantly working on projects like improving his French, or increasing his biked miles, and that seems to be different to what you describe.

On the other hand, I'm one of those people always trying to learn new stuff about my profession, but maybe that's because I'm in the arts. Even in job-jobs, I tend to go all out; it's too boring/slow just to get the minimum done.

It isn't a case of doing the minimum; I enjoy learning new things but when it comes to work I want to learn things that I need to solve actual problems that I am facing. My employer does a lot of pushing of learning other jobs and things that I simply do not need to know and am not interested in. They also push people towards management and I absolutely hate being responsible for other people or dealing with that side of things. I think it is great when an employer makes training and advancement possible, I just wish they'd see that it's possible to be happy with what you are doing.

Outside of work I have a number of interests and pursue them but that's not really that different -- I learn about things that I find interesting and enjoyable both at work and at home.

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10-06-2016, 02:58 PM
RE: Professional passion, improvement, and my confession.
(10-06-2016 02:42 PM)unfogged Wrote:  
(10-06-2016 02:26 PM)julep Wrote:  You sound a little bit like my husband, who is being pushed hard by the people in his workplace to move from development to managing teams of people. He's really unhappy about this. He's good at programming and likes it, but unfortunately his company is starting to hire younger, cheaper programmers and the best way for him to stay on at his high salary is to move more into the managerial side. He doesn't want to do that and is convinced it would be a waste of his skills. He's much happier getting tasks than setting tasks.

Outside of the job, my husband is constantly working on projects like improving his French, or increasing his biked miles, and that seems to be different to what you describe.

On the other hand, I'm one of those people always trying to learn new stuff about my profession, but maybe that's because I'm in the arts. Even in job-jobs, I tend to go all out; it's too boring/slow just to get the minimum done.

It isn't a case of doing the minimum; I enjoy learning new things but when it comes to work I want to learn things that I need to solve actual problems that I am facing. My employer does a lot of pushing of learning other jobs and things that I simply do not need to know and am not interested in. They also push people towards management and I absolutely hate being responsible for other people or dealing with that side of things. I think it is great when an employer makes training and advancement possible, I just wish they'd see that it's possible to be happy with what you are doing.

Outside of work I have a number of interests and pursue them but that's not really that different -- I learn about things that I find interesting and enjoyable both at work and at home.
Makes sense. It sounds awful.

I don't have an employer and so don't have anyone pushing me into learning things that aren't relevant to my work.
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10-06-2016, 03:36 PM
RE: Professional passion, improvement, and my confession.
Depends on the job.

I'm passionate about nursing, but it's the nature of my career. Apathy in my field yields dead people.

As far as professional development, yeh, I attend those. I'm required to have so many educational hours each year for my license renewal. I far surpass the required amount. But my field is constantly changing with new advances. I work with critical patients, and my current population often has rare disease processes or require specialized equipment. Anything I can soak in makes me a resource for newer nurses and more capable of saving lives - I don't need to be on google when shit hits the fan. But it's not like I go above and beyond - I do what it takes to be safe and competent. I'm not learning shit about labor and delivery - not my job, don't care 'bout birthin no babies.


I don't have my CEN (certification for emergency nurses) or CCRN (certification for critical care nurses). I don't get paid extra for it. Hell, my current hospital doesn't pay for the test and it costs several hundred dollars for each exam. I will eventually get my CCRN, but only because it looks good for grad school applications. It means I know enough to pass a test. It's not additional training. Put me beside another nurse with a CCRN and 18 months of experience...you're going to want me at the bedside.

With those particular certifications I can put more alphabet soup behind my name on my lab coat and in my professional signature. I despise white coats - they're an infection control risk that is overlooked because it's a status symbol. Med students wear short lab coats, residents wear long ones. I had to wear one as a nursing student, and tons of nurse practitioners wear them. However, if I had a lab coat and the certifications it would read: Jane Doe, RN-BSN, CCRN, CEN. Who gives a shit? Like the person who's getting chest compressions is gonna say "hold up, my nurse doesn't have CCRN behind her name. Get me someone that has taken that test!" If I were in administration, ANYONE on staff with the potential to enter a patient's room, including physicians, would be required to wear scrubs and absolutely NO ties. How often do ties and coats get laundered? How much crap do they touch? If a doc leans over to listen to a patient with a stethoscope, is the tie secured or dangling across the bed linens? ick.

Long rant. Sheesh. Clearly I'm passionate.

But yeh, I feel you. Pointless certifications = time wasters = someone is coming up with a reason to have a job peddling a pointless BS certifications = eye roll.

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10-06-2016, 07:19 PM
RE: Professional passion, improvement, and my confession.
If I am planning to advance at a job, I definitely learn the responsibilities of the next position up the chain. I may do that even if I don't plan on growing into a promotion, because if it's an employer who treats me well, I have no problem stepping in and saving their bacon if need be.
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