A recent Harvard study points to one overarching means to making yourself stand out (in a good way) at your IT jobs: Dare to be a little different than the average IT consultants. While IT recruiters, IT managers, and other IT contractors tend to believe that it’s best to try to fit in, Harvard’s recent study proves that IT professionals who are unabashedly a little different are likely to garner more respect. Here are a few ways to make it obvious to IT staffing firms, managers, and coworkers that you’re a little different—and it adds value to any company you work at.
- Make it clear you are willing to think things through from alternative viewpoints. In meetings or conversations, take a risk and play devil’s advocate once in a while. Do be sure to state that you are in fact doing this, rather than leaving it up to others to guess. The point isn’t to be obnoxious, but rather to show creativity. Play devil’s advocate only to the point where it’s constructive. The minute it starts hurting a project or meeting’s progress, it’s time to revert back to the conventional viewpoint.
- Edit yourself. Everyone tends to want to fit in at work. It’s how we’re wired as humans. Consider holding back a bit on personal conversations or on what you say in meetings or over email. Studies show that your words carry more weight when you say less overall. You don’t have hit the mute button all the time, just consider holding back if you’re simply confirming something that’s already been said, or telling a story that’s not necessary background or info.
- Know the bigger picture and your role in it. To be able to stand out a bit, you need to know what you’re choosing to conform to or differentiate yourself from. Knowing the company’s goals, the status and timelines of any projects you’re working on, and general viewpoints on these projects will all help you to make a great impression—when you choose to act in accordance with the norm and when you don’t. You only look uninformed and contrarian if you play devil’s advocate without knowing the other side of things.
AVID Technical Resources
AVID (Applications, Voice, Internet, Data) Technical Resources is a leading Information Technology recruiting company. Specializing in placing contract and permanent personnel in both Infrastructure Support and Applications Development positions, AVID has a national presence supporting clients ranging from small businesses to Fortune 100 companies. Headquartered in Boston, MA, AVID has achieved tremendous growth since the firm's inception in 2003. This has triggered numerous national awards and recognition, such as being named to Inc. 500 Magazine's list of 5,000 Fastest Growing Privately-held Companies in the US in 2010, 2011 and 2013. Additionally, the firm boasts of having more than 100 five-star reviews on Google from clients and candidates who rave about their experience and interaction with the firm's recruiters.