The Time Is Now

I will be the first to admit that I have procrastinated on bettering myself as a software tester over the past year. However, I am a consultant and as a consultant you sometimes have to accept the fact that you can’t possibly juggle work (40+ hours a week), the honey-do list, spending time with family, and taking courses/reading books to advance your career.

Having said this, I recently asked myself “When are you going to take the next step? What better time than now?” So I say the time is now. There will always be the constant juggle of life, work, and someday (for me anyway) children and all of the activities they will be involved in. If you are asking yourself these same questions and wonder when you will find the time I would tell you “The time is now.” Next, you’ll probably be asking the question “So, what’s next?” I have come up with a few steps to guide you in the right direction.

The first step is to set a goal. Is your goal to get a certification? Is your goal to learn a new programming language? Is your goal to become a manager? However big or small, set the goal. If the goal is bigger and will take a longer period of time, like becoming a manager, set smaller goals within the goal. For example, set goals to read some books on project management, find courses you can take, list people that could be your mentors.

The second step is to take action. You’ve thought all this through now act on it. If you want to learn a new programming language go buy a book, ask for training, Google for online tutorials, ask a developer that knows the language for some resources or simple examples to help you. If you want to become a manager start reading the books you picked out, ask your manager to assign tasks to you that they perform on a daily basis (especially ones that put you into a leadership role in some shape or form). I would strongly advise you to talk to the mentors you listed on a daily basis if possible. This will encourage you along the way because at times you might feel overwhelmed.

Lastly, share the knowledge you gain with others by having conversation with colleagues or giving a presentation at a conference. Encourage them to take action. This step is necessary in order to become a mentor to others so that they might someday become mentors and so on and so forth.