Episode 244 – Overcome Your Introversion and Realize That Asking for Help is a Strength with Derick Rethans

 In Podcasts

Phil’s guest on this episode of the IT Career Energizer podcast is Derick Rethans. Derick is a PHP internals expert and author of Xdebug. He works as an independent contractor and consultant on PHP extensions and related projects.

Derick has contributed to the PHP project in numerous forms and is the host of the PHP Internals News podcast as well as being a frequent speaker at conferences.

In this episode, Phil and Derick Rethans discuss why asking for help is a strength rather than a weakness. Derick shares how he counters his introvert tendencies so that he can fill in his knowledge gaps and help others. They also talk about how to take on challenging roles and build new skills, while still maintaining the right work/life balance.

 

KEY TAKEAWAYS:

(3.18) TOP CAREER TIP

Asking for help should be a skill that you use liberally. Doing so saves you a huge amount of time and hassle.

Often, it is a mutually beneficial experience. They answer your questions and, often, will ask you a few of their own. We should all be leveraging off each other´s knowledge base.

(4.47) WORST CAREER MOMENT

At the start of his career, Derick was asked to fix an SEO Unix machine. He knew a bit about Linux and Unix II, but the machine he was working on used an older version. One he was not familiar with. As requested, he attempted the fix. A decision that nearly led to disaster. He explains what happened, in the podcast.

From this experience, he learned not to assume you know things about technologies you have never touched before. Things are not always as similar as you might think.

 

(7.10) CAREER HIGHLIGHT

Being approached by people at conferences who say to him “It is nice to meet you; I like what you did on x project…” feels particularly good. Although, at first, it felt very weird to him.

 

(8.23) THE FUTURE OF CAREERS IN I.T

Derick finds the pace of change and the fact that there is always something new to learn to be exciting. For example, he has only recently started to learn new languages. He has also had a lot of fun playing a game that teaches you how to build a computer from scratch. Something he tells you about in the podcast.

 

(10.39) THE REVEAL

What first attracted you to a career in I.T.? – Derick´s interest in the industry was sparked by the fact that, as a kid, he was allowed to play around with a computer.

What’s the best career advice you received? – You need to take the leap.

What’s the worst career advice you received? – You have to work 80 hours a week to be successful. This is not a sustainable way of working.

What would you do if you started your career now? – He would focus on his language skills so that he could better communicate with others right from the start.

What are your current career objectives? – Derick wants to start hiring this year, so he is focusing on building the skills he needs to do that effectively.

What’s your number one non-technical skill? – Being able to put himself out there by writing books, public speaking, and blogging.

How do you keep your own career energized? – Pushing himself to have contact with other people keeps him energized. He explains why in the podcast.

What do you do away from technology? – Derick loves walking. He walks everywhere, even if it takes a couple of hours to get there.

 

(16.44) FINAL CAREER TIP

With the help of others, actively work to teach yourself the things you are not good at. Even if you are very shy you should still push yourself to do this.

Derick is naturally quite introverted. But he forces himself to talk to random people, especially at events. Doing so makes it easier to fill in the gaps in his knowledge.

 

BEST MOMENTS

(3.17) – Derick – “Asking for help should be a skill that you use liberally. Often, it is a mutually beneficial experience.”

(6.52) – Derick – “Don’t assume that you know things on stuff that you’ve never touched before. It is too easy for things to go wrong.”

(11.26) – Derick – “Don´t be afraid to take the leap. Most of the time it will pay off.”

(15.42) – Derick – “Don´t keep doing the same thing for years. Instead, learn about how others are utilizing that tech.”

(17.09) – Derick – “With the help of others, teach yourself the things you’re not great at.”

(17.29) – Phil – “Standing in the middle of the room, at conferences, draws others to you. So, you can learn from more people.”

 

ABOUT THE HOST – PHIL BURGESS

Phil Burgess is an independent IT consultant who has spent the last 20 years helping organisations to design, develop and implement software solutions. Phil has always had an interest in helping others to develop and advance their careers. And in 2017 Phil started the I.T. Career Energizer podcast to try to help as many people as possible to learn from the career advice and experiences of those that have been, and still are, on that same career journey.

 

CONTACT THE HOST – PHIL BURGESS

Phil can be contacted through the following Social Media platforms:

Twitter: https://twitter.com/philtechcareer

LinkedIn: https://uk.linkedin.com/in/philburgess

Facebook: https://facebook.com/philtechcareer

Instagram: https://instagram.com/philtechcareer

Website: https://itcareerenergizer.com/contact

Phil is also reachable by email at [email protected] and via the podcast’s website, https://itcareerenergizer.com

Join the I.T. Career Energizer Community on Facebook – https://www.facebook.com/groups/ITCareerEnergizer

 

ABOUT THE GUEST – DERICK RETHANS

Derick Rethans is a PHP internals expert and author of Xdebug. He works as an independent contractor and consultant on PHP extensions and related projects.

Derick has contributed to the PHP project in numerous forms and is the host of the PHP Internals News podcast as well as being a frequent speaker at conferences.

 

CONTACT THE GUEST – DERICK RETHANS

Derick Rethans can be contacted through the following Social Media platforms:

Twitter: https://twitter.com/derickr

LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/derickrethans/

Website: https://derickrethans.nl

Podcast: https://phpinternals.news

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