Imposter syndrome is the topic du jour for blogs and podcasts, so I’m almost reluctant to write about it. However, I want to share something I realized about myself that breaks from the conversation at large about this popular subject.
A phrase that really bothers me is “not my problem.” Usually I hear it in conversation with someone who learns of a problem but immediately seeks to absolve himself of any responsibility for the cause or responsibility to help.
I believe a networking professional, whether in pre-sales or working in the field, should have a deep understanding of networking concepts and strong technical experience. But also important are the soft skills necessary to build trust with customers, encourage strong relationships with account managers, and develop camaraderie and collaboration among teams. The words “not my problem” undermine those relationships and therefore shouldn’t be on the lips of a networking professional, let alone any sort of professional.
This week I taught my last class as a part-time adjunct instructor at a community college. I’ve been there for six years – 12 consecutive semesters. Each term, alongside the actual curriculum, I incorporated my work experiences and lessons learned about the reality of working in IT. Making the class meaningful from a real-world perspective was very important to me.
For my very last class, I chose not to cover anything in the textbook or any of the bullets on the syllabus. Instead, I introduced my students to systems and network automation. What may seem old news to you and me was brand-new to my class, and I don’t believe this is the exception.
I’ve been an active part of the networking community on social media for only a few years. Before that I was a passive consumer of tweets, blogs, and videos. A previous manager inspired me to be more active, and very quickly after engaging directly with bloggers, podcasters, and engineers, the value of being an active participant became very clear to me.
Not long ago, I needed to put a script together for a simple task, so I wrote something very brief in Python. When I say “wrote”, what I mean is I copied and pasted parts of scripts others had written and created some new monstrosity to get the job done.