In the IT world, with a couple of years of experience, we tend to consider and call ourselves professionals. It is true that the mundane activities we perform over and over again gives us the hold over the subject, and hence the professional tag.
Deep down, once we call ourselves professional, in our minds, we think we know it all. The know-it-all attitude blocks our minds into thinking about alternatives or exploring variants that perhaps is better suited for the work we perform. In short, we stop learning and continue performing chores.
A chore is something you do in a certain way, and you know the end result. Nothing more, nothing less. Like paying a bill over the internet. You know what details you need to key in to pay the bills, and if you follow the process in the recommended order, you end up completing the chore successfully. While you carry out the chore, you stop innovating. The innovation part of your brain stops functioning. At the end of the day, it is a fact that professionals are meant to carry out chores, which results in the end of innovation. Even if you are not a professional, thinking like one can pull down the shutters on your creative mind.
Let’s go back into the memory lane. When you started working, your mind was fresh, you were eager to learn new things and you put in your mind, body and soul into learning the art and trade. You started as a rookie (grasping and learning everything you came across) and as time progressed, you started to get hold of the situation and started to think whether what you were asked to do was the right and optimized way of doing or was there a better way. You were thinking like an amateur – somebody who is confident enough to question the reasons behind the actions. Your learning and optimizing took you to great heights, and at some point, after achieving a good position in the company or with a particular take home salary, you started to feel good, and then the professional creep crept in. Am I right? I know I am. This is the cycle most people in IT follow.
Once IT peeps start thinking professionally, they feel offended when their ideas are bettered or brushed aside. They bring in their professional attitude to the table and disagree on any alternates that are available to them. They become rocks where nothing could ever percolate and start bearing sweeter fruits. I am certain you have seen these kind of people who get offended when they are opposed. Perhaps you might raise your hand and claim – guilty.
Unknowingly, the rug is being swept under their feet and it is a matter of time before professionals get replaced and find plateau in their careers.
Well, there you have it – the problem and the ill effects that come out of it.
The solution is within you. Go back in the time machine when you were an amateur. Live the professional life of an amateur. Soak in everything that comes in your way, and execute actions after thinking through possible reactions. Don’t just accept the things that come your way and never block new thoughts that get squirted at you.
Be the sponge that can suck in new information and knowledge and sieve that can filter the wheat from the chaff.