So You Wanna Break Into IT? (Part 4 – Respect, or Respectability to be more accurate)
This is more of a general career issue, but I need to mention it because it’s sorely lacking in at least the American job pool. There is a drastic shortage of respected (or respectable) workers. In fact, if you are a skilled, analytical, customer-focused, hard-working, person of integrity, you are one of the most valuable (and potentially rare) assets your company has, regardless of your field.
It’s not about natural gifts – skills in your field are necessary. A lot of work, mistakes, and severe annoyance went into my training over the years. And I am working hard now to boost my skills into other areas of IT besides PC tech support. Currently I am almost done with a 6-credit networks course and a 12-credit course in leadership and professionalism. In approximately a year and a half I will graduate with my Bachelor’s of Science degree. I read a lot of books, wikis, articles, and blogs to bolster my knowledge, and I recently got involved with Microsoft’s DreamSpark program to learn to manage Windows Server 2003. But when it comes down to it, I do what I love, and I think it’s awesome that people respect me for it.
One last example. As I was beginning to come of age, I worked as a supervisor at a pizza restaurant. I loved my job and I was good at it, and I had awesome coworkers (for the most part). And somewhere along the line it clicked – if I work respectably, people will respect me. I got addicted to that, and I suggest you do too. Whether you sell widgets, manage employees, dig ditches, make pizzas, or write Web applications, you can’t afford not to be respectable. It doesn’t mean that you will always get the respect you deserve, but at least you can respect yourself.