Monday, October 24, 2011

When you can’t get where you want to be.

Many times in my life I have wanted to be somewhere in my career or in my family life that may have been just out of reach. It is during those times that I have had a significant amount of growth and have met some of the long lasting fiends in my life.

Back in 1995 when I was a theater electrician working in the Fox Theater at Foxwoods Resort and Casino, I knew I wanted to be a computer programmer. Don’t get me wrong, I loved working in the theater. In fact, I continue to work in the theater till this day. But what I wanted was just out of reach. I had no formal computer training and I couldn’t stop working to get it.  This is a situation a lot of folks are in today, I’m sure.

So I was fortunate enough to hook up with someone else in the theater department who was doing a little computer work. He and I became fast friends and still are very good friends to this day.  (His wife and kid came up from Florida to visit us last spring and we truly enjoy each others company.) Pete and I did little things in the theater department with computers to help our bosses.  He started a daily log for the technicians and I started a scheduling program for the lighting group.  We were learning more and more as we went along. We stretched ourselves because we new where we wanted to be.

Our bosses started to notice, and fortunately for us, they were progressive enough at the time to see where this could lead the theater department.  Soon, Pete and I had our own office with the best computers you could buy in 1996 and a copy of Visual Basic version 3 or 4. We went to a couple of training courses and the next thing you know we are, well sort of, real programmers. 

This paid off for both of us when Foxwoods decided to centralize all the folks working in IT. Pete and I went on to work in MIS. We are both now far into our IT careers and I am very thankful to him, Bill and Brian for helping me get to where I wanted to be.

So the point I am trying to make here is that sometimes when you cant get to where you want to be, maybe the best place you should be is where you are.  Look around you. Take in what is happening.  See where you might be able to utilize a skill or technology that will help promote you to where you want to be. And notice the people around you.  Who has influence? Who can you help that may be in a position to help you out someday.

In my case, at the moment, patience is my greatest ally. Where I want to be may take some time. And some of the folks I am meeting on my journey are absolutely the best. So, Jane, JD, Marc, (to name a few) I thank you!

Till next time…

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