Do you want to improve your IT career?
With every day going by, technology is becoming a bigger part of our lives.
It is constantly evolving, therefore the expertise required in the IT sector change quickly.
In order to stay on top of your IT prospects, you should always learn and develop new skills.
We have collected the best ways you can do that and have a successful IT career!
The advices you are about to read are given by proven specialists with successful careers in the IT sector.
Mary Shacklett who is the president of Transworld Data, a technology research and market development company.
John Reed is the senior executive director of Robert Half Technology which provides a broad range of services such as systems integration, networking, database development and so on.
Now we are heading straight forward to the recommendations of both professionals!
Starting off with Mary Shacklett, here are the top 10 advices she could give everyone who wants to boost their career in the IT branch.
1. Find advantage in every situation
To explain this, Shacklett gives an example with her own self.
In the beginning of her career she wanted to focus on the technical side of IT but she has always been very communicative.
So, she got assigned to either training or documentation.
In the process though she discovered her ability to understandably explain technologies and applications to users and businessmen.
This skill helped her climb the ladder and become valued.
2. Read about the business
Reading corporate annual reports may sound terribly boring but according to Shacklett it would help you learn more about the business and understand it better.
This way you will be able to get on top wherever you start working.
3. Take a course in sales or marketing
Yes, we have not forgot what we are writing about – it is still the same article about the IT sector you have been reading.
But having the ability to talk decisively and sell your ideas is a key one and will surely serve you well.
Another advantage of taking a sales or marketing course is that you will step out of your comfort zone.
As cheesy as it sounds, we all know it is true that there is no better way than that to improve yourself!
4. Work on your communication skills
Shacklett advices to volunteer to make a presentation or a lead a meeting, no matter how terrified you might be of it.
By doing this you will stand out as a leader and be prepared for a management role (if you are aiming for it).
5. Engage with a failed project
Unfortunately, it happens sometimes a project to fail.
However, you can challenge yourself and take on it in order to make it work.
As Shacklett says, it has already failed and the only way it could go is up.
Therefore you should not be afraid – take the risk and prove yourself, as well as your boss, that you can turn it into success!
6. Look for mentors
In every sector there are skillful and creative people who you can learn a lot from.
A mentor will always share both their knowledge and experience and will guide you when you feel lost.
If you have the chance to have a mentor, get it immediately since it will help you not only professionally but also personally.
7. Remain present
The quick development of technologies overall makes it a bit hard to stay on the same place.
It requires constant changes and new skills.
So, it is good to take any courses, read periodicals or take part in trade groups in order to stay up to date.
Of course, this is valid not only for your professional but also for your personal life.
When you have a lot of contacts, more people will be aware of your competences.
This will make it easier for you to get into the business.
9. Win-win for everyone
Individuals love to win and feel successful.
A crucial skill every project manager or IT executive should have is the ability to make people work with passion.
When the team gets along, there is a desire for work and at the end the project succeeds, every member of the group will feel accomplished.
10. Give more
In the last advice Shacklett recalls an event – a senior app programmer wrote each app based on the user’s specifications but thereafter he added something a bit more he knew would be useful for the user.
By giving more than you are asked to, you will please your customers and this is impossible to remain unnoticed!
In turn, John Reed gives only 5 advices for ways to enhance your IT career but they are just as valuable! Some of them overlap with Mary Shacklett’s, while others are a bit different and even – on the contrary of hers.
1. Master a new skill
Reed agrees with the old saying that you can not stand in one place – you are either going up or down.
This is very accurate in the IT sector since technology is evolving all the time.
In order to stay current, you have to develop new skills that correspond to the new needs.
We live in a time when all kinds of classes and courses are available on the market, so you should definitely take advantage!
By becoming certified you add a new asset in your CV and become more competitive.
2. Take on more projects
Shacklett advised to take on failed projects and turn them all around.
On the other hand, Reed’s opinion is that you should volunteer for any additional projects.
Surely, you will have to work extra but it will make you more qualified.
This will result in your value for the company getting bigger.
Thanks to the project you may also network with more people from your job which can always be beneficial!
Last but not least, you will prove yourself as a person who can be trusted.
Exactly in the third advice is the big difference between Mary Shacklett and John Reed.
While she advises you to get a mentor, he suggests:
3. Become a mentor
It is an amazing professional recognition to get the opportunity to guide your heirs.
You have to spread what you have learnt by your professional experience and help the mentees understand your motives, goals and the steps toward achieving them.
It is guaranteed that you too will learn a lot of new things in the process.
4. Comfort zone – jumped over
Always challenge yourself with what scares you the most.
No matter if it is making a presentation, taking on a project or representing your company on a meeting.
Jumping over your comfort zone will make you the better professional you dream of being.
5. Look for feedback
Be broad-minded and open for new ideas or suggestions for improving your work!
It is important to know how your managers view you as a worker and how do they evaluate your skills.
Once you have received feedback, you will be able to work on further development of your communication skills, ability to work in a team, approach to problems and their solving.
Moreover it is a good idea to ask questions about your presentation over it is over – for example in what ways it was helpful for your audience.
Next we will present you a list with the 6 computer skills that are in a very high demand these days.
Being eager to constantly learn new things and master new skills is a key step in whichever are you decide to specialize.
You have to be proactive, communicative, ready to talk but to listen as well.
To get a feedback, even if do not like it, has to serve you as a motivator to grow and improve your competence.
If it is hard for you to do it on your own, find a person who will motivate you and guide you in the right direction.
The advices given by the professional Mary Shacklett and John Reed are extremely valuable since they can be useful not only for the IT profession.
You can use them as guidelines for your personal development as well!
So, read them again if you have the need and get the work done!
It is 100 percent sure you won’t have any regrets after the positive outcome!
Author: Ilina Stoyanova