What you need to know > what you want to know?

DatabaseHeadDatabaseHead Teradata Assc 16, Querying Microsoft SQL Server 2012/2014, CSMMember Posts: 2,721 ■■■■■■■■■□
How do you manage what you want to know with what you need to know? Assuming there are two knowledge sets that you need to know, however one you enjoy the other you don't. How do you approach this?

Evenly distribute your time to become proficient in both?
Focus on the one you like because after all it's what you like?
Focus on the one that has bigger returns even if it keeps you from doing the one that interest you more?

Part of me thinks do what you like because after all if you don't care for it you won't retain as much.

Part of me thinks " see a need fill a need " which may or may not tie back to what you actually like.

I'm currently in a role that has me pondering this. X Y Z and I am REALLY good at, but X Y Z is only 50% of the role.

Comments

  • stryder144stryder144 Senior Member Member Posts: 1,684 ■■■■■■■■□□
    I usually go with what has the most immediate impact to my life. For instance, if work wants me to get a certification within xyz months, I'll focus on that more (75/25 split, if I have enough time, otherwise, I devote 100% to the work related cert).

    Naturally, all other things being equal, I would spend more time on what I like while filling in any skill gaps for the thing I don't like as much.
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  • UnixGuyUnixGuy Are we having fun yet? Mod Posts: 4,426 Mod
    When I used to have free time after work (and interest), I'd lab/study after work for cert goals that will get me the position that I want (want to know).

    At work I'd practice and learn and apply that things that I *needed to know*. Having said that, I usually try to align both so I work in stuff that I'm interested in.
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  • JoJoCal19JoJoCal19 California Kid Mod Posts: 2,832 Mod
    This is something I struggle with honestly. And I agree with UnixGuy as that is what I did as well for a long time to try to get where I wanted to. It has worked for me over the past 3-4 years. It hasn't worked more recently however as I will be starting a new job in a role that I really enjoy and am good at (GRC) but not my first choice of where I wanted to be (Pentesting). So I will try to do a 50/50 split. Studying GRC topics is easy to me so not something I need to go hard at. I want pentesting skills as a backup skill set so I will still devote time to study and lab in that area. My problem is more splitting my free time between that and hobbies.
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  • DatabaseHeadDatabaseHead Teradata Assc 16, Querying Microsoft SQL Server 2012/2014, CSM Member Posts: 2,721 ■■■■■■■■■□
    Sounds like I am not the only one facing this dilemma.

    I did recently hit a phenomenon while going with the 50/50 approach. The material I thought I wouldn't like (machine learning and statistics) have been more enjoyable than I originally thought. Kind of funny how these things seem to take care of themselves. Maybe I am good at lying to myself, either way it's working out and has been the last 6 months. But that usually isn't the case with me.

    Thanks again for the follow up, I hope you all hit your happy medium. Fingers crossed that this new found interest has sustainability.
  • KrusaderKrusader Member Posts: 109
    If you are studying on your own time and work isn't reimbursing you for that time and effort than study what you want to know.
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