Life Lessons Learned from working in Information Technology
I’ve been working in IT for the past several years, and I’ve learned a lot about myself, my coworkers and how teams operate. Now you can take advantage of some of my life lessons and apply them to your life.
Below are some of my favorite tips and life lessons learned from working in IT.
Stop making simple things complicated
My biggest life lesson is easy; stop making things so complicated. Many things in life and IT are more difficult because people try to over complicate them.
Sometimes the fastest, most natural, and most common sense answer are the simplest. Try not to make things complicated. Look for the most straightforward solution first. This may seem to be common sense, but trust me it isn’t.
Bonus: Read about Life Changing Things to Make You Successful.
If you can’t explain it in simple terms, you don’t understand it
After having books and books worth of complex system integration’s, data flow, networking diagrams explained to me I’ve come to realize that if you can’t explain something in simple terms, then you don’t understand it.
You may be able to tell me the textbook answer or give me some predefined explanation but if you can’t put it in simple terms. Then you don’t understand it as well as you think.
It’s ok to get pissed off and have meltdowns
Another life lesson… It’s ok to get pissed off and have a meltdown. Well… sometimes. It’s perfectly understandable that you are going to get mad at your coworkers.
After all, you don’t go through life without getting mad at your parents, kids, family members, friends once in a while. While people think that co-workers won’t ever get mad at each other is beyond me.
It’s ok, have your pissed off moment, have your meltdown… do it in private. How you react to a stressful situation will determine how you are treated in the future. Those who remain calm and collected have the advantage.
Ask for what you want
My best employees and coworkers are those who know what they want and ask for it. No one is a mind reader.
If you are new your leaders, don’t know you well enough to see what you can handle. Don’t wait for them to figure it out. Go and ask for what you want.
Whether that’s a chance to work on a project or to work with another team…. ask!
Keep a record of your positive contributions
Likely you will need these anyway. Every company I’ve ever worked for has done performance evaluations; this is primarily an opportunity to brag about your yearly contributions to the good.
Keep track of your positive contributions, they all add up.
Understand your sphere of influence – Life Lessons Learned
Too often I see people spend way too much energy on things they can’t control.
Understand what is in your sphere of influence and use it for the greater good. Never use it for the negative, that may get you immediate gratification, but you will never come out ahead, in the long run, this way. Understand who/what you control and use it.
Help someone behind you on the line
Whether just starting out or if you’ve been there for some time, there is always someone who is behind you. There is someone who doesn’t know what you know.
There is someone who hasn’t been there as long as you have and hasn’t had the opportunity to figure out the life lessons you have learned. Take that person under your wing, show them the ropes and you will forever have someone in your corner.
People remember, make sure they remember you as helping them.
Networking matters – those water cooler moments matter
I know so many people who don’t seem to understand this. Networking matters, those small moments of chit chat… they matter.
People want to make a personal connection. They can’t help it, so use it to your advantage. Who you choose to network with matters, it becomes your sphere of influence.
Ask someone about their kids, give advice when asked, or help them with something in the hallway.
Those moments are so often overlooked, but some of my best friendships and job advice have happened in those moments.
Curiosity is a good thing…
Curiosity makes us want to do better and learn more. Find what you are curious about, and learn it.
Find someone to teach you or figure out how to apply that curiosity to your daily job. It will make you more passionate, more committed and a better co-worker.
I’ve learned a lot of things over my career… but these things combined with 5 Super Easy ways to overcome your fear of technology are my best life lessons learned from working in IT.