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Austin French
Austin French

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Take Advice, Especially Solicited Advice

Overview

I have had an unconventional career path. Some of the randomness includes:

General Manager of a fine dining restaurant.
Former Microsoft MVP.
IT, everything from clearing cookies to driving around the nation setting up equipment, and writing scripts to install software over thousands of machines.
Software Developer, combing backlogs to leading multinational architecture / development.

It's not a bad resume, if I am objective.

Recently, on Reddit I was messaged by someone wanting to know how to get into IT. I fully believe in helping everyone, in anyway I can. So I offered some insight into how I got there, and some advice in general.

Sidebar

Joseph Strauss, a talented and ambitious, yet relatively unaccomplished engineer took on the enormous challenge of the Golden Gate Bridge.

Ultimately, Leon Moisseiff did much of the final design and engineering. We still celebrate Strauss, far more than Moisseiff. But the fact that Strauss solicited the project, and the input required to be successful is how the USA built the iconic structure.

Lesson Learned

We often can't do things on our own. We should ask for advice, and help.

What has me perplexed however was this persons response.

My final piece of advice was something along the lines of

If you find yourself lacking people skills, work on that.
Even if it means picking up a part time job bartending.
Tech has tons of smart, passionate people who aren't articulate
We need more people able to speak with cross functional teams
and negotiate solutions to problems in realistic timeframes

What I got back was something akin to:

F@(k you, you are stupid and racist. No wonder your career has
been involved so much grunt work.

I am paraphrasing here.

Summary

I truly wanted, and would still like for this person to have a fulfilling career.

The thing is, if he solicits for advice, and then throws it away and returns the favor with insults, he won't.

For everyone who solicits advice. Take it. Write it down, sleep on it. Read it again in a year, or five. I have received advice that I took to heart. I have received advice that was too far forward for where I was at the time. And I have received advice that hasn't worked for me (yet?).

And here I am, with a career many people would love to have had. I have a career I have loved. And I hope, for everyone who solicits advice: I hope you have the career and life you seek.

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