/>
X

Ten signs you and IT just aren't hitting it off

Most people grumble about their job at some point, but certain recurring issues might just be a sign that you and IT are not made for one another, says Jack Wallen
jack-wallen
it-impatient.jpg
1 of 10 Jack Wallen/ZDNet

Impatient IT man

Those who work in IT know how hard it can be. And if you're not up to that challenge, there will always be someone who is. Before deciding whether to soldier on, it might be worth reading through my list of the tell-tale signs that could suggest a parting of the ways is the better course.

1. Impatience
Some IT problems require time to resolve. If you are impatient, you'll either give up or make a mistake. But the need for patience extends beyond dealing with problems. End users will often test your patience far more than the technology itself. If that's the case, either avoid having to deal with them directly or, if that's not possible, leave IT immediately.

it-education-sleeping.jpg
2 of 10 Jack Wallen/ZDNet

Indifference to education

2. Indifference to acquiring new skills
IT changes all the time. Without the desire to continue learning, you're already at a major disadvantage. Tech is one of those fields where you must be always up for acquiring new knowledge. That might mean attending a class or workshop, or just hitting the books on your own. Regardless of the approach, in the end you must be willing to continue learning.

it-night-working.jpg
3 of 10 Jack Wallen/ZDNet

Working at night

3. Nine-to-five mentality
Technology doesn't always stick to a schedule. Servers go down at inopportune moments and yet business must continue. So you must be willing to wake up in the middle of the night, work long hours during the week and weekends. If you're someone who refuses to let work interfere with your personal life, the writing is on the wall.

it-angry-fighting.jpg
4 of 10 Jack Wallen/ZDNet

Two workers fighting

4. Dislike of people
The whole purpose of many IT jobs is to support end users — aka people. If you don't like people — and I've encountered plenty who don't — you really shouldn't consider a career in IT. Sadly, I know number of colleagues who have been driven to dislike people precisely because of their experiences working in IT.

it-computer-bin-rubbish-trash.jpg
5 of 10 Jack Wallen/ZDNet

IT equipment in the bin

5. No staying power
When you've had an issue that really tests your abilities, did you give up or did you push on until you had a solution? If you gave up, you did so knowing that you had left something broken. That is unacceptable in IT, and if it doesn't trouble you, it may be time consider your future. Of course, sometimes the problem will be beyond repair or beyond your skills. In those cases, it's still your responsibility to ensure the broken tech is fixed or someone is brought in to sort it out.

it-frustrated-angry.jpg
6 of 10 Jack Wallen/ZDNet

Frustrated man

6. Prone to frustration
IT can frustrate even the most unflappable. But if your frustration boils over too easily, you will spend much of the day with high blood pressure. Although IT is a rewarding field, it can also be a frustrating one. If frustration often gets the best of you, you might want to bring in a therapist. If that fails, consider a new career.

it-multitasking-multiple-screens.jpg
7 of 10 Jack Wallen/ZDNet

Man working on multiple screens

7. Inability to multitask
At any point in the day, I'll be doing three or four things at once. Sometimes this approach is the only way I can actually get everything done in time. If you insist on tackling one task at a time, IT is going to be a tough career for you. Certainly, non-multitaskers can succeed in IT but life will be more difficult for them.

it-ladder.jpg
8 of 10 Jack Wallen/ZDNet

Corporate ladder

8. Corporate ambitions
There's little room on the ladder in the IT department. If you have dreams of climbing it and perching on top, you might want to prepare yourself for disappointment or consider a different field. Some IT departments do offer promotions, and you might even climb your way up to CIO. But if you really want to be a CEO, IT may not be the best place to start.

it-hate-technology-bite-tablet.jpg
9 of 10 Jack Wallen/ZDNet

A man who hates technology

9. Technophobia
Strangely enough, I know people in IT who actually hate technology. If you consider yourself a technophobe, working with software, servers, desktops, switches and routers might be unwise. It's perfectly possible to work in a field you despise, but the resulting level of frustration might shorten your lifespan.

it-mobile-phone-at-night.jpg
10 of 10 Jack Wallen/ZDNet

Mobile phone at night

10. Turning off your phone at night
This point is really about commitment and relates to work hours. The IT job doesn't go away — it remains in the background all the time, waiting to pull you from your sleep, family gatherings, or the birth of your first child. If you're one to turn your phone off when you leave work, or even ignore calls from the office, it might be a sign that IT should not be your chosen path.

Tallying up
Just because you suffer from one or two of these traits doesn't mean you should jump off the IT train. But if you recognise a few of these signs, you might want to have a career rethink. Have you witnessed other symptoms that you think point to the beginning of the end for an IT career?

This story originally appeared as 10 signs that you aren't cut out for IT on TechRepublic.


Get the latest technology news and analysis, blogs and reviews delivered directly to your inbox with ZDNet UK's newsletters.



Related Galleries

A weekend with Google's Chrome OS Flex
img-9792-2

Related Galleries

A weekend with Google's Chrome OS Flex

22 Photos
Cybersecurity flaws, customer experiences, smartphone losses, and more: ZDNet's research roundup
shutterstock-1024665187.jpg

Related Galleries

Cybersecurity flaws, customer experiences, smartphone losses, and more: ZDNet's research roundup

8 Photos
Inside a fake $20 '16TB external M.2 SSD'
Full of promises!

Related Galleries

Inside a fake $20 '16TB external M.2 SSD'

8 Photos
Hybrid working, touchscreen MacBook hopes, cybersecurity concerns, and more: ZDNet's tech research roundup
Asian woman working at a desk in front of a computer and calculator

Related Galleries

Hybrid working, touchscreen MacBook hopes, cybersecurity concerns, and more: ZDNet's tech research roundup

8 Photos
Developer trends, zero-day risks, 5G speeds, and more: Tech research roundup
Person seated at a booth in a cafe looks at their phone and laptop.

Related Galleries

Developer trends, zero-day risks, 5G speeds, and more: Tech research roundup

10 Photos
Drive Electric Day: A dizzying array of EVs in sunny Florida
ca3b4019-26c5-4ce0-a844-5aac39e2c34b.jpg

Related Galleries

Drive Electric Day: A dizzying array of EVs in sunny Florida

16 Photos
Incipio, Kate Spade, and Coach cases for Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra: hands-on
s22-ultra-incipio-coach-cases-2.jpg

Related Galleries

Incipio, Kate Spade, and Coach cases for Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra: hands-on

15 Photos