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6 Life Lessons for Every Ambitious IT Professional

There are some very ambitious IT professionals out there, and UK native Karen Ferris is one of them. For ServiceDesk360, Karen shares her ITSM legacy’s six most important lessons, and reflects upon how each lesson can positively impact the IT person’s career.

Six IT Career Lessons

  1. Language is powerful.
  2. Take the leap forward.
  3. Get involved.
  4. Listen and learn.
  5. Eye on the prize
  6. Share your story.

Karen’s humble beginnings involve computer operations, application support, and consulting. But it was her job with the UK Post Office that opened her eyes to the power of common language. Out of the chaos of the pre-ITIL world emerged a new set of terminologies to unify IT around service delivery. After the introduction of the ITIL language, she noticed massive improvements in the effectiveness of IT.

From her Post Office gig, she moved on to become Service Center Manager at a food processing company. This turned out to be a dead end since, mid-transition to full ITIL service management, a company takeover smothered the initiative, causing her to take a job in Australia of all places. The lesson here is that every barrier can be seen as a hurdle, an opportunity to leap forward.

While in Australia, she took every opportunity to get involved in the big transformations taking place (the mid-90s was a time of mass transition to ITIL for the Land Down Under, as it was for many other countries). This paid dividends as it gave her awards of recognition for speaking and written engagements. Later, with a team of 50 employees underneath her, she discovered the value of holding regular one-on-one staff meetings.

Then, in 2009, it finally came time to capitalize on all the hard work and experience of previous years. With all career signals pointing in the right direction, Karen broke with her traditional path to help build global consulting firm Macanta. Throughout her career, she has never been shy about sharing her experiences with others. More than a way to garner recognition, this form of engagement is her way of giving back.

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About Eric Anderson

Eric Anderson is a staff writer for CAI's Accelerating IT Success. He is an intern at Computer Aid Inc., pursuing his master's degree in communications at Penn State University.

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