What’s Your Biggest Professional Challenge?

Now that we are in a new year (wow, it is hard to believe it is 2018), I want to ask a simple question. With what you are trying to accomplish at work or in your career, what is your biggest challenge? Is it something only you can deal with or is it something that someone can help with? Would you consider this challenge a personal challenge for your own career goals, or is it a challenge that you are trying to solve to further your employer’s objectives?

For me the answer would be something like this–

  1. Biggest Professional Challenge–distractions
  2. Who can help with this–mostly me, but my employer certainly doesn’t help and probably doesn’t truly understand the efficiencies that could be gained.
  3. This is a personal challenge–but my employer could certainly reap the rewards if I could improve in this area.

I wouldn’t necessarily consider this my resolve for 2018. However, it is certainly an area that I will work hard to improve in this new year. 

What are your challenges? Maybe I could help. Maybe it could even be interesting enough to be a new distraction that steals all my attention and becomes a new area of complete focus [would that qualify as solving my problem of distractions? ;-)]

Disclaimer: This article includes the independent thoughts, opinions, commentary or technical detail of Paul Stewart. This may or may does not reflect the position of past, present or future employers.


About Paul Stewart, CCIE 26009 (Security)

Paul is a Network and Security Engineer, Trainer and Blogger who enjoys understanding how things really work. With over 15 years of experience in the technology industry, Paul has helped many organizations build, maintain and secure their networks and systems.
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2 Responses to What’s Your Biggest Professional Challenge?

  1. Michael Bushong says:

    I saw a recent post on Twitter that resonates for me on this topic. It was about engineering culture and moving beyond the ever present “what problem are we trying to solve?” and to “why is this the most important problem we need to solve?”

    I struggle with prioritization. I know what I ought to be doing, but I like to help others. Or I like to pitch in on something interesting. Or I feel bad about something I have said no to. They all pull me away from the most important thing.

    The challenge I have is that I end up making time. I implicitly trade off family or personal time or time to do things like learn. It’s the wrong tradeoff almost every time. And because I influence other people, I sometimes set a bad example.

    When I am at my best, I am superb at prioritization–at both a macro and micro level.


    • Mike, it’s good to hear from you. I too know how prioritize. However, my current role is way over extended and requires me to let way too much stuff go unaddressed. I also steal from my family and time I need to do my own things. I WILL be more deliberate in how I spend my time this year.

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