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This chapter is from the book

Other Avenues into I.T.

As with most career moves, every turn has options. Part of the challenge facing many professionals is the idea that a wrong decision will have lasting repercussions on their career. I want to alleviate this fear.

Seldom will any single career move make or break you. As indicated in Part I of this book, “Your Career,” the idea of a career is based on long-term objectives and planning. Plans can change, and even long-term objectives can be altered without negatively impacting your career.

The fear of changing those objectives and plans is exactly what causes many individuals to effectively freeze in their tracks. They fail to make effective moves, afraid that taking that new position might be the “wrong” move. But a job is always just that: a job.

Typically, if you weigh your decision using the factors of compensation, opportunity, insurance, training, commute, travel, and so on, it is unlikely that you will move to a position that is dramatically worse than your current situation. Even if it turns out that you do not enjoy the work, you can simply begin looking for the next opportunity. In most cases, there is a redeeming lesson or skill to take from every situation. That is the way careers and life work out.

I am not advocating leaving your current job just to try something new. If your current position affords you adequate compensation, a learning environment, access to mentors and peers who are actively advancing in their own careers, and any number of other intangible benefits, I advocate trying to advance within the organization.

If you are a person who is trying to break into I.T., advancing within your own organization requires you to make contacts in your company’s I.T. department.

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