Mention the IT department and people envision the inscrutable man behind the curtain.
How can you change that perception?
Talk to people.Tell them what you love about what you do. You may be surprised. Even people who are not tech-savvy are frequently tech-interested. Offer tips to help them do their jobs more efficiently. Ask them what they have trouble with.
Even if it doesn’t come naturally to you, chat with people in common areas. Make small talk in the lunch room or say hi in the hallway. Demonstrating that you are not standoffish can go a long way towards building bridges with other departments.
When you are talking to someone who is not technical, speak to them in English, not jargon. If they are using incorrect terminology, but you know what they are talking about, roll with it.
One thing that all IT professionals have in common is creativity. They are problem solvers. A good amount of their brainpower is directed in a “if this/then that” mindset. They are frequently called upon to find out- of-the- box solutions to problems. There is no reason to confine that problem-solving ability to IT challenges.
Offer to help with problems in other departments. A bit of trouble shooting at product development level can prevent problems later. Your input could be invaluable at a marketing meeting if you can notice features and benefits that someone in sales or marketing may not think about.
Demonstrate your value to the organization by sharing your knowledge base.
Send regular emails or newsletters with tips that help users and reduce help desk calls for unnecessary tasks. Offer periodic trainings when updates are rolled out. Keep people in the loop. No one likes to turn on their computer to changes they were not expecting.
Empower users to take care of minor things themselves so that you are only called upon for the more challenging or mission critical snafus. Everyone should be capable of installing their own printer, finding their IP address or knowing when it makes sense to reboot their system.
When you fix a preventable problem for a user, explain to them how the problem could have been avoided. Follow up with an email where possible.
A few minutes demonstrating where IT fits into your organization and what the department has to offer can mean a bit more respect from your colleagues and some understanding of what is required to keep infrastructure up and running.
Contact AZ Tech Finders today to find out more about the engaged, professional tech talent we can provide.
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