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

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Effective IT habit No. 9: Don't be a jerk

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You might be a brilliant coder, but if nobody likes you, your head is on the chopping block.

"Personality goes a long way when it comes time to make cuts in an organization," notes Nathan Letourneau, director of marketing for PowerWise USA. "Companies prefer people with positive attitudes and a good work ethic, even if they aren't as highly skilled as another. Don't be a pain in the butt or overly negative. This isn't to say you shouldn't speak your mind, but just make sure you're respectful when doing it."

Managers like to get rid of the troublemakers and malcontents first, says Engel: "It's the person that makes the work environment better that gets promoted and is the last to leave in a layoff."

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