Career steroids. Basic algorithm

    An article about fast career growth within one company. It is inside one, because a jump in the transition is another method, you need to prepare for it differently (there is more suitable for dismissal ).

    I’ll say right away: I don’t think that building a career is right, without it, and who does not build it is a felt boot. At the same time, I don’t think that not building a career is right.

    There is nothing bad or good in a career. Just as there is nothing bad or good in studying ERP, repairing your apartment or going through the course of “100 push-ups”. A career is a project with a specific goal, into which a person consciously enters in order to get something. In return, he must spend more resources than he spent before that - time, nerves, money.

    It seems to me that it will be great if you continue to read with exactly this attitude: career is such a project. If I do it, then this information can help me.

    If you do not plan to build a career - no question. I also do not plan, for example, to ever introduce ERP, so I don’t read articles about it. Although I could read and write in the comments everything that I think about ERP and the authors of articles about it - just why?

    Hope we agreed. We return to the career.

    I will not say that I have a very strong experience, probably someone is more interesting and more interesting - I will not argue, because it’s pointless to pretend to be true and “right for me” in this matter - the situations in different companies are too unique. I’ll just tell you my experience and conclusions that I managed to make, and you decide for yourself what to use and what not.

    How to build a career

    My experience contains two directly opposite strategies — consciously building a career and not consciously building a career, with 50/50 correlated by the number of companies — in half of the companies I tried to move forward and upward, in half I wanted silence, peace and simple programming.

    I will immediately mention the most important conclusion: if a career is not built, then it will not be built .

    It sounds trite, but I was convinced of it on personal experience. If you sit and just work, then you will sit and just work. And here the position is not particularly important - I checked on the positions of programmer and head of IT department, with five subordinates.

    As a specialist you will grow, there will be interesting projects, but there will be no career growth. The reason is simple - while you sit and just work, someone builds a career. Perhaps someone sitting next to you.

    Accordingly, the second conclusion follows from the first: if you want a career, you will have to build it .

    Career construction is an action that must be taken in addition to the main responsibilities . A good fulfillment of basic duties, probably, can also lead to career growth, but this is a long, tedious and appropriate moment needed - for example, raising or dismissing your boss. Such a moment may not come.

    I have often seen such situations when a manager leaves, and no one has built a career from his subordinates. The leadership of these guys doesn't know at all, but for the question “who will be the boss?” For some reason, he answers “let's consider all the options”. And programmers, system administrators and other vermin get out of their basement and start telling that they want to be bosses. Naturally, they are shaved and taken from the side of the next incompetent.

    The guys from the basement are not taken, because they did not do anything according to the “career” project - they just worked. What will continue to do.

    The reason that you need to move to build a career is simple - there is always someone besides you. If you sit and program, even the best programmer, there is one person who will take a detour, a careerist. And will bypass you, even if you program better than him. I had this in one of the companies where I decided to sit out after a hectic career in a previous company.

    I programmed more, and better, and more serious systems, and he became the head, because he took simple and understandable actions that were not related to programming.

    These actions are career steroids. These are not outstanding results in professional or managerial activities, not steep processes, not a solid team, no credibility among employees, it's just ... steroids. Look for the director’s attention, say something at meetings when everyone is silent, give priority to the director’s instructions (set up a wifi in the iPhone) to the detriment of a really useful, beautiful suit, actively participate in corporate events, be friends with the director’s secretary, be aware of his moods and run ahead of all setting up mail for him, helping to download songs from a torrent, etc. If you watched corporate games, you can give a lot of examples of career steroids.

    Why are these steroids? Because they accelerate the achievement of results, but they have a bad effect on health and create dependence on oneself.

    If a person has become, for example, a CIO thanks to steroids, then in order to maintain his position he will have to continue to use these steroids. He does not have a foundation on which the correct “IT directorate” is based. Of course, he will learn many clever words, travel to conferences, build communications within the company, fulfill plans and close projects, but his career will continue to stand on a slippery foundation - a beautiful suit, compliments and customization of the Wi-Fi director and his guests.

