Last night I listened to the latest In the Trenches podcast. Kevin and his guest, Chuck Tomasi were discussing a number of issues that I feel strongly about, and have been reminded of recently in my own workplace. They were talking about the image you, as an IT person, project to the people you support and how it can have a huge affect on how you are perceived throughout the organization, and how to “add value” to what you do in order to keep proving your worth to the organization as a way to keep your job in uncertain times. It was quite interesting, and I understand Kevin is working on a future show specifically about outsourcing and surviving mergers, which should be quite interesting.
In my own case, not to be too specific, I was recently reminded that during times when I’m very busy, or just cut-off from interacting with my users on a regular basis for whatever reason, it only takes one person complaining about something I did, or didn’t do, to affect how other users see me. Since I’m not out working with these people, the only impression they get about my work is what someone else says, and let’s face it, some people like to complain.
Whether the complaint has any basis in reality or not, if you don’t interact with your IT guy, your impression is going to be colored by what this other person said. That’s just human nature. In that case, I’ve found that I have two choices. I can moan and complain about someone “bad-mouthing” me, or I can, as they say, cut out the middle man, making sure I deal directly with my users, and not allow that sort of complaint to find any fertile ground to spread. So, my goal for the normally slower summer months, is to make sure I get plenty of face time with users, especially the ones who have come in new this year. I’ve already discovered some mis-training that some of them got from more experienced staff members, and gotten that corrected, so the effort has already paid off!