I've been in IT for over 20 years. I started as an intern running around to hundreds of computers, ensuring they were ready for the coming apocalypse known as Y2K. I then moved into an analyst role, then a senior analyst as a team lead, and now I am in management.
With every position, I've noticed one constant: there is always a problem to solve. No matter if it's impacting one customer or thousands, there is always a problem to solve. Early on in my career, I decided I was going to help our customers by solving those problems, big or small. I thought if I can help out one customer and share the solution with my team, I could be helpful.
I was helpful. I helped my customers and my team - I was adding value. The more problems I solved, the more value I added, the more valuable I became. The more valuable I became, the bigger problems I solved. It was a cycle.
Adding value made me valuable.
Understanding this cycle and following it consistently brought new opportunities. It brought new problems to solve for customers - new ways for me to add value.
I found this to be consistent in work and in life. New problems are always popping up. We solve one and the next shows up. The next opportunity to add value.
Don't underestimate the value you provide in solving one problem for someone. To you, it may be a minor problem, but to that person, it may be the enigma of a lifetime.
Everyday, seek to solve each problem, share the knowledge, and tackle the next.
Seek to add value today wherever you are and you will be essential.