Taking responsibility for your own career is the best way to advance in the IT world. The uncertainties of life can completely change the direction of what company you work for or how long you work for them. As an IT professional, your skills are the deciding factor whether you advance your IT career to the next level. Here are the top ten things you can do to broaden your IT horizons.
1. Learn the IT Business
Even if your goal is to become a manager or executive in your field, take time to read quarterly and annual corporate reports. Once you learn what adds value to the IT business, you can add this knowledge to your portfolio anywhere you look for employment.
2. Take a Sales/Marketing Course
Sales/marketing is about awareness, perceptions, and communications. The key to business promotion is dialogue and being able to sell both yourself and your ideas. If you’re a person who prefers fulfilling tasks rather than one-on-one communication with people, take a marketing/sales course to learn all you need to know about the art of promotional sales.
3. Find Mentors
There are many highly skilled and creative people in IT who are willing to share their experience and knowledge. If the opportunity arises, don’t hesitate to be an IT expert’s understudy to learn your craft faster.
4. Stay Updated on IT Trends
Stay current on IT trends or other IT areas of interest. Numerous courses, trade groups and periodicals can help keep you updated with your IT course of action, even if your field of responsibility is rather limited.
IT pros tend to focus on logic and often see networking as irrelevant to their scope of work. Regardless of what your job description entails, you’ll need to master good networking skills. Advancing your IT career is really about promoting the value of your performance skills and ideas to a company, which helps you to negotiate your salary. Volunteer making presentations and leading meetings to prepare yourself for a supervisory role. Businesses are always looking for someone who can pitch IT technologies, applications and processes in a simplified way to outside stakeholders and end users. Explaining different aspects of IT in plain English may just be the key to advance your IT career from project manager, to IT director to CIO!
The more people you get acquainted with in the business, the better, since they can serve as a reference for a potential employer. Excellent individual performance is always essential, but so is exposure to those who can help you advance your career.
6. Make Everyone Successful
People naturally gravitate toward winners and like to feel they’re succeeding at what they do. This is why the best project managers and IT executives deliver so many successful projects and help people to reach their highest potential when emphasizing the importance of good teamwork.
7. Add That Extra Touch
Feel free to add a little extra service with every piece of work done, like providing a navigation shortcut for a screen, or providing a convenient function or feature the user will enjoy. The reputation will spread as the man or woman who makes a point of exceeding your users expectations.
8. Become a Support Ticket Enabler
Be the go-to person to help a user recover their files from backup or help a user restore their file from their desktop/documents. Follow-up with the user to make sure their system is in working order.
9.Volunteer For a Risky or Failing Project
It’s possible that the project you take on can become successful using a different method. Tackling a failed project proves to your company that you’re willing to challenge yourself by attempting to turn a failure into a success, thus helping you get noticed. If your project efforts fail, you’ll still gain valuable lessons in the IT environment.
10. Stay Optimistic
There may have been times when you felt trapped or even unappreciated for the work you do within your organization. The recommendation? Stay optimistic. Leave the data center behind and gain skills doing something else. In today’s hectic environment, an excellent system administrator could end up packing his or her box by tomorrow just because of a company’s quarter income statement. Taking control of your own career allows you to move on just in case the organization you presently work for doesn’t offer any opportunities to advance your IT career further.