    The main thing for such a person is the invariance of the environment. If the director changes, or even one of the horizontal managers, the career may go to pieces. Steroids that were suitable for the previous director may not be suitable for the new. It turns out that he himself is able to set up a wifi, walks in a T-shirt, he looks at the numbers in the system and likes to communicate with people, and not with their leaders. The CIO simply has nowhere to inject his steroids.

    But steroids are not absolute evil, sometimes they are useful - when you have a suitable base for career growth, but some trifles are missing, such as a banal intersection with the director, a reason for meeting. In this case, it is not a sin to set up Wi-Fi on an iPhone.


    While you decide whether to build a career or not, I will add more fuel to the fire.

    A career cannot be built and forgotten about it, because the higher the position, the stronger the competition and the pressure of external forces. By becoming, for example, a CIO, you are already competing not only with programmers, and not even with other CIOs, but with all the managers of the company.

    You are like a Blade, half man, half vampire. Only you - a cross between a programmer and a manager. Neither of you nor others loves you, and you know it. Programmers want your place, managers want you to get out of your place (if this is not the case, then you are a bad CIO).

    Best of all, this state was formulated by Alice from the Mirror: "- When we run for a long time, you will certainly get to another place. - Well, here, you know, you have to run as fast just to stay in the same place, but to get there to another place, you need to run twice as fast. "

    The higher you stand, the less stable the soil under your feet, and constant efforts are required in order not to fall down. And these efforts are about the same in nature as in the construction of a career, and also go beyond the scope of the main work.

    In my life, not very consciously, I conducted a study on this topic - I was rolling up and down on the same escalator. He became a CIO, then he relaxed, eventually he turned out to be close to being fired. He again made efforts, returned and even surpassed the previous positions, relaxed again, rolled down again. He again made a jerk, rose almost to the very top, relaxed again and rolled down again.

    Alas, there is no status quo in high positions. Alternatively, you can use the recommendations from the ball of like-minded people .

    Key advantage

    The first thing to decide is: what kind of career do you build, what type, who do you want to become in the end, what will you pay for, what will be your uniqueness, competitive advantage.

    We are talking about career, not professional growth, so we are interested, as a rule, in a management position - a CIO, a team leader, or something like that. Leading is also work, and, regardless of who you are going to command, there are general principles and methods that should be mastered.

    There are a lot of books on management that can be read, but there is not one thing in them - your competitive advantage. After studying the popular management literature, you will become an ordinary manager - just like everyone else, you will not have competitive advantages. Such ordinary managers - even more than programmers.

    Regular managers are boring to ugliness. They write plans, set tasks, “dryuchat” for failing to meet them on time, control everything and everyone, “make decisions” and “are responsible for them.” But this is all the visible side. What lies on the surface.

    Within all of this, one thing lies - the desire to become indispensable , so that the system can live and work only if there is a manager inside it. This is clearly seen during the head’s vacation - he cannot turn off the phone and relax, because he himself artificially created a situation of his irreplaceability. Even a replacement person cannot manage himself to cope with all matters, and especially with decision-making, this great mystery, which is accessible only to the elect.

    Being indispensable is a traditional key advantage.which is increasing the leaders, which is very funny. If there are 10 executives in a company, then each has one unique feature that is called the same - “I am indispensable”. The name is one, and the indispensability is different.

    This approach - the creation of its indispensability - can also be attributed to steroids, although it is somewhat better, because the process’s working capacity is usually ensured. Even sometimes work on efficiency is carried out, but with an indispensable condition - the system should work, only while the head is inside.

    In fact, this approach does not create any competitive advantage, since all competitors are the same. It turns out only competition between "a system with this manager" and "a system without this manager." The second option will lead to temporary system failures, so try not to resort to it - you have to wait until the new manager rebuilds the system for themselves.

    For companies, such approaches of managers have long been familiar, and they have long been ignored, they simply intuitively try not to change managers too often. Even research is done on how expensive it is to change managers. It is really expensive, because not only the manager is changing, but the whole system that he personified.

    Main algorithm

    In short, you need to be proactively different in something that is understandable and valuable to the decision maker - the person who makes the decision on the position you need.

