As I meet more and more Virtualization Admins around the country it becomes quite apparent that although job titles may be similar, our roles can vary greatly. As the meme above shows, the reality is that different people have different perceptions of what we do. So the real question is, “What do you really do and how do you define your role to others?”
What you really do
It is important to nail down what it is you really do for several reasons.
- If you don’t exactly know what you do, you can’t set goals to improve your skills or your career
- If you don’t know what you do, chances are your management doesn’t either. <- This is not good
- Knowing what you do allows you to promote it internally and externally, setting yourself up for success
It is vitally important to keep a list or a journal of your accomplishments. I would go one step farther and say it is important to keep a list or journal (worklog) of the things you accomplish each week. Not only will you be able to reflect on this in the future and refer back to it when necessary, but it gives you the ability to show others (management or future employer) that you are organized and that you get things done. It’s there… it’s on paper, or in a word doc right? You will be able to feel a sense of accomplishment as your document begins to grow and grow.
Defining your role to others
Hopefully you all enjoy the meme above, isn’t it true? How many of you are Virtualization Administrators and if you speak with 20-30 colleagues you will most likely get different answers of what they think your role really is (hopefully you are all past the “firefighting” stage and using tools like vCenter Operations Manager and vCloud Automation Center to take care of a lot of the heavy lifting for you). In all reality you will find that your job evolves over time and it is essential to define what you do, not only for yourself, but for management and for your future. You may have received a specific job role and title when you started working for your current employer. There is nothing wrong with this, but if you look at the job description they initially gave you, is it what you are doing today? What are you doing now that wasn’t on the job description? By looking at this from an outside perspective you may decide that you are aligned more with a different job title. Does the new job title pay more? should it? Decide for yourself if it is worth going in and talking with management about re-aligning your job title to your activities. Some companies look for people that have held specific job roles while others worry more about experience and “can you do what your resume says you can do?” By aligning yourself now you are setting yourself up for potentially more growth down the road.