Characteristic One – Has a passion for technology and problem solving. A born IT pro is in love with tech, both past and present – drooling over the latest in everything while feeling a pang of nostalgia at the sight of a zip disc drive. To a techie, a malfunction isn’t a headache; it’s a chance to shine.
Characteristic Two – Knows data and how to manage it. While to ordinary people, the size of the files they juggle and the speed at which they navigate the Internet may be somewhat mysterious, to techies, it’s as basic as knowing your way around your own neighborhood.
Characteristic Three – Is versatile. A successful IT pro surely has a niche. But just as all Marines are riflemen, all IT pros are tech support. They may specialize in cloud security, or big data management, or website design, but in a pinch they can tackle any tech problem.
Characteristic Four – Sees how tech and lines of business intersect. The concept of a techie unaware of the value of what he or she does is as dated as Jimmy Fallon’s SNL character “Nick Burns, Your Company’s Computer Guy.” Today’s IT pro is as comfortable in the boardroom as the server room.
Characteristic Five – Can describe tech concepts in general terms. No question IT professionals speak in their own language, but successful ones can slow down and explain a problem and its solution in terms anyone can understand – and even get excited about doing so.
Characteristic Six – Never stops learning, certifying and imparting knowledge. Successful IT pros establish a solid foundation for their IT knowledge with certifications like CompTIA A+, and then spend a lifetime building on that knowledge and sharing it with others – perhaps even teaching it.
Characteristic Seven – Stresses security and good housekeeping. IT pros don’t just want to take a byte out of cybercrime, they want to devour it entirely. That’s why they stress discipline. A successful IT pro knows the first line of defense in keeping his or her company secure and efficient is guarding against human error.