    Singing in the choir and dancing at corporate parties will probably help to distinguish themselves, but I don’t remember the decision makers for whom singing and dancing matter. Pat, maybe even on the shoulder, and this will all end.

    To understand the value system of decision makers, it is necessary, first, to find it . Look at the history, ask around colleagues, and the best thing is to watch what is happening inside the company for some time.

    Understanding the value system of decision makers, you will see that it is completely normal. Usually this person wants to be free from some kind of pain., and better - from all at once. And it does not depend on his own level in the company's hierarchy: if he is a manager, then he is always full of sores.

    A little different thing - the owners. Their difference is that their diseases are more real , and not fictional, like those of managers. The owner, for example, has no need to cover up his ass, but all managers have one. Therefore, if your decision maker is a manager, look at what his ass usually burns and think about how to get rid of it. But if you work with the owner, do not waste time on his ass - you need to cover it from such problems, which are usually beyond the power of the programmer.

    For example, I worked in a factory, submitted to the findir. Findir wanted me to quickly switch to 1C. What the general wanted? I don’t know, didn’t think about it. I thought that I had two decision makers, but I had to work with the finder. Moved to 1C for a month, the financial officer was happy, but Gender put some kind of left guy above me and called him CIO. Why?

    Firstly, I incorrectly determined the decision maker - it was not worth waiting for the finder to go for me to harness.

    Secondly, I did not know the system of values ​​of Gender, and did not try to find out, but simply made a projection - as if Gender wants the same thing that the Findir wants - a quick transition to 1C. It turned out that Gender does not know what 1C is, why go somewhere, and the main value of IT for him is the Internet and Wi-Fi working for him personally throughout the plant. And I sincerely considered Wi-Fi as a secondary task, and did not pay attention to it.

    As a result, the former sysadmin became the CIO, and he wasn’t able to run away and restart the router himself.

    As you yourself now understand, the decision maker rarely hurts anything at the level of a document, a report or even a subsystem, so you cannot reach the top in such ways. It is unlikely to make a career by doing purely programming - no serious pain can cure this.

    It usually hurts more comprehensively and extensively, and it sounds like something like “mess in the warehouse”, “sales and purchases cannot agree,” “terrible discipline, you cannot achieve the execution of the task”, “new products are developed very slowly”, “production is constantly idle due to deficits. " As you can see, purely programmatic methods such pains are not removed.

    Hearing and understanding these pains is easy - just start listening and watching , and not talk or wait for a task.

    The fact that the pain, usually talk often, but in fragments - on the particular cases of problems, jambs, losses, failures, etc. There is no such thing as saying “our pain is right here,” usually. Therefore, we must learn to compare the information independently, by fragments, group it and form a common opinion.

    If you are not lazy, the understanding of real pain will become a habit, and you will constantly understand that it does not allow the company to develop. What is important is that others will not understand this, because they do not have such a goal. They will focus on current tasks and problems, fire issues that require immediate and, as a rule, manual intervention.

    System problems, rather than momentary ones, require a real solution, but nobody wants to mess around with system problems, because no one knows how. The ability to solve systemic problems is a blue ocean for careerists.

    When the pain will be clear to you, it remains to choose which one to start with and try to solve it.

    How to choose

    I consider the situation when you solve a system problem for the first time.

    Criterion number one - do not tackle the most important and critical problems . First, no one will give you. Secondly, the high cost of the risk of error will constantly put pressure on you, and fear will not allow you to act in any effective way.

    Criterion number two , optional - it is better to take on cross-functional problems - those that are not inside a department, but at the border. These are interaction problems usually.

    The point is that interaction problems are usually no one to solve. Theoretically, all business analysts, organizational development directors and other vermin should deal with this, but in most companies they are stupid and they are not able to do anything in the minority.

    Actually, these problems are so urgent that no one takes them. The border between departments is almost always a draw, no one is responsible for it .

