Life Expectancy of a Legacy IT pro

When focusing on traditional mode IT, what can a Legacy Pro expect?

Following up on the last posting, regarding the quest for training, either from within or from without your organization, what about the other side of the coin? I have worked with many individuals, when I was at a vendor, channel reseller, and more importantly inside an organization, wherein training, or even job growth was not important.

These individuals were quite excellent at the jobs for which they’d been tasked, but they were also satisfied with those jobs, and had no desire for more. I’ve really no issue with that. Certainly, I’d rather interact with a fantastic storage admin or route/switch engineer with no desire for career mobility than the engineer who’d been in the role for 2 months and had their sights set on the next role already. I’d be likely to get solid advice, and correct addressing of issues by the engineer who’d been doing that job for years.

But, and this is important, what would happen if the organization changed direction. The Route/Switch guy who knows Cisco inside and out may be left in the dust if he refused to learn Arista, (for example) when the infrastructure changes hands, and the organization changes platform. Some of these decisions are made with no regard to existing talent. Or, if as an enterprise, they moved from expansion on their on-premises VMware environment to a Cloud-First mentality? Those who refuse to learn will be left by the wayside.

Like a shark will die unless it moves forward, so will a legacy IT pro lose their status if they don’t move forward.

I’ve been in environments wherein people were siloed to the extent that they never needed to do anything outside their scope. Say, for example, a mainframe coder, and yet, for the life of the mainframe in that environment, they were going to stay valuable to the organization. These skills are not consistent with the growth in the industry. Who really is developing their mainframe skills today? But, that doesn’t mean that they intrinsically have no impetus to move forward. They actually do, and should. Because, while it’s hard to do away with a mainframe, it’s been known to happen.

Obviously, my advice is to grow your skills, by hook or by crook. To learn outside your standard scope is beneficial in all ways. Even if you don’t use the new tech that you’re learning, you may be able to benefit the older tech on which you currently work by leveraging some of your newly gained knowledge.

As usual, I’m an advocate for taking whatever training interests you. I’d go beyond that to saying that, and has been stated before, there are many ways to leverage free training portals, and programs to benefit yourself and your organization beyond those which have been sanctioned specifically by the organization. Spread your wings, seek out ways to better yourself, and in this, as in life, I’d pass on my advice: Always try to do something beneficial every day. At least one thing, which will place you on the moving forward path, and not let you die like a shark rendered stationary.

 

 

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