12 effective habits of indispensable IT pros

Ditch the slackers, take on dirty work, do it with data -- here's how to get the inside track on a highly rewarding career in IT

"I boosted my career by starting my own company," says Lowe, of Innovator LLC. "I doubled my take-home pay immediately, set my own hours, and got to work on really interesting things with highly motivated people."

The notion that a "successful career" implies a steady progression of higher-paying jobs within a company or industry just doesn't apply any more, he adds.

"A successful career today is a journey on which you discover and do what you love," he says. "If that happens to be offering businesses innovative ways of changing their work flow to achieve new levels of productivity and efficiency, that's great. If that happens to be giving guided tours of canyons in Utah (instead of applying the advanced math degree you earned at university), that's also great."

When you're out on your own, being indispensable means solving problems and letting others reap the rewards, Lowe says. "That's pretty much the essence of my consulting career. I innovate, they prosper, we both win. The next time the client has a challenge, they call me first."

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This story, "12 effective habits of indispensable IT pros" was originally published by InfoWorld.

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