I’ve seen a lot of articles on LinkedIn lately about navigating corporate politics, the best way to get promoted, how to look for a new job, and a slew of other career-related insights. I believe there are many outside factors that affect one’s ability to successfully climb the proverbial corporate ladder, but I also have seen a lot of talented people fall victim to their inability (or lack of desire) to create change. This got me thinking about creative ways IT pros can continue planning their career without surfing job postings online. I’d argue that the process of walking through a comprehensive disaster recovery planning exercise can give the IT pro career insights that they may not otherwise gain.
My assumption writing this blog is that most of us want to make a meaningful impact in our organization. No one shows up to work every morning thinking, “Man, I hope I look like an idiot today… I really wish more people hated me.” We want to look good to the people around us. After all, a lot of us spend more time at work than we do at our own home. Results matter. Our reputation matters.
In many ways, the disaster recovery planning process can (and should) reveal the truths related to one’s own career path. Regardless of whether you’re new to the job or a seasoned vet, you are in the driver’s seat and are ultimately responsible for where you land in your career. It’s been said, “Everyone ends up somewhere, but few end up somewhere on purpose.” Use the information at your disposal to make informed decisions. Okay, enough preaching. Get to the point, Martin.
Before we can begin the process of disaster recovery planning, we have to get on the same page with key stakeholders. There needs to be agreement on definitions key assumptions. There should be willingness from both the business and IT to work collaboratively to execute a plan that will have the highest value and ensure business goals are matched with IT capabilities. To that end, we need to ask ourselves some questions.
1. Is there open communication between business leaders and IT?
If your culture is one where passive aggressiveness thrives, you’ll likely make little progress if you start questioning the norm and challenging the way things are currently done.
2. Does the culture demand accountability and transparency?
In order for your plan to be successful, there must be accountability from all parties. If this has been an issue in the past, it’ll likely be an issue moving forward.
3. How is constructive criticism typically received?
Don’t waste your time with people who can’t take constructive feedback. If your co-workers are unwilling to change, it may be time to look for other opportunities rather than trying to boil the ocean.
4. Once a plan is in place, is it adhered to?
Does your company have the tendency to create plans only to stray from them at a later date? If so, be cautious when creating a new plan. Ensure the right people sign off and commit their support.
5. Is the organization open to change?
The dictionary tells us we’re insane if we keep trying the same things while expecting different results. Sometimes, we have to challenge the norm and try new things in order to affect meaningful change.
Be the IT hero
IT pros are, in my opinion, the unsung heroes who rarely seem to be recognized when operations are running smoothly. They’re often overworked and spend long hours on break/fix issues. Because of this, I’ve known several people in the industry who have become jaded and disgruntled with their current job/company. Some are naturally grumpy and negative. Others are just stuck inside a system that is broken.
Sometimes, the unfortunate truth is that you have to move on and begin looking for a new employer before things will change. However, I don’t believe in quitting when the going gets tough. I believe the disaster recovery planning process can bring to light much-needed topics for discussion and spark conversation that leads to healthy growth. Ultimately, it’s up to you to step up and decide who you want to be as a professional. With the right tools and processes at your disposal, you can lead your organization down a path of creating a disaster recovery plan that carries meaningful impact.