Flexibility: IT’s Career Secret That Isn’t
It’s no secret that the life of an information technology professional can be somewhat nomadic. Jobs come and go, helpdesk technicians tire of their company’s lax attitude toward their technology, and people find frequent promotions as they continue to build experience.
Part of the reason for this is that many companies still haven’t fully grasped the importance of IT as a part of their company, and feel like they can meet their needs on the cheap both hardware and manpower.
It could also be argued that many IT pros are impatient and unwilling to wait out their company’s realization that IT is a vital part of the company. To be certain, those in IT are passionate about their jobs and encounter a great deal of resistance when it comes to adopting the latest technology and improvements. They quickly hear of other, seemingly better opportunities elsewhere, and they leap into the arms of the next stranger they see.
Whether this is a bad thing for the employee or the company is up for debate, but one thing that isn’t in doubt is that one of the best traits for someone working in the technology sector to possess is flexibility. This is true in all aspects of the job: as a professional, you must be able to adapt to the frequent changes in the industry.
And there are plenty. Consider how different IT was just a decade ago. In 2005, most businesses operated with desktop PCs, with some beginning to adopt laptops as a primary focus. In today’s workplace, most everyone is armed with at least a laptop, if not working largely from their mobile devices including tablets and smartphones.
Hardwired internet connections still exist, but WiFi rules, and you’d be hard-pressed to find a major employer who does not have a wireless Internet connection. And let that connection go down for a day and see the employees revolt. Enduring changes and innovations that reinvent the industry every half-decade or so is a must in this industry.
As an employee, you must be ready to endure frustrations and resistance from your bosses when it comes to adopting new technology. Don’t take it personally; unless you’re working for a high-powered tech firm or a business that relies on cutting-edge technology, chances are the latest gadgets and toys are not going to find their way into your clutches, and you will have to get by with rigging some less-than-optimal equipment from time to time.
So is job-hopping a bad thing in this industry? If you are measured enough in your changes, not necessarily. For the most part, the guidelines say to stay at a job a minimum of a year or so if you don’t want to have the reputation of being a job-hopper. Staying for multiple years is preferred, so try to stick around.
At the same time, don’t be afraid of finding the next opportunity. If you can build new experiences and develop new skills at another job, and feel as if you aren’t going to learn any more where you are, you can move along.
Flexibility. It is the key to success in almost all careers, be it IT or law or
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