We had a young Network Administrator that just left to join a new company. He start as a school based technology support professional working his way up to a Systems Security Administrator and finally a Network Administrator.
When he left he passed out thank you notes. I was fortunate to receive one, and humbled by his words thanking me for letting him look over his shoulder and giving him tips to help him in his career. I will miss him because he was always looking for things to learn, but was more importantly a humble young man. Below is my last interaction with him after receiving the note
Thanks for the card!
It was a pleasure working with you and I wish you the best as you move forward on your career. I want to leave you with something that I learned from reading a book called “Be the Master” by Don Jones. We are all at one time an apprentice, like in the Middle Ages where they had a blacksmith in a town and the apprentice who worked with the Master learning the craft. At some point the apprentice has to become the master, but when? That is a decision the apprentice has to make, and we are all masters at some point after learning a skill. As you move along in your career, remember a job is not your career, try to pass along what you have learned and have mastered to someone else trying to learn. You don’t have to know it all, just what you know you have mastered and what you know helps get the job or task done.
A quick example is the Remote student computer set up last year year in March. I created what I was asked to do, which was create a method and a working step by step script to set up the computers for the remote learners so that even a person uneducated in the technology would be able to follow the steps.
It was a script that did every step, and I mean every step. It wasn’t a script written for a person that knows what to do like a sysadmin, so to a sysadmin there were steps that could be removed and skipped, or the script could have been streamlined as the techie’s in our department found out. The important thing was that it worked for everyone, and I wrote it for everyone. As an apprentice the techies should have seen a better way, and that is fine and that is what should be done. Give the apprentice the full, all out way to do it and let them learn the shortcuts, let them tell you what they find in your way so at some point they can understand the long way and how you make it better.
Remember that we are always an apprentice, because to forget that is to die on the vine and rot. You are now a Master, pass it forward to another apprentice!