Monday, May 11, 2009

The Gift of Slack

I wanted to expand on Tom Kyte’s short post about SLACK, which takes its cue from this post by Seth Godin.

My addition to Tom’s advice is this: If you find yourself suddenly with extra time on your hands (read laid off), offer your talents and your leadership to an Oracle user group. From what I’ve seen over the last year of writing the Up Close column for Oracle Magazine, the groups are almost always hungry for volunteers to help them with their mission. In return for your time you gain notoriety, make new contacts, and you LEARN.

Imagine the difference between going to an interview as an out of work DBA or developer vs. as an officer of an Oracle user group who is shopping his/her skills and contacts to a few lucky organizations.

Side note: Slack time is when ideas erupt to the surface that have been long bubbling in your subconscious. They’ve been held down by a thick layer of deadlines and near term problem solving that fill the days of fully employed technologist. Take. some. time. to calm the waters of your mind and see what brilliant stuff floats to the top.


Ted Simpson said...

This is excellent advice. User groups are great environments for developing and honing skills, keeping up with the latest product directions, and networking within an industry. You also make a good point about notoriety; it seems that more and more industry analysts, media, and bloggers listen to user group leaders. User groups are also a cost-effective and strategic way to maximize returns on investment in applications and technology.

Ted Simpson
VP for Communications and Membership
Higher Education User Group

Jeff Erickson said...

Ted. Thanks for filling out some of the thoughts in this post. The dynamic HEUG seems like the place to get these benefits.