For those feeling like they’re bored in their current position, here’s some wisdom from engineer Wei Dai on reinventing yourself:
“Once you achieve high status, a part of your mind makes you lose interest in the thing that you achieved high status with in the first place. You might feel obligated to maintain an appearance of interest, and defend your position from time to time, but you no longer feel a burning need to know the truth.
One solution that might work (and I think has worked for me, although I didn’t consciously choose it) is to periodically start over. Once you’ve achieved recognition in some area, and no longer have as much interest in it as you used to, go into a different community focused on a different topic, and start over from a low-status (or at least not very high status) position.”
The beauty of the IT industry is that there’s always something happening at the bleeding edge, a new part of the industry just emerging that you can investigate. While you will start at low-status, it won’t take you long to grow, because it’s emerging and no one else will be particularly advanced in that area anyway. The potential to become a big fish in a small but growing pond is high.
Smart companies that hire in the emerging tech fields don’t look for years of commercial experience because it doesn’t exist. They look for personal passion in the field, candidates that have done their own research and built their own labs with the technology, played and experimented, broken it and fixed it. It’s the people that keep asking why and how and can we do it better that are the best at reinventing themselves in any area of emerging tech.
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