Information Technology is an industry that is currently in demand since any company would need an IT infrastructure, whether it’s their own or from their service providers. With attractive compensation due to high demand, many young people have chosen to start a career in IT.
However, the phrase “many are called but few are chosen” holds true in this case. IT professionals have serious tasks and their systems form the backbone of many companies. They need to put reliable hardware and software solutions in place, such as cloud-based backup services. They need to check the cybersecurity protocol. These essential tasks require commitment and skill.
As most IT Leaders and Chief Information Officers have advised, the following are the traits that an IT professional must possess:
1. Passion for Technology
This is what drove you to the IT industry in the first place. However, technology is not all about convenience, comfort, fun, and games. Being on the other end of technology and innovations—meaning, being part of the development and not just the beneficiary—takes skill, hard work, and even luck.
Technology is dynamic and there is always something new to learn and adapt. If you are the one who represents the company, then you would also be in charge of disseminating the information and applying it to the rest of the company.
To commit yourself to continuous learning and constant advancement, you must really be passionate about your craft. Technology will demand no less.
One of the prerequisites of being an IT professional, or at least as a junior officer, is that you need to agree to be on-call. Yes, similar to being on an emergency response team, there would be times when the company would need you to check on the mainframe or double down on cybersecurity on the 4th of July.
If you don’t like working on holidays, or canceling dinner reservations or rebooking airline tickets, then IT is probably not the industry that suits you. That’s because every IT professional has gone through those experiences.
Adaptability does not only apply to schedules and work hours; it will also apply to job assignments and designations. The IT department needs to be on-call, but there are times when they have to man the stations 24/7. During those contingencies, the team will need to assign one of their members on duty—to take over everything the team does.
It has happened before and is likely to happen again. IT professionals are multi-taskers because they should be.
3. Natural Problem Solver
Complaining is not one of the IT professional’s skills—those are reserved for the rest of the staff that relies on the IT team. Almost every employee from any department has a computer, and when they have a glitch, the instinct is to “call IT,” or “ask IT to send someone.”
This is the reality of a career in IT. Your career revolves around tech problems. The key is to approach every problem as a learning opportunity, with prevention being the goal that you want for your team.
Most of the other valuable traits of an IT professional could be lumped in these three main traits. Being teachable, communicative, and team player, they are also necessary traits, but an IT pro is mainly a learned technology enthusiast willing to solve the problems of his company—sometimes, even before they actually happen.