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Laws to guide the IT career growth of a virtualization admin

As disruptions to their job roles loom on the horizon, it’s essential for virtualization administrators to ensure that their skills remain modern, relevant and vital.

The virtualization admin role is changing — especially with the advent of containers, hybrid cloud, multi-cloud and multi-hypervisor environments — and admins need tools to thrive in a rapidly evolving industry. At last week’s Virtualization Technology User Group event in Foxborough, Mass., two experts doled out five principles that admins can use to steer their IT career growth.

IT career growth hinges on the first principle, the “law of intentionality,” according to presenters Chris Colotti, field CTO at Tintri, and Luigi Danakos, a vExpert and consultant at Blurt Media Group, in a session. They advised admins to identify gaps in their skills and address them head on. In earlier periods of their careers, IT workers may have learned new skills and technologies left and right — what Colotti deemed the “young and cheap stuff” — but as a career matures, those decisions need to become more strategic.

For many admins, this appraisal will reveal under-developed soft skills. Soft skill development is common advice for IT career growth, but it has become even more relevant for virtualization admins. As virtualization connects to more aspects of IT, such as storage and networking, the virtualization admin will need to replace siloed responsibilities with communication and collaboration across infrastructure components.

Second, admins must follow the “law of curiosity,” Colotti said. That means remaining inquisitive and staying open to new developments in the industry.

IT admins should also address their fears, and one way to do that is by building more self-confidence. With this “law of the mirror,” administrators use self-reflection to build themselves up.

“Embrace the positive version of you,” Danakos said.

Through optimism, admins can adapt to hardship and embrace new possibilities. This leads to perhaps the bluntest laws — the laws of trade-offs and pain, which refer to sacrifices or struggles that serve as catalysts for IT career growth. Colotti emphasized these points as he reflected on financial trouble, a cross-country move and a new step in his career.

“You learn through pain,” he said.

To achieve true IT career growth, virtualization admins cannot afford to exclusively improve their core skill set. They need to diligently identify gaps, commit to curiosity and follow through on a learning process that will require trade-offs, pain and strategy. With these principles in mind, virtualization admins can thrive in an industry in transition.

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