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I received a call from someone doing a review of my prior employer. He said that 34 of the 35 people he interviewed there referred to me by name. That I left a large whole in their organization and that they wished they could have me back. I told him it wasn't an impossibility.

Things like that are good to hear. It's all too easy to feel like I don't know what I don't know and that I'm really not as well tuned in to what's going on because I don't have the same professional training as everyone else in the office. But I do know a lot about my area of expertise, and quite a bit about what everyone else is trying to do. It's that balance which really makes me valuable in this industry and it's easy to forget that.

The second time this week I really felt valued was during a meeting of some of our more data-heavy employees. They were reviewing a lot of the data that I pulled together and someone shouted "How do you even begin to crunch this?" The response was simply that they had me to do the heavy lifting for them. Later that same meeting I showed of version 2 of the software they're using which I helped to design and oversaw production on. There was cheers, applause and offers of starbucks and chocolate. The biggest applause was for the streamlining of repetitive tasks, something I immediately identified as a problem when I was hired and fought to get into this version.

That's where I fit in. I can't do their jobs, I don't know how. But I do know how to support them in what they do and how to make their data lives easier.