1. DO NOT get comfortable on old technology. Keep moving. Keep current. It hurts a LOT less to upgrade now, than to wait for later.
2. Patch, Patch, Patch the fuck out of your environment until there are no more patches left to be applied. I apologize for the expletives, but it’s really that fucking serious.
3. Test EVERYTHING in an isolated environment.
4. Document EVERYTHING. Use internal commenting wherever possible (Group Policy, AD, SQL Agent Jobs, scripts, etc.)
5. DO NOT EVER grant admin rights to anyone using their standard login. EVER.
6. Log files – Learn them. Know them. Live them.
7. Find a hobby. Anything. Get your mind into a separate creative channel after hours and on weekends.
8. Ask “Why?” as often as possible. Especially to yourself.
9. Respect the coffee. All hail the coffee.
10. Take it seriously, but not too seriously. (tip: envision describing your worst IT problems to the kids pictured above)
11. Have you finished patching yet?!?!