Artificial intelligence, big data, and wearable technology are some of the latest trends that are expected to significantly impact the IT industry in the foreseeable future. Some of the fastest growing jobs in the US are software engineers and programmers. But, if you want to make it past the point of being an entry-level IT specialist and eventually succeed in this industry, then it will require more than just a college degree. Since technology is always evolving, long-tenured IT leaders have developed the right mindsets, along with many essential skills that make them indispensable to their employers. Future-proof your career by developing some of these traits along the way.
- Hands-on experience. Successful IT professionals know how to do many different things in the industry from direct experience. They don’t hesitate to explore the latest tools and resources as they become available and to try new roles. Teach others on your team by growing your technical areas of expertise without formal training.
- Technical skills. From cybersecurity and strong networking to firewall skills, and IT architecture, there are several areas of technical expertise to expand to in the field. Expanding your technical skills will give you more opportunities to advance and succeed.
- Constant learning. Your skills and strategies have to evolve along with the advances in the industry. There are a variety of convenient ways to keep up with all of the current trends, including going to conferences, reading white papers, and participating in online communities. Showcase your flexibility by volunteering for projects that can teach you new skills.
- Organizational IQ. Having a portfolio of advanced technical skills certainly provides a solid foundation to achieving success in IT. Yet, those people that are able to combine them with non-technical skills, like organizational knowledge, will have a definitive edge over those who don’t.
- Compassion. Even if it’s as simple as recovering a forgotten password, it’s important to avoid making customers or colleagues feel ignorant by always being considerate and listening to their concerns. Having these kinds of soft-skills will set you apart from others in the industry.
When you’re just starting out in the industry, your focus should be on skill development and building relationships. Instead of focusing on how much time it takes to fix a problem, concentrate on how to find the answer, and patterns in system breakdowns to make repairs more efficient in the future. From coworkers to clients, there’re a variety of different people that IT professionals interact with on a daily basis. It’s important to develop a professional persona in an effort to build relationships and learn skills from them that can help you get better at your job. Sometimes all it takes to get the promotion that you want is dressing the part, showing up on time and working hard while on company time.
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