Outside of work, there are many ways that IT professionals can benefit from their skills. Luckily for them, IT know-how is very practical knowledge to have. Sure, it means that friends and family members will probably be calling up the IT pros at all hours asking about why their computers are freezing or not turning on or any other of the millions of questions typically asked. But what are the other benefits? Here’s a list of 5 major benefits IT professionals get from having their skill set.
When computers operate normally, they almost seem to be a vehicle of magic to people who don’t know their inner workings. However, when there’s a problem, the magic evaporates as quickly as the users’ patience in a lot of cases. People tend to call their friends or scramble around looking for troubleshooting guides like this one from TechRepublic in order to fix the problem.
For IT professionals, these issues aren’t as frustrating because they deal with both hardware and software problems while at work. They can skip the step of reading the how-to guides provided by Microsoft and jump right into troubleshooting. Because many IT workers are used to tackling a problem piece by piece, this type of mentality can carry over to other daily tasks, as well. People who work in IT often have the experience necessary to break the problem down, find its source, and act accordingly.
Understanding TV/Movie Plots
This might not have as much of a practical application as troubleshooting does, but it’s a convenience nonetheless. Entertainment has always loved featuring IT-related plot elements, whether it’s a genius hacker who can crack into any secure database (looking at you, David from WarGames), or a person who discovers he can learn the programming language and control the false-reality he’s been living in (come on, do we really have to provide a link for this one?), television and movies have loved showcasing IT.
So what’s the benefit of being an IT professional while eating Cookie Dough Bites and watching these shows and movies with your friends? Well, there are actually two benefits: 1) If there is some kind of crazy technical event going on in the programming, you’ll be able to follow along while you’re friends watch with an O.O expression. 2) IT professionals know when a show’s “IT” is completely unrealistic and can easily decipher whether it’s fact or fiction.
Back in the day (in Internet time, because it wasn’t that long ago in real-life time), IT professionals had to do a lot of tedious tasks by hand. However, technology has rapidly developed over the years, so now a lot of common tasks are automated, easing the burden on IT professionals so they can concentrate on more difficult assignments.
Many IT professionals know the value of automation. Because of this, they take advantage of services like if this then that (ifttt), which allows users to automate online tasks (like, when you change your Facebook profile picture, your Twitter picture will change automatically, too). Because IT workers know about the benefits of automation, they can take advantage of these types of efficient processes.
Flying Through the Internet
Many people have had issues with their Internet connection or WiFi signal and have lost connection. (Basically, their personal apocalypse has arrived.) IT professionals know all of the common problems that could be causing the issue, so when their Internet is affected, they can act to solve it. Not only that, but they can speed up their Internet connection by optimizing their computers and knowing basic steps (like emptying your cache, manually changing the broadcast channel of your router, etc.) that make everything faster.
By speeding up both their computer and Internet connection (by either knowing the tricks or using resource guides like PC World’s), IT professionals can essentially dominate the Internet by improving their chances of being able to get that elusive concert ticket when it goes on sale, having good connection when they’re streaming movies, or not being kicked off online games.
Those who call upon IT workers to assist them might be surprised to discover that people who work in IT are, in fact, not all-knowing genies. They’re not omniscient, and problem solving involves trial and error. IT professionals are extremely knowledgeable and skilled, but while they know how to go about solving a problem and understand the tech they’re working with, it’s very difficult to immediately identify and fix every issue in the matter of seconds.
That’s why IT professionals can be such excellent researchers. All kinds of valuable guides and instructions can be found online, and because it’s totally unreasonable for anyone in IT to know how to solve problems for every type of hardware, operating system, etc., it’s important to have the research skills necessary to find the answers. (Here is a great IT resource guide to reference.)
When you think about the combination of all of these skills and how beneficial they can be on a personal and daily basis, you start to realize how incredibly efficient IT professionals can be in and outside of work. If you’re an IT professional, remember these benefits and make the most of them! If you’re not, check out some of these processes and tips and apply them to your own life (if you so desire, of course).