You Have One Job

What's Your One Thing?
What’s Your One Thing?
I’m sure most if not all of you are familiar with the meme “You had one job”. I was reminded of this meme this past Friday when I headed out to run an errand at lunch time. There were 3 guys standing in the middle lane of a busy intersection, 2 were road workers and 1 was a flagger holding a sign that said SLOW on one side and STOP on the other.

The flagger was standing in between the workers and the on-coming traffic. So far, so good. He was holding up the SLOW side of the sign. I wondered to myself if that meant we could run them over as long as we did it slowly. If someone is driving in the middle lane, wouldn’t the workers prefer that they stop?

Okay, so he was probably assuming that we were smart enough to go around them but he wanted us to do it slowly and not go zooming by. Sure, that makes sense. Having lived in this small town for 11 years, I think he is giving our citizenry too much credit.

Then when the traffic going the other way stopped because their light turned red, the 2 workers quickly moved to the side into the median so that traffic could proceed without hindrance. Traffic starting moving in the left and right lanes, and then the flagger realized that the 2 workers had moved to the side so he put down his sign and promptly walked to the median to join the others. As you may recall, traffic had already started moving. He stepped directly in front of my SUV, and I had to slam on my breaks to avoid hitting him.

Seems to me that the flagger’s job is to pay attention to what the workers and traffic is doing. He ignored both and almost paid dearly for it. Just another case of someone having 1 job to do and not doing it.

What’s Your One Thing?

That event made me think about how SQL professionals these days are asked to do a lot of things, and I’m often asked by people how do they make their mark in their profession, especially when they work on a big team. How do you become notable? The answer I have given in the past is to find that one thing that you enjoy doing and become the best you can at it. When that subject comes up, you want people to say to ask you about it because you will know the answer better than anyone else.

Don’t just get good at it. Write about it in your company or team blog. Give training sessions on it. Figure out how your company could use this feature better and push for improvements.

As your career passes, you may come to master many facets of SQL Server, but if somebody asks what you are the go-to person for, there should be plenty of people pipe up what it is.

*Reposted with permission from

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