vDM30in30 – Day 1: Reputation

I’ve decided to take the vDM30in30 challenge proffered by my friend, Eric Wright. This first post is about the one thing that every IT professional needs to protect at all times and that is their reputation. Circumstances change but your reputation in the community will define you and your opportunities.

Technologies, people and process will change and that change will affect your role and responsibilities as an IT professional. The tidal wave of change is coming at an alarmingly faster rate with a larger, more data center shattering scale. This often leaves IT professionals facing multiple forks in their IT career path. Do you stay true to your present expertise whether it be VMware vSphere or Microsoft Hyper-V or any other tech construct? Or do you take the plunge and catch the next big wave, which could lead you to better fishing grounds? As an IT professional takes time to come to a decision on taking a certain path, your reputation will either aid or hurt you.

Here are a few simple tips to protect and enhance your reputation.

  1. Search for and engage with the IT communities that you’re interested in.
  2. Approach every social engagement, industry event, user group gathering and community get together like an interview. Your next gig will find you and the accompanying interview process becomes MUCH easier.
  3. It’s okay to say “I don’t know.” Don’t make it up.
  4. Seek to understand and then, to be understood.
  5. Treat others the way you want to be treated.
  6. Have fun.

Remember that the global IT community is small yet has a long memory. Below is a picture of me with my friends – Todd Muirhead and Scott Hanson, who got me started in tech communities and social media.