Career advice: Why are my suggestions ignored?
Premier 100 IT Leader Jacqueline Lucas also answers questions on working with a negative person and the factors that influence a career
Ask a Premier 100 IT Leader
Jacqueline M. Lucas Title: Vice president and CIO Company: Baptist Healthcare System
Lucas is this month's Premier 100 IT Leader, answering questions about having your suggestions taken seriously, working with a negative person and the relative importance of education, experience and relationships in a career. If you have a question you'd like to pose to one of our Premier 100 IT Leaders, send it to email@example.com.
I'm always making suggestions, almost all of which are ignored by my boss. I've been here long enough that we have started implementing some of the things I suggested years ago, but only because everyone else now does things that way. I feel frustrated. I don't want to be a manager myself, but boy, would I like to be the guy who makes decisions! What I'm wondering about right now, though, is whether I could learn to be more influential or if I just need a new job and a new boss. You should consider how you are presenting your suggestions. Are you tossing them out casually with little preparation? Are you offering to help champion, manage or implement suggestions or just throwing them out, hoping the supervisor will take them on and make them happen?
My recommendation is to vet each suggestion with colleagues before presenting them, to assess their feasibility. Then prepare a brief document outlining the suggestion and how it could be accomplished and present it to the boss with an offer to participate in the implementation. This sends the message that you are serious and have done your homework, and it should elicit a response.
You have to understand that there are circumstances that can prevent a manager from implementing a recommendation -- applicability, risk aversion, financial constraints, competing priorities, etc.
And, of course, the decision to leave a position is a major one and should be made based on many factors, including career path, job market, location and family needs.
I often have to work with a very negative person. I deflect the complaints as best I can, but it actually wears me out to be with him. What can I do? One approach would be to take the co-worker aside and, in a caring manner, say that it is obvious he is unhappy and you would like to know how you could help to make things better. This will not only open up a dialogue, but also let your co-worker know that his attitude is noticeable. Sometimes people don't realize how they are perceived. However, you must be ready to listen to the person and offer some constructive solutions and assistance.
What has been most helpful to you in your career: education, experience or people? Can I chose all of the above? All three areas have played a major role in my career at different times, with education dominating early in my career and experience and relationships with people more important most recently.
More Ask a P100 IT Leader columns
- Career advice: 3 up and coming IT roles
- Career advice: Positioning yourself for big promotions
- Career advice: Kicking your career off with no experience
- Career advice: Learn from your mistakes
- Career advice: Moving into Internet security
- Career advice: What separates leaders from managers?
- Career advice: Do IT pros need to know about business?
- Career advice: Initiating change from below
- Career advice: Where to focus? Data, data, data
- Career advice: Moving to the public sector
Read more about IT Careers in Computerworld's IT Careers Topic Center.
- 2014 IT Workplace Trends and Salary Guide Staying competitive in the IT market can be challenging. This guide provides you with insight into variety of IT workplace trends including, U.S....
- Comprehensive Advanced Threat Defense The hot topic in the information security industry these days is "Advanced Threat Defense" (ATD). This paper describes a comprehensive, network-based approach to...
- Advanced Threat Defense: A Comprehensive Approach In this interview, Peter George, president, General Dynamics Fidelis Cybersecurity Solutions, explains why we need more than anti-malware, and what constitutes a comprehensive...
- Market Overview: Digital Customer Experience Delivery Platforms Forrester states that businesses today struggle to understand and use the tools necessary to create and manage unified, multichannel digital customer experiences across...
- On-demand webinar - 7 Keys to Service Catalog Implementation Success Watch this webinar to learn 7 crucial keys to make your service catalog a success!
- Transform Your IT Service Management Watch this webinar, to learn how EasyVista can increase IT productivity & efficiency and deliver streamlined & integrated IT Service & Asset Mgmt. All IT Careers White Papers | Webcasts
Our 28th annual survey results show which IT skills are in high demand and which are cooling off. Also, see how your salary stacks up to peers' with our Smart Salary Tool.