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7 IT career rules worth breaking

Dave Willmer | Aug. 5, 2010
While they may not be written down, certain assumptions about how to succeed in the IT field have gained general acceptance. In todays difficult job market, it may feel especially risky to break these rules. But blindly adhering to them can actually hinder your career.

6. Above all, impress your boss. IT reputations are built from the ground up. While you should always try to meet your managers expectations, your day-to-day working relationships with colleagues are just as important. Assist your peers whenever you can without spreading yourself too thin. After all, theyre the ones who can step in and help you meet a tight deadline. Chances are, your boss cares more about your ability to meet that deadline than your ability to kowtow.

7. Keep to yourself. If youre like many IT professionals, youre wary of being perceived as a gossip or social butterfly. But spending a little time every day to maintain personal connections with people throughout the organization is essential to the health of your career. These informal relationships strengthen your network and may open the door to unforeseeable opportunities.

Most of the outlaw behavior suggested above boils down to one simple concept: The best way to show that youre valuable is to be valuable. Focus on how you can deliver the most benefit to your employer, not on making sure everyone notices how hard youre working or what youve achieved. The most reliable way to keep your career moving forward is to build a track record of consistent success.


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