IT Professionals: 5 Tips to Drive Your Career to Success

 

Seven of LinkedIn's most sought after jobs for 2017 are technology specific - Site Reliability Engineer, Technical Program Manager, Data Engineer, Scrum Master, Software Engineer, Data Architect and Analytics Manager. According to 2016 reports from LinkedIn, Opportunity and Upwork, 27 of the most in demand skills were IT related. These range from cloud computing to UX design to Wordpress development. New opportunities and new IT roles are being created all the time. Technology is a hot field and will be for a long while.

There is no better time to supercharge your technology career. Below are five ways to improve your career prospects whether you're in the field now, freelancing or if you're transitioning into IT.

Pick up the Pace at the Office

After a year or two in the same position, look for new challenges within your company. Those with technical skills can benefit from assuming more business-oriented roles as a project manager, product manager or technical writer. People who can effectively communicate business needs to the technology team are some of the most valuable people in any organization.

This benefits you by exposing you to areas outside of the IT bubble. You'll learn more about business operations and process - the whats and whys of business. You will steadily improve your soft skills like time management, presenting and communication, it’s a signal to decision makers that you take career development seriously.

Set New Records

Jack Welch, General Electric's legendary CEO and business maven, was asked what his secret to success was. He replied instantly, "Find out what your boss wants and then over-deliver."

Select one task or project from your assignments. It doesn't have to be a time consuming task or effort. If you're tasked with drafting a software requirements document, talk to more end users and stakeholders outside of IT. This leads to a better-rounded and complete analysis. Consistent excellence does get noticed.

Add to Your Trophies

The Internet has been a blessing to personal and career development. Long distance learning has exploded in recent years. Companies are more open to recognizing certificates earned from attending Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs) like Coursera or dedicated online learning platforms like Pluralsight.

Busy people can take courses at their own pace and schedule. Pluralsight covers the full spectrum of technology skills - development, operations, systems, design and analytics. Online developer classes are open to all levels of knowledge and experience from career changers to seasoned developers learning a new language.

Fine Tune Your Social Media Engine

Did you know that LinkedIn is used by 9 out of 10 recruiters looking for specific technology skills? Social media when done right can be the growling engine that gets you across the finish line again and again.

Make a point to keep your LinkedIn profile updated with any new skills learned, certificates earned or professional events attended. Set up a Facebook group geared towards your professional interests like Agile development or user interface design. Whether serious or tongue in cheek, it does show commitment in your chosen field.

Speed Up Networking

The purpose of networking is to allow you to show what you can do to as many people as possible over time. It's not confined to attending industry events, joining peer get togethers or browsing through online job listings. Contribute to a group project on the GitHub repository. Offer to test desktop software and mobile apps by independent developers for free. It's all about making contacts that can lead to other contacts.

Technology is the goldmine career of today. Take the time now to plan your goals and objectives and steer your career in new promising directions.

 

By: Lizzie Weakley