IT, like all other business units operate in a turbulent environment. IT professionals have to struggle both with the systems, the projects and their peers. I have collected my tips on how to stand out from the crowd, with the hope that these tips will help you down the road in your career. If you really want to make a change, these tips will help you both in the workplace and your personal life.
Let’s see what Sun Tzu says about field positions:
“Every position is temporary. It must be evaluated not only in strengths and weaknesses but on how well it serves us in making our next move. A field position must be both useful in itself and useful as a gateway to even stronger positions in the future.”
From this perspective, our first move is to evaluate our current position. In order to evaluate our new year resolutions, we have to understand our current position, our strengths, weaknesses, threats, confusions and doubts honestly and plan changes to change any negatives to positives. Our positives have to remain unchanged; we can treat them as a baseline.
First tip: evaluate your current position.
A field position is temporary. That means, first, it is not there forever and second it is a gateway to the next move. The same are the projects or any other assignments we have. They are part of a bigger, broader, more strategic move. When tackling with the problems make sure that you don’t listen to the office mumbles (mumbo jumbos if you will) and you map out the solutions correctly and with keeping a critical eye on the issues that caused the problem. Be perceived as an helpful, open and broad minded problem solver: you will be both valuable in yourself, in your department and for other business units.
Second tip: be useful to your inner self, your department and other business units.
When working on the projects, make sure that you are working on something broader than a deadline and resources. Try to understand what concepts, moves, plans have resulted in the project and how it contributes to the overall picture. Seeing things differently from what they seem will separate you from the rest of the crowd.
Third tip: be strategic in your moves.
If you are a manager, you should serve your department by giving them the resources they need to accomplish the tasks at hand. This can vary from communicating openly, bonding trust among people to -say- purchasing a system for testing purposes. Making such moves contributes to the success of your department, in turn contributing your success as a manager.
This is no different for the clients. You are there to serve to their expectations and be honest to them in every stage of your conversations.
Fourth tip: Support people to support yourself.
All the tips we have discussed are for our next step. There are opportunities out there, in every industry, in every company, in every business unit. We have to position ourselves to answer to these opportunities, even that means creating a personal project for ourselves. In creating such a project we show others that we can identify the opportunities, we take initiatives to work on them and with these we try to take a step to contribute to the company’s competitive edge.
Fifth tip: A field position must be useful as a gateway to even stronger positions in the future.
Incorporating all the tips we have discussed to our daily lives will help us build a stronger self. In terms of a professional, these tips will help create opportunities for both ourselves and our company, even none seems to exist. Don’t be afraid to fail and don’t listen to naysayers. Remember what Sun Tzu said:
“The general who advances without coveting fame and retreats without fearing disgrace, whose only thought is to protect his country and do good service for his sovereign, is the jewel of the kingdom.”