The IT industry is one of the most sought-after sectors in the entire world. This being the digital age, IT has found itself virtually everywhere. Regardless of its industry, no business can run seamlessly today without some degree of IT processes.
What this means to job seekers is that the demand is high for IT professionals. More and more youngsters commit to this new skill in their life, and an increasing number of people are leaving their well-established careers to try their luck in IT, with good reason too.
IT professionals earn good pay, and some companies offer excellent perks and benefits. Once established, you can find a flexible schedule that agrees with your lifestyle. This has become increasingly important as millennials see a good work-life balance as an important aspect of their career choices.
Another plus for the field is career progression. The IT field is highly dynamic and has tens of specializations. This makes it a great career option for people looking to get into a profession with significant mobility opportunities.
However, as with any other careers, there are some pitfalls you need to be mindful of if you want to have a smooth IT career:
1. Giving Into Complacency
The IT world needs focused experts who have learned the ins and outs of their job to maximum precision and are willing to keep learning more. If you’re already talented when it comes to IT and feel that everything is simply flowing your way, avoid the trap of believing you’ve reached the summit.
While it’s always great to have more than one skill and be good at cross-learning, companies will always appreciate professionals who have a laser-sharp focus on their chosen set of skills. Regardless of where you are in your career, make sure you are always willing to further your knowledge by taking additional IT courses. This type of structured information will soon show within your portfolio, making more collaborators interested in working with you.
Apart from this, if you’re looking to expand your knowledge and dip into other IT segments, courses are the best way to go. After all, curiosity is a powerful driving factor that can open many new doors to the future.
When you think about out, the IT field is very dynamic. This means information and processes become obsolete very quickly. If any organization you work for is to get the best of the advancements in IT, it then needs to have people on board with the latest skills and knowledge.
This is what you have to embody to get employment with enviable organizations and, most importantly, to keep your job and enjoy career progression.
Aside from formal training, respected tech publications are good resources for IT professionals as well.
2. Forgetting to Polish Your Soft Skills
The IT industry is portrayed as being the loner wolf’s kind of work sector. You go in; you do your tasks, you look nowhere else except into your computer screen and then go home, with barely having said a ‘hello’ at the water fountain. While this may also be true to some extent, the truth is that working in IT requires you to develop projects together with your team members.
This is why it’s best always to remember that developing your soft skills in IT is crucial for a soaring career. You will need to successfully work with your team, exchange ideas, accept criticism, and offer your own feedback, in turn, compromise and collaborate to execute a common vision. It also helps to be approachable as a person since people tend to avoid others who look closed-off.
Patience is also key in teamwork as results may come in delayed or imperfect the first time around. Additionally, clients may unknowingly require you to work on lengthier projects than they seem – patience will also come in handy here to explain your task involves plenty of effort.
Networking is also a key skill you will need to cultivate to grow your career. In time, you will find that leveraging your networks is just as important as hard work for career progression. Do not underestimate the value of someone putting in a good word for you to a potential or existing employer.
While it’s not necessary to downright be a social butterfly, you will need to be open to people, collaborate, and communicate. In time, you’ll polish these skills in such a way that they will effectively marry with your already strong technical skills. This is a recipe for success.
You will notice from looking at job adverts that soft skills are becoming just as important as technical skills in today’s workplace. Therefore, focusing on your career’s technical aspects and ignoring interpersonal skills is one sure way to paralyze your career long before it starts.
3. Forgetting About Your Biggest Accomplishments
As you evolve, get better at what you do, move from one job to the next, it may become easy to get sucked into the whirlpool of changes and forget all about the steps that got you to that particular point. This means you should always keep your accomplishments in high regard, especially when transferring to a new job.
Remember to highlight those certain accomplishments that were not only valuable to you but also to the company you previously worked for. Show what you did, supported the company in reducing costs and increasing revenue. This ability to showcase your own contribution to other companies may earn you a better paid and more attractive job and be a decisive factor in getting a raise. These are the three biggest mistakes you can make in your IT career, and, of course, the list doesn’t end here. These pieces of advice are also generally applicable, and, if taken into consideration, they may support you in having a smooth and flourishing career.