Let me ask you the question that may have been showing up in the back of your mind even as the global economy improved: should you stay in your current IT manager job or is it time for you to go look for greener pastures? It turns out that what could be a difficult question to tackle can be solved by answering 3 simple questions…
Are You Being Challenged?
Talk with any IT manager and chances are that you’ll hear them complain about their job no matter how good their IT manager skills are. Too much work to be done and never enough time to get it all done in. This is a pretty standard story. However, the key question that you need to be able to answer isn’t how much work you are being asked to do, but rather if the work that you are doing is offering you learning and development opportunities.
If what you are doing is “busy work” – work that needs to be done, but which is not allowing you to learn, then you may be wasting your time. Just like the rest of your team, you need to be discovering new things and becoming more valuable every day.
Are You Developing More Competence?
One of the challenges for any IT manager is that we work in a field, IT, that is very broad. There are so many different parts to IT that if you try to master them all, you’ll just end up being so-so at doing a lot of different things. What this means for you is that you need to take the time to develop competence in one or more specific areas of IT.
If your current job does not allow you to become an expert in an area of IT by working on your IT manager training, then the job is holding you back. We all need to be able to emerge from the job that we are currently working at with the ability to say that we are now an expert in some very specific area of IT.
Do You Receive Recognition And Support?
When was the last time at work that somebody told you that you had done a good job? It doesn’t seem like all of that big of a deal, I mean you know and I know that you do good work, is it really necessary for somebody else to tell us that we’ve done good?
It turns out that if in your current job your contributions are not being recognized or valued then you are not going to be able to do your best work for long. Recognition for a job well done is a key part of IT team building. Deep down inside getting recognition for the work that we do is a critical human need. If we don’t get this kind of feedback in our current job, then we’ll be more likely to leave and go looking for a job where we’ll be appreciated.
What All Of This Means For You
Being an IT manager is never an easy job. However, we are willing to do it as long as we feel that the job is worth it. In order to make sure that you are working at the right job, you need to be able to answer 3 simple questions.
The first of these is to determine if your job is still challenging you or if you’ve mastered it. Next, you need to figure out if you are growing in your job and developing new competences. Finally, you need to decide if your work environment provides you with both recognition and support.
Only you have the answers to all 3 of these questions. Take the time to think them over very carefully – is this job the best place for you to be spending your time? We all have a limited amount of time on this planet, make sure that you are getting the best return on the time and energy that you are investing in your IT manager job.
– Dr. Jim Anderson
Blue Elephant Consulting –
Your Source For Real World IT Management Skills™
Question For You: How can you best determine what competences you need to be working on in your job?
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What We’ll Be Talking About Next Time
I can’t tell you how often I get asked the question “what does it take to be a good IT manager?” As with all such simple questions, there is no one simple answer. The truth is that to be a really good IT manager you need to have a very special mix of both technical and soft IT manager skills. The big question is just exactly what soft skills does an IT manager need to have?