Growing in your career in any particular field can be tough. I know that even for myself I can get way too comfortable with where I am; just doing what I need to do to get through the day.
I knew this temptation at no greater point in my career then when I was working IT for a large collocation business in downtown Atlanta; I had some “big” career aspirations: My Cisco CCNA/CCDA.
I never got around to completing them because I got so busy. Perhaps you know what I’m talking about?
And, it’s not that we need CCNA/CCDA and all those certs for ministry, but as IT professionals we need to continue growing, and not just professionally but personally and spiritually.
Here are 3 tips which I learned a bit too late in my IT career that would have helped me grow:
1. Be Happy, Be Balanced
I realized far too late that my career growth was directly related to how “happy” I was as a person. Not that I’m trying to oversimplify this solution and tip but it doesn’t take a rocket scientist to realize that a desire to improve oneself and one’s career is typically directly related to how happy they are as a person.
For me, this required balance in the rest of my life, and especially my ministry and spiritual life. If this was all good then my career was directly impacted and I did better.
I mean, it’s just generally understood “culturally” that IT professionals are professional “grumpy people.” Let’s kill that right now!
2. Grow Versatility, Branch Out
I got bored really fast doing what I was “required” to do on a day-to-day. What I learned a little too late that branching out is part of my responsibility as a person in terms of my career.
Essentially, no one should care about my career than me, and I needed to branch out, learn more, and become more versatile. And at the end of the day we’d become more valuable to the business and organization.
And hey, we may make some new friends too.
3. Communicate Out, A Lot
There’s a reason why the IT guys get stuck in the “basement” in all the jokes and sitcoms; because they’re trolls (or monsters, or some other strange fictitious character that doesn’t see the light of day).
There’s far too much internal communication that’s happening on a day-to-day. Success in IT is still just as relational as any other part of your job, especially ministry.
Get some sun. Seriously. The computer tan isn’t working.
Those are just 3 things that I wish I had learned a bit earlier in my IT career.
Got any more stories to share? Let’s hear ’em.
[Image from Alex]