Become Risk Adverse

This is seriously off-topic considering the sites usual content so if you’re looking for tech then stop right about… here. If you’d like to see me publicly debug myself then carry right on!

At some point over the last few years I seem to have made a couple of bad choices. Firstly I’ve become risk adverse; and not just in the good “the production system is sacrosanct” way. In everything from “lets just go to the conference and see how it goes”, through “I’ll download it and have a play without reading a whole book on it first” up to not telling certain people how I really feel and missing the chance I’ve stopped just doing things.

Taking controlled risks and making mistakes is one of the best ways to learn (it’s why you should never employ a sysadmin without a home network, it’s better if they make their mistakes at home :)). An aversion to making mistakes also leads to a fear of failure, two factors that when combined are pretty much going to sink your career and any ambitions you might have had.

On to the second prong of my mistakes, accepting good enough without a struggle. I’ve worked in a couple of insane startups, I understand that sometimes, due to customer, time or business requirements, you make things just about good enough and then move on; I just don’t think it should become established practise or something you blindly accept. And this is my issue, I’ve noticed I don’t fight as hard as I used to when these kind of things come up and this is a personal failing I will not tolerate. I know why I’m letting the battles slip, you can only have the same discussion so many times before you end up accepting things as they are; and that’s not who I want to be.

I’ve always taken pride in my work but over time I’ve lost a couple of the traits that made me good at what I do. At the same time I’ve kept the same level of pride and confidence, and I think that’s at the core of what’s bothering me; I’ve slipped from being on the top of my game to being a member of the supporting cast. I’ve never been a fan of people that accept good enough and now I find myself slipping down the slope. For my own sanity it’s time to draw a line in the sand and buck up or get out. And today’s as good a day as any.

Why have I put this in an entry? Bits of these thoughts have been buzzing around my head for the last week or so and now it’ll hopefully clear out and let me replace it with more productive thoughts. It’s also quite cathartic.