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How I Got My Start in IT Consulting

The funny part of my career is that I never imagined myself being in an IT role. In 1976, I had recently been discharged from the Navy, had a new family and was in need of a better job. Finding nothing interesting in the general ‘Help Wanted’ section of the newspaper, I decided to be adventurous and checked out the ‘Engineering/Technical’ section.

How I Got My Start in IT Consulting

 

Low and behold, there was an ad from IBM, something that was unheard of in those days. Upon reading the requirement, I thought, “Hey, I think I can do that!” So I went to the IBM building, applied for the job, passed their test and soon found myself training to be an IBM Customer Engineer servicing IBM typewriters. (For some of you that would be a “pre-computer/printer document generators”).

After a number of successful years servicing a variety of office equipment, an opportunity presented itself. IBM needed instructors for their new Print Application software at their Dallas Training Center. This was something that I was certainly not qualified for. However, I was willing to learn and my track record, along with support from my management, enabled this opportunity to become a reality for me.

Since then, there have been many other opportunities through which I have been privileged to achieve great success both as an employee and as a consultant. There is much more to this story but this is what I think is most important: I didn’t go to college (much to my colleagues’ surprise.) Please don’t misunderstand; I am not discounting the importance of education. It is more important today than in the past. However, education will only take you so far in this world.

To achieve true success in any field requires the right ATTITUDE.

If it’s all about you, you’ll lose. I have achieved great success because I determined to always do my best for my employers, my customers, and most of all, my fellow co-workers. Everything we do leaves an impression. What impression do you want to leave?

This quote has been a source of encouragement over the years:

It is not the critic who counts, not the one who points out how the strong man stumbled or where the doer of deeds could have done better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena; whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who errs and comes short again and again; who know the great enthusiasms, the great devotions, and spends himself in a worthy cause; who, at the best, knows in the end the triumph of high achievement; and who, at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who know neither victory or defeat.
-Theodore Roosevelt
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