It’s important to be ambitious. As a society, we are driven – in our jobs, we are constantly seeking new opportunities, new ways to increase our earning potential, and more challenging careers. Without this drive and ambition, we would stagnate. Economies would stop growing, wealth would dwindle, and we would lose our sense of purpose.
If “ambitious” is not the word you would use to describe your current trajectory in your IT career, now is a good time to re-evaluate where you are and where you want to be. Is it that you lack ambition for your current field? Have you lost interest or succumbed to the idea that you can never have a challenging career because your current job is so boring and mundane? Is it your work environment?
After pinpointing the reason for your lack of ambition, it is important for your career and your future prospects to address it. If you want a more dynamic career, you might consider switching to working with a system like SAP, which allows you to work not only in IT but also to explore different aspects of the business world. If it’s your current business environment, consider ways that you can fix it or find a better place to work. But if you’re one of the millions of workers who simply finds your job “boring,” there may be a different solution:
Do your job better.
Before you storm off in a huff, hear me out a little. One of the things common among people who work in the IT field is intelligence. It takes intelligence to grasp some of the more abstract concepts involved in programming, as well as to understand the many working parts of a piece of server. It takes intelligence to develop the depth of knowledge needed to administer a network or system of computers, and to keep a company’s IT processes functioning at optimal levels. Therefore, it is not unusual that, often times, IT professionals get just plain bored. And it happens quickly.
Unfortunately, in the world of business, promotions are not always fast and furious. You could be stuck working at the same entry-level or menial-feeling job for longer than you would like. Sadly, your upward trajectory is not always controlled entirely by you. Fortunately, though, you do not have to leave it entirely in the hands of other people, either.
Are you focused entirely on what is going wrong at your company? Do you have a litany of complaints about the mistakes your manager makes? Do you avoid tasks that you feel are “beneath” you? These behaviors are symptomatic of someone who is dissatisfied with their career. You need new challenges and new things to learn to keep yourself stimulated and engaged. And you are probably focused on the idea of obtaining a promotion in order to get those new challenges.
A promotion will probably help, at least for a little while. You will find new challenges, but you may be surprised at how quickly they become routine yet again, landing you right back where you started: frustrated and wanting something new. Furthermore, how do you intend to obtain a promotion when you are so frustrated with your current job that you aren’t performing it correctly?
Really think about your job performance in recent weeks, months, or even the last year. Have you been cutting corners? Have you started dropping the ball or letting other people take over responsibilities you know you should be fulfilling? If this describes you, then consider how what you are doing may hurt your chances for further advancement.
Rather than focusing on what the next promotion might hold, why not find ways right now to improve how you are performing your current job? How can you be more productive, streamline tasks you don’t want to do without sacrificing quality, and make yourself an attractive candidate for future promotions? It’s all about living in the moment and focusing on those problems confronting you right now. By returning your efforts towards your current position, you can both demonstrate your commitment to your company and reinvigorate your ambition with a renewed sense of purpose.
* Image courtesy of Ofer Deshe via Creative Commons