On a Mission

Do you ever get absolutely OBSESSED with something you’re working on, so much that you don’t eat, drink, or go home before the sun goes down?  It’s been that kind of month but I think I’m pretty close to completion on this one.  I’m lucky that I love what I do and it gives me such satisfaction, but it does get in the way of my hobbies like blogging.

I have recently been jotting things down in a OneNote for our interns who are new-to-IT that will help them succeed, so I wanted to share that here for anyone else who might be starting out in this field in any capacity.  It may seem like a lot, but these are all things you can work on one at a time until you’re basically invincible.

Tips to make it in the IT world:

  • Don’t drag your feet when faced with a problem you don’t know how to fix.  We all know the answers are on google.
  • Slow down and become obsessed with the details – a tiny mistake can have big consequences in IT.
  • Don’t ask the same question twice – write the answer down even if you’re not sure you’ll need it again (you probably will).
  • When you encounter a problem, don’t just give it a bandaid.  Think of how you can prevent it from happening to anyone else.
  • Follow best practices, some of them exist because of another person’s mistake so don’t repeat them.
  • Take any task offered to you and treat it with importance even if it’s boring.
  • Find a mentor who will share their wisdom with you.
  • Ask a lot of questions.  It’s ok to ask what you think are ‘dumb’ questions as long as you aren’t asking the same ones over and over again.
  • Leave the drama at home and keep a professional distance from coworkers with some exceptions.  Do share your hobbies and common activities.  Don’t share family drama or money problems/brags.  Don’t talk down about others, but don’t be fake.  It’s ok to share a laugh over a common complaint once in a while but don’t make a habit of complaining.

Add these reminders to your daily morning reading to set your focus if you’re in your first IT job, looking, or if you’re a seasoned veteran who wants to move to the next level.



Author: Crystal Marks

Crystal Marks is an Enterprise Systems Manager in DFW. She holds VCP6-DCV and MCSA certifications and regularly attends tech conferences in the United States. In 15 years as a woman in IT she has worked to break down barriers and enabled women to enter technical fields through mentoring, volunteering IT skills to non-profits, speaking at conferences, networking with Fortune 500 companies, leading women’s groups, and continuing her passion for learning and teaching. Companies that she has worked for include Dell, Abn Amro, Stream International, Transplace, and Heartland Payment Systems. Her current position is at an entertainment powerhouse that is family-operated and sets the bar for giving back, volunteering, and engaging their fans and community. Look for Crystal on your agenda at VeeamOn, VMWorld, Microsoft Ignite, and HP Discover meetings throughout the year. Crystal is a graduate of The Texas Academy of Mathematics and Science (TAMS) at the University of North Texas. TAMS is a unique residential program for high school-aged Texas students who are high achievers in mathematics and science. She continued her education at the University of North Texas while working as an Astronomy teacher before jumping into her IT career.

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