Career Advice

Mon, 11/20/2023 - 10:49

Sage advice for the overstressed new sysadmin, compliments of 25-year veteran Mental-Aioli3372:

  1. Relax, stress will kill you and makes you ineffective, you can't help anyone if you're f*cked up or dead, and if you die of a heart attack at 4pm on a Friday, they'll have a job opening posted before your body is cold.
  2. Solving problems is just like hiking from point A to point B - figure out where you are, figure out where you need to go, draw a map, plot a course, divide it into individual turns, and start walking step by step, a little bit at a time. Get the big picture first, then zoom in, then go.
  3. Learn to say no, learn to set boundaries, tell them to make a ticket, you'll get to it in order of importance. Constant emergencies and distractions means nothing actually gets done completely. Don't say yes just because you want to make people happy.
  4. Learn to differentiate IT problems from HR problems, management problems, culture problems. You can't fix bad business decisions.
  5. Other people's lack of planning is not your problem.
  6. What does policy say? Do that. No policy? Make one.
  7. Manage expectations, under promise, over deliver.
  8. When you leave work, leave it at work. Work your 40 hours, use time wisely, then go home.
  9. Get lots of sleep, have fun with friends, play video games, make sure you're getting You Time. Separate you from your job. Take all your vacation days. Don't burn out. It's not worth it.
  10. Make friends with the janitors. They know how shit really works and literally open doors to useful places.
  11. Users lie, verify everything. Assume nothing.
  12. Don't answer calls if you're not getting paid. Do Not Disturb means DO NOT DISTURB motherf*ckers.

The technical sh*t is whatever. You'll figure that part out."

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