Knowing What’s Good for You
Let me tell you about a boat I missed once. I wonder if you’ve stood on this particular dock at some point.
It was in the mid-’80s, when the post-recessionary boom was just beginning. I was a young journalist then, making pittance working long hours for newspapers. The future seemed so far away I had trouble looking past the next paycheck.
So one day, I’m having lunch with a friend. She’s complaining about having to go to the grocery store, a chore she detested. You know what we should do, she asked? Everyone hates going to the grocery store. We should start a business where people tell us what they need and we go buy it for them, for a reasonable service fee.
I remember swallowing a bite of tuna salad and laughing and laughing. Who’s going to pay us for that, I derided. Who’s going to want someone else selecting their food, I laughed.
Three years later, a group of strangers started Peapod, which hits its 15th anniversary this year. Heck, even I’ve used the shopping service, ironically aware I’d slipped under the elevator when I could have walked in on the ground floor. (Not that Peapod has been immune to financial troubles any more than anyone else, but a good idea is a good idea, even if unrecognized.)
So why tell you this, other than to warn you away from using me as a sounding board for good ideas? Consider it a cautionary example that opportunity does knock, but you have to know the sound when you hear it.
Opportunity is knocking in this issue, that’s for sure, with two feature articles (at least) demanding your attention. Our cover story, “The ABCs of Network Security,” is a good primer to what promises to be the hottest specialty area for certified professionals for years to come. And for those itching to be out on their own, we’ve got a five-step plan to kick-starting a consulting career.
I hope you find these articles valuable and inspirational as you consider your careers, from whatever professional place you now occupy. I’d hate to think all this confessional advice fell on deaf ears.
Don’t make me tell you about my idea for a cable box that automatically switches channels on a preprogrammed schedule. I have that feature now, but not the royalty checks—don’t you deserve more from your career?