Values and Personality:
Values are a strange and unwieldy beast, for years, I knew what my values were and that they were nonnegotiable. Over the course of the last ten years I have negotiated my way into a new set of values. A change in perspective was a wakeup call for me. When forced to look at your values from an outside, objective viewpoint, some truths reveal themselves.
First, and foremost, I value individuality. What is the worth of a world of people if they are all the same? Each person has a different experience and brings different views to the table, providing many ideas and potential opportunities. Team work is vital to any organization, and by having a diverse workforce more success is possible. Collaborating with others is a skill I am glad I learned early on, though at times it is difficult to share recognition.
I heavily emphasize openness, I want a company that is honest and empowers employees, not one that covers up and makes everything on a “need to know” basis. That is how scandals like Enron happen. Transparency shows trust and faith in employees and creates good morale. Communication in general creates a better work environment, if employees have a feeling of uncertainty or are worried about job security there will be a visible drop in not only morale, but in productivity as well. I learned to be an effective communicator at a very early age and it has proved to be an invaluable skill at work and in my personal life.
I also highly venerate my need for independence and flexibility, I want to be able to test out new ideas and processes when I see fit, within a reasonable scope. Delegating responsibility to others has helped me be more independent in the past; typically I will come up with an idea and form a team to complete the task at hand.
I am truly an American, in the most stereotypical sense; I want to do as little work for as much pay as possible. Luckily, all things involving technology naturally attract me and I am often an early adopter of new ideas and trends. I was once told, “Do what you love and you will never work a day in your life.” That adage really hit home with me and I immediately decided to change majors and work with computers.
All other values considered, the value placed on wealth is second only to individuality for me. My need for financial solvency was the largest factor in my decision to pursue my degree in Information Technology. The career outlook in the IT field is phenomenal and will only continue to increase exponentially as more things become automated and corporations migrate to cloud computing. Entry level Help Desk positions in my area nearly double my hourly wage and benefits, though I am qualified to perform the job now, I’d like to wait until after graduation so I can focus primarily on advancing my career.
I often ponder the probability of personality conflicts with others in my field. To most, my personality doesn’t appear to mesh with my love for technology and my “geek” tendencies. At the office, I am an outgoing, social butterfly and an innovator; I start projects and have grand ideas, though I do not usually have the follow through skills to see them to fruition. I stand up for what I believe in and try to negotiate fairness in every situation.
I have been in customer service for ten years and can diffuse nearly any situation; I am great at problem solving and have an uncanny aptitude for sales and marketing. I also love to investigate and research things I am unfamiliar with or know little about. My interpersonal skills in the work place are stellar, I am constantly adapting to my environment. That is the surface “professional” persona, a majority of the time, I’d rather just sit in a corner and work by myself, where I am most productive.
Being a geek at heart and constantly playing on, breaking and fixing computers also played a major role in my decision to go into IT. If it has a processor and a display screen I am intrigued and want to know more. I look at every new operating system and software as a challenge to overcome, and essentially learning each program is a personal goal. I am always expanding my knowledge and probably know more random trivial knowledge than most contestants on Jeopardy! I also have a passion for writing, and most IT professionals have to write proposals and create presentations when changes are needed. I need a career that is flexible, challenging, fast paced and dynamic, for me Information Technology is fulfilling in and of itself.
I may change my mind about my career, as it has changed several times, along with my major. I started out with a double major in accounting and business management at my last college. The road has been and will continue to be long but there are many stops on any path to success. At least I know with my degree in IT I am opening more doors than I am closing, if there is a chance, I will take it.