Why I Stopped Treading Water

An old boss used to say “If you aren’t moving forward, you are just treading water.”   When I submitted my resignation a few weeks ago, I had these words close to my heart.

Since 2011, I’ve gone to work at the same place.  During this time, I’ve seen countless people come and go. And I’ve moved from being a Developer to being a System Administrator in 2013.

After five years in the same role, you end up mastering it. You end up treading water.   I knew what to expect.   I felt safe, comfortable and valued.  I had enough employee capital that when I asked for things like attending conferences that the answer was generally ‘yes.’   Flexibility and reasonable commute were some other perks that I enjoyed.

Sounds perfect, right?!  It would be if safety and comfort were my top values when it came to my career.  All of the perks weren’t enough to compensate for what I thought was missing: growth and variety.

In a week, I’m scheduled to start my new position at NetApp partner on a project at the State Department.  The commute is way worse.  It’s going to be harder to help get my kids on and off the bus.   Since I’m also starting completely over with a new company,  I have absolutely no employee capital.  No one thinks that I’m a badass.  I’m going to have to work hard to earn that title.

Despite all of these things, I’m really excited about this new position.  It’s a chance to grow.  It’s a chance to move towards my longer term goals.

Becky Elliott

After dropping out of a liberal arts college that focused on reading and discussing the “Great Books”, Becky Elliott found her way to a career in IT. For 20+ years, she has held a number of roles in Dev and Ops, and the area in between the two. In working for organizations in which poor security practices can cost lives, she’s an ardent believer in integrating security through the entire design process. Becky holds a number of industry certifications including the Certified Information Systems Security Professional (CISSP).

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