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Workplace Stress and your IT career
for what you do with Jidaw.com. It has helped my understanding of
certification and career issues.
need your advice. I feel compelled to reach out to you because of the
skills you impacted into me. I am going through some workplace stress.
It is affecting my desire to improve and grow my skills in the IT field.
It makes me feel bad and discouraged about developing myself. But I
believe with good counseling I can put on the right path. Please what
steps should I take to achieve my career ambition?
work as an operations staff in a cyber café. One of my colleagues is
the system engineer. He is responsible for all the computer maintenance,
software installations and network administration. I have a diploma in
tech support/computer engineering. I invested in this program because I
believed it would help me contribute better in the office and also to
achieve my IT career goals. However, things didn't turn out as I
expected. The system engineer is extremely uncooperative and hostile.
Anytime he is carrying out repairs, maintenance or even software
installation, he prefers working alone. He gives me the impression that
I'm not experienced enough to work with him.
there was an incident that intensified his hostility towards me. While I
was on duty alone, the server stopped working. I put the system off and removed the system case to check what
the fault could be. I discovered it was the CPU fan that got burnt and
it wasn't cooling the processor. So I decided to replace the fan with
another one from one of the other workstations. And the server started
functioning properly and browsing continued. But I was surprised when
the system engineer got back and instead of praising me, he went on the
offensive. He threatened that if there was any problem in future with
the server, I would be held responsible. Ever since that incident, I
have decided not to participate or contribute in such activities.
someone with an opinion I respect what do you advise?
you for your mail. I appreciate your concern. I commend you on your
efforts so far in developing yourself.
dealing with the engineer's attitude towards you, I must emphasize
that there should be controls in every computing environment. It is good
to have initiative and passion for what you do, but make sure you have
the authority to carry out whatever tasks you perform. As you will have
to bear the consequences - good or bad. It's a risk we should all be
aware of in the working environment. In a situation with such tension as you describe there is a need
to always exercise caution. You have to be careful when dealing with
issues of this nature, so that your zeal to contribute and grow your
skills will work best for you.
from the control issue, what I see is an attitude problem. The engineer
doesn't appear interested in helping you grow your skills. We live in
an imperfect, competitive world. As I see it the engineer may feel that
he is "protecting his territory". This is unfortunate on his part,
as one of the most important soft skills is the ability to grow others.
"If others working with you are not growing you are not growing". He
is not helping himself or his career growth. You may have great tech
skills but your growth and opportunities will be limited if you don't
develop the ability to collaborate and work with others. Even if he
believes you're not experienced enough, since you shown an interest,
what would it cost him if he were your mentor/guide? In fture, can he
include you part of his personal network?
from his attitude. Not everybody will like you or cooperate with you on
the job. It is a hard lesson that we all learn in the work place: For
whatever reason, it might to due to insecurity, inferiority complex,
pettiness, timidity, lack of respect or even ignorance.
on the positive side. This is an opportunity to grow important soft
skills - a major difference between classroom training and workplace
experience. The ability to work with difficult people is a great asset
in a competitive environment. Avoid the temptation to run from the
challenge. The engineer is not cooperative and so what? This is not
meant to sound harsh, but you need to get out of your comfort zone and develop
some backbone. Are you
in IT for him or for yourself? You can't afford to allow others
determine what you will be or where you will get. He may be nasty,
unfriendly, Big deal! What will you do if you work with "the boss from
hell"?! What the incident
should do is to fire you on to develop your soft skills and create
opportunities for yourself. It isn't always easy, but you can do it.
Dig deep. Be resourceful.
Have you tried to create a rapport with him in the past? Look at his personality triggers. Are you sure it isn't your manner of approach that puts him off? Do you have any common interests? Is he someone whose friendship you can cultivate?
your position to him in a professional and civil manner. Let him know
you need his cooperation. But if he still doesn't change his attitude,
don't force yourself on him. Remain civil and avoid confrontation with
him. "If you try to force a pig to fly, the pig will not fly and
the pig will get angry."
and find practical alternatives within your organization that will allow
you to grow. Make opportunities for yourself to practice what you have
learnt so that you can keep your skills current and gain further
exposure. This may involve finding somebody in your company you can
trust and who can take action concerning your position. Do this in a
persuasive manner to show that you have the skills, you're willing to
learn and that your contribution will be in the best interest of the
business. In view of the attitude of the engineer, determine the best
approach to use within your organization - formal or informal. Your
aim should be to develop and gain valuable experience on the job in a
the outcome, you must additionally recognize that the workplace is not
the only place where you can acquire experience. I suggest that if you
have the opportunity you consider non-traditional ways of acquiring
experience. Such as part time jobs for NGOs, religious bodies, volunteer
groups? Some may not pay but at least you will get the opportunity to
keep and grow your skills, while making useful contacts.
of knowledge and practical experience should be your priority. Continue
to invest in yourself based on your career goals (http://www.jidaw.com/careerplan.html).
To succeed in IT you must be ready to build a solid technical
foundation. This will not handed over to you on a platter of gold and
you must be prepared to make the effort. It is hard work that requires
sacrifice. Already this workplace problem you have is one the challenges
we all face. Other challenges may include lack of opportunities, slow
career growth, lack of recognition/appreciation of your efforts and so
on. Challenges are not straightforward and require perseverance. Channel
despair and anger into positive action.
According to Aldous Huxley, "Experience is not what happens to you,
but what you make of what happens to you."
conclusion, I will advise you not to be discouraged but to accept this
situation as part of lifelong learning and a challenge to be overcome.
The issue is not the problem but how you handle the problem. But you can
only do this in your own interest with a clear focus and a positive
you can allow others to determine what you will achieve. Make wise
choices based on the information you have and the resources and
opportunities available to you.
All the best in your IT
Awe is the Founder of Jidaw.com
Jidaw.com's mission is to help you build and sharpen your
career focus. Time permitting, we would be glad to answer your career
questions, but before to sending an email, please check the IT
Career Resource Center first to see if perhaps your question or
problem already appears there or can be solved using the resource
more coverage and information related to this topic, head to the IT
Career Resource Center:
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