Wednesday, the 1. February 2012, 23:20 by
I’m not actually as arrogant as I act, nor do I think I know as much as I may give the impression. In my still relatively young 31 years on this planet though, I’ve seen some things, and experienced things, a lot of things a lot of people simply havent. I’m always amazed & feel eternally grateful not only do I have some great friends, but they actually ask for my thoughts occasionally, so I do like to put effort into it.
I’ve recentley been asked about how you potentially tackle a quick step up to fill someone else’s shoes when you’ve only just started your job. It’s a complex one, full of politics, toe stepping, peoples feelings, and the whole ‘poisoned chalice’ potential. I recommend two rules, (two rules actually you can probably run with all your life & in every aspect of it) 1) tell the truth 2) be nice. You just can’t go wrong.
I used to work for a company whereby I had an option to look after a small part of it, or the entire organisation. At the time, being young, heady & ambitious, I chose the latter as soon as the opportunity presented itself. I never worried or gave second thought to other people, I just felt I was worthy. I wasnt. I should have spent a few more years looking after the small part, nurturing it, building the part into something bigger all on it’s own. More importantly I should of spent time building me, into something bigger. I was therefor shocked when I had the reigns of a much larger chunk of business, but with it, the loneliness, the stress, the feeling of letting all the people in the small part down, whom I was made to feel I’d turned my back on, for a quick fix of limelight and hero status.
The worse thing was, it was that opportunity I cut my teeth, and whilst ultimateley I made my future right there, right then, I would have perhaps taken it slower and with more sensitivity to other people with that deliciously wonderful thing called ‘hindsight’. Perhaps juggling so many parts of the business would be akin to trying to have several mistresses. At some point, they are all going to get jealous that your spending more time with the next, and before you know it, you have several mistresses wanting to serve your private bits up on a chopping board.
If I’d of known what it would be like to have several mistresses, before I actually took them on, perhaps it’d of been a smoother ride. Ultimately I was a virgin at the time, and I was eaten up & spat out. Without that experience however, I wouldnt be who I am.
My advice to anyone wanting to forge their career is by all means go forth, take into consideration other peoples feelings, dont step on peoples toes, and remember that two step rule 1) tell the truth 2) be nice. Learn the business, not just your ‘niche’. For IT people, that means whether you like it or not, your day’s are numbered. No one wants on premise kit, no one wants bearded Linux engineers (sorry no offence), no one wants complexity.
Technology & systems are commercial now, SaaS, PaaS, that Exchange server you’ve been holding together with sellotape & scissors, no one cares, because for £11 a month you can have hosted Exchange all backed up, secure, scalable, & simple. (check out servercentre.net by the way!) so if you want to add real value as an IT Pro, learn what the business does, and how IT can help it do ‘its’ business better.
If you work for a burger company, learn everything about burgers. Learn how to make IT help the company, make burgers quicker, faster, cheaper & better quality. Be seen to be doing that, & you’ll elevate yourself beyond just IT. Because whether you like it or not being an IT person in the future, means not being an IT person at all.
1) tell the truth 2) be nice.