Ups and downs in the economy and in IT come and go. Based on my experience, here are three strong strategies to keep you going in turbulent IT times.
Get Going and Work
The first thing is get going and work. Plain and simple, work is what solves problems, finishes reports and fixes issues. Nothing gets done by gossiping about a situation; work on the problem and change the situation. While everyone else is complaining about a problem, be the one who analyzes the situation, understands the issues, provides the best solution and fixes it without complaining or fan fare. I do consulting and only eat if I solve performance issues or solve problems for your company. In the face of natural disasters, economic issues and changing technology, to use an old but true statement “When the going gets tough, the tough get going.”
The next thing is to network. After getting going and working, instead of complaining or gossiping, connect and network with your fellow IT professionals. Plan to take some time meeting for coffee before work, at the gym, during lunch or after work connecting with your peers. Attend a local technology user group meeting such as IDUG or go to the IOD conference. Show up for a business meeting or function. Some of the best business contacts can be made at simple lunch meetings or after work watching the local sports team. Even if your area is laying people off and you think you might be next, network with other departments within your organization or other companies that might need your skills. These turbulent times also make other areas very busy and networking might reveal the spot that needs your skills.
Become the Sharpest Knife
Become the sharpest knife – educate and improve yourself. You take your car, teeth and body for a checkup every six months. When was the last time you checked out your skills? Technology continues to change and your skills need to improve and be upgraded. Even if you have been working with the same technology or company for 10 years, there are new aspects you can check out or experiment with. Legacy now describes everything from .NET or Java applications to COBOL mainframe programs. When was the last time you were excited about a technology and stayed at work late just because they had the technology toys you could play with? Find something that interests you and show everyone that you can learn, develop and leverage the old or new technology and provide solutions in these turbulent IT times.