Turning your passion for technology into a successful career

When I interviewed candidates for engineering roles, one attribute I assessed them on was their “passion for technology.” I am still inclined to hire IT professionals who are motivated and driven by technology, the ones who have a deep interest and internal drive about using technology to improve business. Over the years, I have hired many passionate IT professionals. Many of them have had a shining career in managed IT while others ended up totally uninspired and complacent.

The immediacy of day-to-day tasks that are outside your focus on technology can seem to lack value and serve as a distraction or even frustration. It takes discipline to bring the mind back to what is most important to you and find the right balance. Recently, I explored ways IT professionals can rekindle their passion for technology with Suneet Singh Tuli. Under Suneet’s leadership, Jeotex, Inc. created a line of affordable tablets to provide internet and technology capabilities to populations with little means to invest in tech. The company believes that access to computing power is essential for education and other essential opportunities. Ban Ki-moon, the eighth Secretary-General of the United Nations, called Suneet “a great enabler to transform people’s lives.”

Change your perspective

It is the beginning of a new year – 2021. There can’t be a better time than this to reflect on your way of thinking. Passion begins by feeling empowered and knowing you have the opportunity to be successful. When you focus on the part of your job that you cannot control, it’s easy for a “why bother” attitude to seep in. When the focus is on what you can do to create maximum impact within your role—something entirely under your control—you are much more likely to be excited about your existing role.

In other words, bet on your strengths. Look for ways to harness your existing competencies and use them to pursue your passion for technology. Your communication skills can help you score high on customer satisfaction while your people skills can make it easier for you to learn even more from your manager. Everyone enjoys a role where you feel as if you are part of a bigger team and have a purpose—but ultimately, only you can own that mindset and the key is focusing on what you control versus what you cannot.

Look forward and plan your next adventure

If technology is your passion, you’ve chosen a good industry where demand always exceeds supply. By taking control of your vision for your career, you are able to picture what you truly desire and take the necessary steps to move yourself toward that vision. Think about where you would like to be five or 10 years. Charting a career course and setting reachable goals is a great way to work your way through what you perceive as “monotonous” time.

To feed this vision, gain knowledge in a different tech area, such as artificial intelligence (AI), robotics, data analytics, or information security. This will help you lead an ever-evolving and more fulfilling career. Don’t limit yourself to what might be most “sellable,” seek out places where others may be afraid to go, and truly carve out your career specialty.

Be consistent with your work

While your day-to-day priorities may change based on the needs of the business, key areas of focus such as customer experience and customer satisfaction should remain constant throughout your role. The more consistent you are about what’s important to the company’s needs, the more likely you remain passionate about your existing role. Seize every opportunity to encourage your creativity, out-of-the-box thinking, and problem-solving while interacting with clients.

Exchange ideas

Don’t shy away from sharing your great ideas with others. At IT By Design, we have created a team of passionate technology enthusiasts as part of our Innovation initiative. This helps people with a deep passion for technology share their ideas and play a part in implementing them.

Social media is another place where you can find like-minded IT professionals. By becoming an active member of a LinkedIn group of your choice, you can bring more meaning to your work and exchange ideas. If you can’t find what you are looking for, start your own Facebook or LinkedIn group!

Mentor someone

Every one of us has our personal reasons for being interested—or uninterested—in technology. For some, having a career in IT isn’t enough to spark a lasting interest. If this sounds like you, consider ways tech can be used to create powerful social change and better the lives of people around the world – something Suneet Singh Tuli achieved with his ventures.

Look what social impact your IT knowledge can have in the lives of others. If you’re already an expert in a particular IT area, you should have no trouble finding a school that could use your services for free. Local NGOs often need volunteers who can teach kids’ technology programs. In the process, some of their excitement and optimism is bound to refresh your passion for technology.

Final Thought: If you feel that day-to-day job responsibilities and workday routines have combined to dim your passion for technology, perhaps it’s time to make changes in your attitude and your work life that refuel your interest.

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