April 22nd, 2014
The information technology field’s demanding pace can make it seem easy and imperative to be a certified doormat for coworkers in your IT jobs. Taking on extra work really makes you stand out to IT recruiters and IT managers as model IT contractors, right? Actually, that’s not really true.
The best IT consultants are able to do their workload well, contribute to the success of their teams, and do so with a smile and good energy. Over time, becoming the office doormat starts to wear on anyone, no matter how originally cheerful they may be. While nobody should balk at the notion of meeting or exceeding expectations at their jobs, taking on too much work will only make you the office sourpuss in the end. And nobody promotes the office sourpuss, no matter how competent of IT professionals they are.
So if you’ve identified yourself as the office doormat, how do you break the cycle of too much work? It’s as easy as taking the time to think about things. Try making a list of your big picture priorities and your daily tasks. Whenever somebody asks you to add new projects, evaluate how these fit into your lists. When things really don’t fit into these lists, then try to push back. Note why these things are not relevant for your goals and job description and use the right tone depending on whom you’re speaking to (boss, coworker, etc). Soon enough, you’ll start seeing your plate become a little less full and your attitude and demeanor at work become a whole lot better!
April 20th, 2014
As in any other field, giving feedback to your manager in information technology can be a dicey thing. IT contractors and IT recruiters may have completely valid feedback, but delivering it to IT managers in a way that avoids soured relationships or terminations can be tricky. Below are a few ways IT consultants and technical recruiters can offer negative feedback to bosses without doing permanent damage to their resumes:
- Pay attention to time and place: Pick a time that your boss will be at his or her calmest and least stressed. Pick a place that’s private. Nobody wants to receive criticism in public—least of all a manager.
- Phrase the criticism well: Can it be put into an ‘I’ statement? Can it be thinly disguised in a story about a fictitious friend or acquaintance? The less this criticism actually feels like criticism, the better.
- Leave any drama out of it. The easier this conversation is, the better. Jokes may help, as will keeping any emotion out of it.
April 17th, 2014
Recent studies show that IT professionals are tend to outpace other professionals in an alarming new area: weigh gain. The information technology field may show IT contractors, IT recruiters, and IT managers gaining higher poundage for a few reasons.
The first, though not special to the industry, may be the fact that IT consultants do tend to sit quite a bit at work. There are plenty of studies about the dangers of sitting and it’s hard to ignore how often people in IT sit at their IT jobs. The second reason may be that IT workers are likely to have to work odd or long hours to keep up with the 24/7 need for technology that delivers. Sleep deprivation or odd sleep patterns are shown to throw off people’s metabolism significantly. Some studies even show that tired workers are more likely to reach for food full of carbohydrates or sugar. Lastly, IT professionals, like most professionals, are subjected to the onslaught of office food and office food as a management incentive. Providing food for workers is a well-known tactic for managers to gain loyalty. While well-intentioned, managers who use this tactic too often may be hurting their supports.