The Business-Technology Weave

Feb 28 2011   2:09PM GMT

Want a Promotion?

David Scott David Scott Profile: David Scott


You’ve been at your position for three years or more.  Things aren’t too bad:  You work in an office environment; perhaps you have your own office (if not, see below); your hands stay reasonably clean; no one has yelled at you or physically assaulted you in quite some time; coffee’s not too bad; and so on and so forth…


But… but something’s missing.  You want more challenge.  Maybe a little more prestige.  Some daylight to open ground – so that you have a reasonable chance for advancing your career.  You deserve more pay (how do I know this?  Because I deserve more pay, that gal over there deserves more pay, and you deserve more pay – ok?).    :^ )


Before I became an author – and a professional blogger, and an independent person with my own clients – I worked directly in the field of Information Technology.  Some of my early environments were pretty grim:  The dark days of the ‘80s, early ‘90s… when all too frequently governance and management were largely clueless. 


Well, that may be an exaggeration…


… but only in giving them too much credit:  They were often dumb.  (Of course, I’m using the word “dumb” in a neutral, academic, sense – not in a pejorative one:  They were ignorant).  Good people in all other regards, but here in the weave, we are nothing if not empirical.


Those early days of mine were ok, though, because that’s what taught me the absolute necessity for having a tight, mutually supporting, business-technology weave.


During those days, and in running up against significant ignorance, often overcoming it, and sometimes repeatedly smacking against it, I discovered something.  I could generally glean all I needed to know from a specific organization in about 3 years:  That is to say, general  knowledge about leadership, its enablements, its limits, my place in it or against it, politics, business-IT relationships, etc.


Also, 3 years is about the minimum to avoid too much “churn” on your resume.  If I wasn’t particularly happy – or just getting bored/stale – I simply changed jobs.  Sometimes it was four years, five…  The job market notwithstanding, you can simply go fishing… if something interesting comes up, take it. 


Now please recognize:  I always continued giving 100% when dissatisfied and looking.  In fact, most of my employers couldn’t imagine me leaving – and several tried to entice me to come back within months of going.  In spite of a few discussions, I never did go back– if you leave, recognize that you are leaving to be gone.


Every move was a step up; in responsibility and pay.  Bigger office.  Bigger environments, projects, challenges.  If you decide to climb a ladder, be certain of your “rungs” – that they’re solid, and leading ever upward.  Particularly for my more junior, SMB-oriented, readers:  If you’ve never had your own office, and you’re interviewing somewhere, particularly for a leadership position, do not be afraid to ask, “Does this position come with an office?”


Don’t let fear hold you back.  Most often, the only way “up” is “out.”  There’s not a thing wrong with that… 


Something missing in your career?  Gauge the strength of your legs, and start climbing…


Thought for the day:  “To be one’s self, and unafraid whether right or wrong, is more admirable than the easy cowardice of surrender to conformity.”   – Irving Wallace

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