Let me start with an apology I realize I don’t post as often as I should, sorry about that. The reason I don’t post more as I realized recently is that I am an IT person and by default IT people are wired a little differently.
I am a history buff (I get it the wiring is slight ADHD it’s cool I have a point) so often times I think to myself what is it that I would have been doing if I had been born in a time before IT was prevalent. Honestly I have never been able to truly answer that as who would but I like to think that the IT people of today are the blacksmiths, alchemists, inventors and mathematicians of yesteryear.
For those of you starting out in IT there are things that you should ask yourself. Really consider it a personality test of sorts. Do you have these traits:
1) Do you like puzzles and solving them
2) Does breaking things scare you?
3) Do you even try to fix things when you break them?
4) Do you handle stress through laughter?
5) Can you juggle?
Honestly the tech can be learned but the passion can’t, and really that’s on you as an aspiring IT admin. You have to want to learn it, ok you have to be smarter than a donkey and be able to understand what you are taught but really it’s not that hard. If you like puzzles and solving how things work, you probably have the basics of troubleshooting. Troubleshooting process is something that can be refined but if you don’t have this skill odds are you are looking at IT as a pay check, there are easier ways to make money.
While you work in this field you will break things, hopefully not on purpose but it will happen. The trick is you have to be willing to break things in order to learn how to fix them. You have to be willing to work to fix it once you it’s broken though and not just rely on others to do it for you.
You must be able to laugh at yourself, IT has changed a lot at the Support Tier levels from when I came through but even now jokes are made when things are broken. Your best defense is to laugh not just at the jokes but at yourself. The stress in this industry can get to you, especially when you are working 12-20 hr days on an outage and you have to get the server or network up before you can go home. So knowing that a joke can and should be made to blow off some steam and that laughing at yourself will sometimes help relax you enough to find the answers. Don’t take this life too seriously as you will never get out alive.
Juggling is more than just handling the stress of the job, but of life as a whole. IT is a career and like anything there is a worklife balance that must be struck. Unbelievably I got married while still working helpdesk and network administration. Working crazy hours and on call and yet my wife stuck with me through that, and into even more hours and travel as I have moved through my career evolution. I was always able to juggle the work stuff, prioritize the tasks of the day and the ones that popped up by the minute. But I am happiest to say I have been able to struggle through the stresses it has formed at home by taking steps back from time to time so I could regroup with my family and decompress.
The bottom line is this career is a lifestyle having that touch of ADHD and the capability to troubleshoot are what make a good IT person. For my advice I say learn from everyone everyday, join in the social networks like Twitter and Forums. Best of luck!
Anyone else have some advice for newbs to the IT industry?