Working in IT: Why we love it, why we hate it (free PDF)

Depending on your employment situation, your goals, your skills and disposition, and where you are in your career, the IT field can seem like the perfect job—or it can wear you down with stress and aggravation. In this ebook, four veteran IT pros share their take on the rewards and the hardships of working in IT.

From the ebook:

IT operations can best be described as the process of keeping technology and the users who rely on it healthy and happy. This can include server administration, desktop support, network engineering, or some other element that involves what’s termed “keeping the lights on.”

This type of work often requires little formal education and can be a perfect career for people who enjoy self-training, getting hands-on experience with real-world problems, solving issues, helping others and engaging in perfectionism. (There’s no such thing as a perfect systems environment out there, but we can try to get as close as possible.)

However, there are some stipulations to making the best of the career and keeping your priorities—and sanity—intact. They may not all be pleasant or easy to stick to, but these are concrete truths anyone working in the field will have to accept and come to terms with to survive the experience.

You can’t please everyone all the time
This one may be obvious, but it’s also the most important fact to keep in mind.

I have never seen an organization that had IT operations folks sitting around playing solitaire (well, okay, they may play solitaire but usually for stress relief or to unwind during lunch). Simply put, any given IT workload is usually going to run about 125-150% over capacity, on an average basis. There are system or user problems to fix, devices to patch, software and servers to upgrade, documentation to write, accounts to administer, parts/supplies to obtain. The list is endless.

So too are the requests. At any given moment there may be five, seven, or upwards of a dozen things you “should” be doing (depending on who’s asking). But the uncomfortable reality is that you’re not going to keep everyone consistently happy. You’re not going to be everyone’s friend. My advice: Focus on pleasing your boss first, then arrange the other requests accordingly.

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