IT Life Coach: Tips for Bridging the IT Career Gap

Career-focused conversations on topics like advancement, job hunting, resumes, getting started, pivoting to a new area of tech, and so on are a staple of IT professional water-cooler conversations even when times were “normal” (whatever that actually was). But after the last 12+ months, with everything going on <gestures vaguely at the computer screen>, those topics are even more top-of-mind. Which is why I wanted to make sure at least one entry in our IT Life Coach series addressed it. You can find my career advice here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Fl18hm9ck64.

Once again, this IT Life Coach series is about skipping the simple, simplistic, or well-trod topics and getting to some of the often-overlooked but deeply important aspects, whether we’re finding ways to improve as a tech practitioner working on servers, networks, or monitoring solutions.

What you’ll notice is I skip talking about job hunting itself; or resume tips; or how to negotiate the best salary; or my opinion about how to respond to interview questions. Make no mistake, I have opinions about all those things (and more). But in the short five minutes I had, I wanted to focus on something “they” never tell people who are starting their IT journey.

I hope you’ll take a few minutes to watch, listen, or read the transcript. Feel free to share it with folks in your life who might need to hear it. And if you have additional thoughts or questions, share them in the comments below.

And I’d be deeply remiss if I didn’t express my deep appreciation for the talents of Patricia Mitter () and Matthew Murray () for their incredible work directing and animating this video.

Anonymous
  • Please don't think that I am done learning .. but I am HERE!   I worked really hard, just like you explained in the video, and unfortunately at the expense of my sanity and relationships at times!   I actually "burned out" and wanted my employer to fire me because I could not quit.  (It was a previous career in food service) I have worked really hard to get to a place where my knowledge base is a complement to the environment in which I am managing.   I tell folks that I am the janitor, or that my job is to circle the wagon train, or the last, and one my father does not appreciate, a jack of trades master of none!  My skill set is getting better every year!  I continue to solicit information from a small group of folks that are much smarter than myself!   I finally have a great balance between work life and home life.   There are still long days, they are just spread out and are totally acceptable to handle.   I also highly recommend a good exercise routine!   We built a new facility about 3 years ago and the 911 District has provided a small gym for all folks stationed at our facility.   I must mention that we have a great bunch of people top to bottom, and the building maintenance folks have kept this facility spotless and germ free!   We have never closed the gym, and we have never had a case of COVID related to our center!   Since the facility has been built, and I started a regular schedule, I have never missed a day at the gym.   I get to work at 6, in the office by 8 ish, and hopefully headed for home around 5ish!   The exercising has alleviated a lot of stress, allowed me to sleep much better at night, and most important, it has given me tremendous endurance when I do have the pull the all nighter!   The video made me feel good about the path that I have taken to get to my destination.  I did allow other people to take advantage of my work ethic, but I would can honestly say that I really could not take any other path.   I thought that I would have matured by now, unfortunately, that has been my downfall!   I tend to have way too much fun when I work!   My father taught me that no matter what job I did, that I should do it to the best of my abilities and I should always have fun.  I am not obnoxious or anything, just a little less fake than everyone else!   I work hard so that I can play hard!   I consider you a mentor and look forward to your writings!  You inspire me to do better!  Thanks!