A key to earn the spotlight in the IT field is dynamism. In IT Success there is no constant room for technology and one must have the adaptive skills to survive on this hefty profession.
Although it seems forever to make a big leap from your current career, you can actually add minute actions in your day-to day activities not for the purpose of intentionally upgrading your career but to relish in the field itself. This will help you become more comfortable with the IT environment and your positive experiences will serve as building blocks for a bigger position- in such a way where both your life and work meet halfway.
On a career development seminar I attended long time ago, one speaker told us that to be a topnotch programmer, one must learn to program his mind first. He meant that every IT specialist should invest his life on this field alone and set aside other fields. Although it’s somewhat rude but I realized later it’s a fact and that I must be ready to give up my other careers (animation, literary writer and filmmaker) since I’m after for the success on this profession. It’s just like marrying and serving only one master. The speaker also added that one should set specific target to achieve on the field and accept everything not as challenges but mere enjoyments and friends of the mind. Well, he’s primarily saying that because as an entry- level IT specialist, an impressive portion of graduates are leaving the field thinking it has nothing to offer but pure mess and complexities of the mind.
Top positions in IT require gradual development and each learning experience serves as building blocks for your successful future career. If you think you are doing same repetitive tasks everyday and can’t find any light for boosting your career, hunger yourself with the new technologies and learn all new things day by day. Do not pace your learning process so fast and focus on the details. Digest every unit of information on the technology you’re studying and fit it to your learning style.
For the year 2014, here are some suggestions on how to earn the spotlight in IT, that is simply 5 Keys to IT Success to shine on in 2014.
1. Evaluate the current status of your career by reflecting yourself honestly how far have you stand out among your other colleagues. Are you the leader of the team or just a go-with-the-flow employee taking commands from your master? If you’re the latter, think of ways to advance your skills and spend more time alone. List down your forte on the IT field and study your weaknesses. Clear your confusions and let go of self- doubt. If you think you can’t do this alone, talk to a mentor who can either be a close friend or colleague close to your heart. You can also interview your team leader about the previous challenges he had overcome and make him your inspiration.
2. Offer solutions instead of complaints. In the team, do you see yourself as a solution- provider or a contributor of a heap of problems? If you’re the latter, quickly shift yourself and strive hard to be the former. Although work is commonly attributed with heaps of problems, being a solver of the team’s problem will help you become an asset of the company thus, bringing you closer to the upper management. However, this is not an easy “switch case” job so you have to add extra efforts to achieve it. The catch of fun would be talking to an expert and asking for corporate problems or real case studies. After intensive analysis of your own, present to him comprehensive sets of solutions. This means solution one, two or as many alternative solutions you can generate. You should also be able to identify the root issue and suggest preventive ways to resurface the solution.
3. Create a robust framework to breakdown project tasks. Not because you are just asked to report for a specific module means you are excused from seeing the bigger, more complex picture of the project. As part of the team, you have to immerse and know more about the project in general. Through it, you can suggest healthy solutions to lessen its complexity without being a mediocre team member. This is possible by creating your own framework you think is healthy enough to withstand the biggest possible conflicts down to the smallest. In creating a framework, you should learn to strategize and conduct in-depth SWOT (Strengths, Weakness, Opportunities, Threats) analysis and accurately gather all information related to it.
4. If you’re already on the upper management, do not be selfish enough to not care on those who are under your management. Serve them the best way you can by providing the necessary resources to help them succeed. This can be in terms of development seminars, career upgrade orientations or work tools. In doing this, you are not just enjoying the opportunity yourself but are also accounted for the success of other people which also means your own success as a leader. On the other hand, the same principle should also apply when negotiating with clients. You should be honest on your deliverables and regularly report the progress you make in each phase of the project. This does not just empower them but you are also supporting yourself in the long run.
5. Learn to create opportunities for yourself by hungering yourself with it. If you can’t seem to find one then create it your own. Seek problems from the biggest corporations and make opportunities out of it. Learn to oversee and compare your company to other firms and seek for possible improvements you can make to change the current system. This can advance not just career as an employee but also to the company in general. Do not limit yourself in the corners of your establishment but instead, learn to establish and open your mind the door of opportunities outside.
Ariel Magno (@martinyhael)