    And second, if you decide to solve the internal problems of any department, then with a probability of 99% you will be sent into the distance by his boss. When you become a certified business programmer, then the head of the department will call you himself, but for now do not meddle. The motivation of the boss is simple - if some kind of bloke came to you to solve your problems, then you have managerial impotence. And who wants to live with such a diagnosis, known to everyone around him?

    Criterion number three - take what no one else wants to take . You do not need competition at the initial stage, because it will divert time and effort.

    Criterion number four - take something for which someone has already taken, but did not win . If you succeed, then you will show yourself in comparison . If those who did not succeed are managers, then you automatically become in something better than them.

    And the last, fifth criterion - do not touch the external problems of the enterprise , your goal is internal, systemic contradictions.

    Most managers think that sales, markets, marketing and the like crap are of key importance for the development and growth of an enterprise. If you understand, acknowledge and agree that the key problems lie within the business system, and then learn how to solve them, then you have almost no competitors.

    External problems seem tempting, but long ago they turned from tasks into excuses like “optimization of business processes is all garbage, the main thing is that there are a lot of customers”. And since no one can bring a lot of customers, the situation remains unchanged. Blame the fact that there are few customers, especially no one - everyone will be discouraged that this is the external environment, there are no methods and techniques, there is some magic to know, the mystery of sales, you need a guru or Master Yoda, and similar nonsense.

    The easiest way to make sure of this is to fix attention on the situation when demand begins to exceed supply, and this happens in almost everyone. Here they are, the customers, to the absence of which everyone nodded, when they did not want to deal with systemic problems. What then sales do not grow? Why do customers who have led refuse to work with us? Why do delivery times fail? Product quality is not competitive? Is the cost higher than the competition?

    Here managers begin to solve real problems, and clients begin to scatter. We still didn’t have time to think up and change anything in the business system, as the fire is already over - there are not enough customers, there’s no need for optimization. They run like a dog by its tail.

    How to implement

    When chosen, you have to do. Here, alas, there is no single recipe - you need to know and apply a variety of business programming methods.

    In general, business programming is not in order to build a career as a manager, I am generally against managers as such. But I myself built a career with business programming, and I know for sure that this is a very simple and exciting way. No steroids can compare with him.


    If reluctance to mess with the problems of other departments, and want to build a career, then you always have a siding - business programming inside the IT department . I often used this opportunity.

    The IT department is always full of problems not related to programming. Organization of work, motivation, efficiency, cost, interaction with customers and users, project management, procurement, services, even what no inventory management is. We can say that the IT department is the whole company in miniature.

    But the main thing - you are already inside . Just choose and upgrade.

    Just remember one thing - your work should sound like abstract management.. As if you are not a programmer, but a business programmer, or a manager or consultant who is not tied to the functional specifics, who was invited to solve the problem of the IT department. This after all occurs in life, agree? When the name is Chmyr from the outside, so that it improves your work. Why wait for this Chmyr, if you can try it yourself?

    The buzz is that there are no obstacles and competition, no need to negotiate and argue with anyone, assess risks and engage in shuttle diplomacy. Just take and do, remembering that you will need to sell this result as a manager .

    For example, make it so that user tasks are solved faster, for example, twice. Immediately put the measurement system - stupid from the date of submission or acceptance into the work until the date of coordination of the result by the customer. And start working on reducing this time.

    When you reach a steady decline, sell your result. Write a letter, or several, to different people - for example, heads of departments. Or decision makers, if found such. Director, owner. Often there is some sort of thing like a separate question box for the director - and go in there. Briefly, succinctly, with numbers in graphs and a description of the main managerial techniques. Word of mouth use - in the smoking room, dining room, minibus - tell about what you have done. Without boasting, not aggressively, just as an interesting fact. There will surely be people who will remember this, and among them are those who will make a “repost”, and it will reach gender.

    I was so with the introduction of Scrum. Implemented, sped up twice, wrote a letter. Relations with Gender were strained at that time, he did not react. Then he somewhere in the managerial sources heard about Scrum, read a book, was impressed, wanted to learn more and ... remembered me. He came suddenly, looked at the board, asked a few questions, saw that everything was real, and our relations became sharply positive - I became one of his pivot points in the changes.

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