Nine Career Mistakes for IT Pros To Avoid

June 17, 2009

I saw this article,  Nine Career Mistakes for IT Pros To Avoid, in an email newsletter from Global Knowledge, an IT training firm, but deleted it before reading it.  Later, my boss mentioned it and said I should take a look.  Perhaps I should take this as a sign.

Here’s are the Nine Career Mistakes, along with my commentary:

1. Failure to appreciate your network of contacts. Definitely something I need to work on.  As a server jockey / desktop support firefighter as my main roles for so long, it turns out I don’t have a whole lot of IT networking contacts.  When presented with these new projects and needing to get quotes for work – I had to fall back on my favorite consultant (the only one I’ve maintained contact with) as well as vendors I usually order hardware and software from.  Additionally, while I have been to several conferences and courses over the years, I’ve never picked up the knack for networking.   Perhaps I will fare better with VMWorld.

2. Follow the money only. I don’t think this is a problem for me – I very much appreciate the culture and perks of my current employer, so I’m not only following the money.  I am, however, watching it very very closely.

3. Lousy soft skills. I may joke around with the users, pretending to be harsh (ID10T errors and what not), but overall I’d say my customer service skills have been quite impressive.

4. Being too supportive. This one doesn’t apply as I haven’t had the privelege and opportunity of having true underlings yet.

5. Not understanding your capabilities. I think I know my capabilities pretty well, but may not have had the chance to show them off – the chance to shine.  I’m hoping this career transition will provide that window.

6. Resume mistakes. I haven’t had to make one for a while – but I think my resume skills are still decent.

7. Don’t burn bridges when you leave your employer. Sure, this has happened in the long distant minimum wage past, but my work ethics have matured since then and I consider this one to be pretty important.

8. Be careful what you put in writing. Not my strong point.  Here I am blogging, after all.  And I freely communicate via email or IM when needed.  It’s the digital age, after all.  On the other hand, I try not to communicate anything that I wouldn’t want discovered, might be confidential, or that might reflect poorly on my employer.

9. Letting your tech skills get outdated and not learning about important new technologies. See also:  “10 Dying IT skills”.  While I’m not relying on my (lack) of knowledge about COBOL, some of my skills may be rusty.  HTML and CSS can only get me so far… I will need to dive into real web programming at some point, among other things.