Being in the IT industry for over two decades, I have experienced some great moments of glory and despair. Going home at 4 AM because of a crucial release, or going for a team lunch post UAT sign off or getting a kickass email from the customer are all itched on my memory forever. Every such moment was an experience.
Talking of experience, I have had experience of working with some really intelligent and capable people as well as some really average ones. I am in touch with most of them and when I meet them, I try and analyze what made them click or fail.
Over the years, I have developed my own theory on what are the critical success factors for an IT professional. Thought to share with you. These are top 4 mistakes IT professionals make in their professional lives, which literally spoils their growth prospects
Boss is only for assigning work
In my career, I have seen people who interact with their bosses or immediate managers, only when boss calls them for assigning work. Not good. Be practical, your supervisor is not only responsible for assigning work to you but also for your role, your growth as well as your increments. You don’t need to buttress your boss but you must definitely try and build a cordial relationships with him.
Let me share the benefits of cordial relationship with bosses. In later part of my career, I never had to put up my resume on Naukri or Monster. Why? Because whenever, I wanted to change, I would talk to one of my ex-managers and that’s it. Moreover, it saved me a lot of search time as well as enabled me in getting better or desired roles & salary, which would have been difficult otherwise.
So the key take away is to build relationship with your bosses, that will always help you in your career, be it your current company or in the future.
I love this technology, every other technology is useless
This is something I never understood. Yesterday, I was having a discussion with a senior programmer, who had resigned. We were talking about the reasons for his resignation and it was- the company had decided to move to a different technology and he was not keen to work on that. Well had it been a move from PHP to Java or .NET to Java – I could have understood. But we’re talking about moving to ASP.NET MVC 5 from ASP.NET/C# (actually tech stack is the same). So I asked him, if we remain with ASP.NET/C#/SQL Server, will he continue, he said – yes. Excuse me!!
Technology is an enabler and as an IT professional, you must be looking at technology as a tool to solve problems rather than choosing the problem to suit a technology.
If you take this kind of an approach, you will soon become a pariah or will seriously limit your opportunities in any organization.
I can’t interact with people who don’t understand technology
This one is my favorite. Over the years, I have got used to this situation, however. People, with high Technology quotient (TQ), believe that it’s futile to discuss anything with low TQs or zero TQs people.
We all must understand, business software applications are developed for a customer to solve their problems. We earn our salaries because customers are paying for these software applications.
This means that to be successful in this field, we must gain experience in solving customer problems. Problems can only be solved, if they are understood correctly and for that we need to interact with customers, who may not be as tech savvy as we would like them to be.
So, do we have an option of not interacting with them
Being a loner
Do you identify with it? No, then it’s good. Many of us believe in – doing work sincerely, leaving rest to GOD. Big mistake. You will be loosing out big time. Two major drawback of being a loner:
- Corporate offices are becoming hotbed of politics. People manipulate, backbite or do whatever is possible to sabotage other’s careers (rather than focusing on building their own). If you are not aware of whats happening around you, you are going to be at a loss for sure…keeping abreast of office politics is important and that can only happen, if you interact – give and take policy.
- Do you know, how arranged marriages get arranged in India? Some uncle or Mama or cousin will connect the prospective bride to bridegroom. This was the only way marriages were fixed, specially when there were no matrimonial sites or Internet. This is a prime example of Networking, one of the most important tools for success. It’s importance, just can’t be overemphasized. Everything happens through networking. Needless to say that if you are a loner, what are you missing out on?
These are not the only mistakes, we make as IT professionals but I intentionally left out others as I felt that those are possibly not related to soft skills and in this post I wanted to emphasize on soft skills only. But having said that, presentation skills are another skill, which is important.
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