Expert Panel

Focus on these things to succeed in Information Technology

Success Traits for IT Professionals-A Guide to feeling AND being appreciated.


Let’s face it...IT Professionals are not always the most extroverted personalities when it comes to interaction outside of their own department.  That can be problematic for them, as well as for the overall success of the company.  As a service oriented department, personality and responsiveness are so important, but so is the value their unique and fast paced knowledge can bring.  By integrating Success Traits into their routine they will be able integrate their talents into the general population and help lead the organization.  Here are Six things all IT Professionals should do to succeed in their careers.


Maintain your technology proficiency.

Technology changes every day.  Much of your role in IT should be focused on continued training so that you can utilize technology to its fullest capabilities.  It is also your role to teach others in your company and support them when they need help.  The more trained you are, the more of an asset you will be to your organization.  Take advantage of the numerous seminars, training and certification courses available both in classroom settings and online. 


Understand industry trends.

Stay educated on industry trends.  Find ways to use technology to save your company money, secure data, and improve process efficiencies.  What is cool in the IT world does not always transfer into your business wanting to invest.  However, if you can prove the value that the technology brings, you will have a better chance of getting your ideas and expenditures approved.


Develop exceptional interpersonal skills.

Each department of your organization has different requirements and your job touches all of them.  You will need to learn to communicate at all levels and areas of your organization, with outside contractors and consultants.  Too often IT gets a reputation for working in a secluded bubble.  If you want to succeed, try to create an environment where you create a reputation of being integrated in each department of your organization.  Develop good relationships and make an effort to network.


Be patient and become a good listener.

People learn at different speeds, they have different competency levels and different interest levels in technology and programming solutions.  Your role is to provide a service, so take the time needed to train people, listen to their concerns and what they want to accomplish.  After helping someone, ask if they are satisfied with your work…and listen to their answer. 


Understand your company’s strategic vision.

Once you understand where your company wants to go, you can better define the tools available to support getting them there.  After understanding the overall company strategy, talk to department heads and find out what their needs will be.  Work with them in the planning stage for investments in technology.  IT is not always part of the planning process, so you need to proactively initiate these discussions and show the value your knowledge of industry trends and internal capabilities brings.


Excel in project management.

Whether you are planning an ERP implementation, migrating to a new operating system, establishing a help desk, upgrading your servers, or supporting the launch of an e-commerce system, project management skills are key to your success.  Consider taking a class in project management, or getting certified as a PMP (project management professional).  It will set you apart as a professional and give you the tools needed to do a better job.


If you currently work in IT, I encourage you to incorporate these tools into your job performance.  If you are a manager that sees value in these characteristics, I encourage you to share this article with your IT group. 


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I hope this perspective is helpful to you in your day-to-day life.  Test out these concepts and share your results with us.  Others can benefit from your experiences.  Good luck!


Written by Lisa Woods,

President ManagingAmericans.com


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