There probably comes a time in every career when you begin to think, what’s next? For those starting out, it’s a matter of; is this working for me?-do I like this job?-am I bored?-or I can do better? For those of us beginning to wrap up it’s a matter of relevance and retirement. The big R & R.
Many of those in the middle aren’t even thinking about it, somewhat afraid to tempt fate.
Something happens to start the process, for those starting out it’s a matter of money-status-deserving-entitlement! For those of us wrapping up it can be something along the lines of technology. Technology rushing ahead of us with the force of its fury sneaking up behind us to bite us in the ass. Or…you can find yourself in the unusual position of being one of a select few who actually know something others don’t.
About what? A rickety old mainframe system, once state of the art I’m sure, that now needs to be upgraded to interface with the real world. The app world. The world that includes code and mapping and URLs, that world.
I recently found myself in that position and I’m not sure how I feel about it. On one hand I feel like a dinosaur about to take the plunge into extinction and on the other hand I feel like a dinosaur being resurrected from a company archeological dig. You notice either way I remain a dinosaur.
Regardless of how I felt about it I found myself, along with one other colleague of the same status, awake at 6am and at the ready to test the newest upgrade of the poor old mainframe system. We came to the conclusion that the last time we heard each other’s voices, this time over Skype, was the last time this function got a facelift.
The test failed at 630am and there was much discussion of what went right and what went wrong, most of which escaped me. Fast forward several hours later and phase one of the testing had been completed successfully.
These are the things that get me thinking, wouldn’t it be better to think of yourself as a well-regarded “company historian” than a dinosaur? Didn’t it prove better to take a preexisting system with good bones, that has served you well, remains relevant and important and upgrade it?
Could one make the leap that in our throwaway society, where spikey hair and skinny jeans reign, sometimes the lessons and knowledge of the past also serve you well and remain not only relevant but incredibly important? If only to prevent you from trying to reinvent the wheel?
Perhaps this is what’s next; a renewed respect for the company elders. Perhaps…or more likely, since the last known existing old mainframe system has been upgraded, a bit of R & R is in order.