Finding Allies

Do you remember the song “A Little Help From My Friends” by the Beatles? I remember it so clearly as it was one of my father’s favorite songs. I remember in elementary school having the chorus teacher tape a bunch of my friends and myself singing it as a birthday gift for my father. It really is a great song with a great message – you need a little help from your friends.

Your allies are your friends. On Wikipedia, allies is defined as: people, groups, or nations that have joined together in an association for mutual benefit or to achieve some common purpose, whether or not explicit agreement has been worked out between them.

It is so true because at first I didn’t know about the term accidental techie. If you are reading this blog, it is probably because you have some sort of relationship with me or you have contact with one of my allies that has recommended me. It is a prime example of allies at work.

When trying to transition from the accidental techie to the purposeful techie, I rank allies as being just as important as having advocates. This is your emotional support group, others in the trenches just like you, and people who just get “it”. You know that you can vent, rant, complain, cry, and celebrate with them – and that it’s ok to do that. You may have never crossed paths with these allies if it wasn’t for the fact that all of you are/were accidental techies.

I was lucky. I didn’t have to try hard to find my first set of allies. The Bayer Center for Nonprofit Management at Robert Morris University did the work for me. They created a group that now are my Bagels and Bytes friends. At first I wasn’t sure if I felt that good in the group. I wasn’t sure if I was going to stay with working in technology. But now, I regret when I have t miss a meeting one month and if I miss too many months in a row, I make it a point to make it an absolutely have to attend.

These allies helped me to admit that I wasn’t an accidental techie any longer. I had to hear it from them first – someone from the outside looking in at me. They have me leads on articles that supported my thoughts that after years of being accidental you aren’t accidental any longer. They were the allies that got me connected with NTEN. They opened up my eyes and now I feel like I have to participate so I can be among the allies that others in that group rely upon.

I’m going to keep this post brief and I hope for comments on it. I always look for other examples of allies out there. I do see them differently than advocates because I do believe you can get too many advocates. However, I don’t think you can ever have too many allies. The more allies you have, the more connections you have – the better you are.  So please comment on other groups that have become allies for you. I’ll share more on this in the future – I have plenty to talk about when it comes to allies!


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