Are you at the very bottom of the career ladder and hoping to climb it as quickly as possible? Or do you feel stuck at your current level with no idea how to break the glass ceiling? Whatever the issue is, it’s always the right step to come up with a career development plan. Even more so in an industry as competitive and fast-paced as IT is. Here’s what you need to do.
Consider Professional Career Coaching
The best thing one can possibly do for a successful career in any field, including IT, is to hire a career advice expert. No one knows about all the available career resources and ways to land an interview more than a professional. So it’s a great idea to get professional help and invest in your career using the best cover letter writing services and, ideally, a career coach who knows everything there is to know about recruiters.
Assess Your Current Standing
Career experts can help job seekers craft a winning resume that will pass resume-scanning software and write a perfect job application. They know what an average recruiter and hiring manager in IT is looking for and can help you land the job even if you don’t have tons of work experience.
However, you can totally succeed even without a professional career coach as long as you have all the key skills and aren’t afraid to apply for ambitious positions. The number one thing you need to do is assess your current standing. Look at your salary, experience, and qualification. How do they compare to those of other IT professionals in your field? Are they enough for you?
Decide Where You’d Like to Be
The next thing any IT employee needs to do is think of their career dreams and ambitions. Before you try to get more interviews, you need to have a clear vision of what position you’d like to occupy, what kind of employers you want to work for, and what you’d like your ideal job to look like.
Think everything through, including whether you’d prefer to have an online job or work at the office. Make sure to consider working hours and salary as well. Most IT professionals can easily work remotely. It’s a great industry for any applicant looking into a digital nomad lifestyle. There are exceptions, though. So do pay attention to the industry trends and how they affect you.
Identify Your Barriers
Then, think of how you can bridge the gap between where you are and where you hope to be. Browse LinkedIn and look at other job seekers with your specialization. If you’re going to look for a job on LinkedIn (which you should), consider hiring a LinkedIn resume service to make sure your profile looks impressive enough to recruiters.
If you see that you lack certain education, skills, or experience, it’s a good idea to get them before changing the job. It’s smart to invest in your career now so that you can count on more money, responsibility, and flexibility in your next position. Once again, an IT career expert can help.
Consider Getting Certification
One of the best things IT professionals can do to streamline their career growth is to get IT certification. Even if you have a degree, an IT certification is an awesome way to improve your expertise and add appeal to your resume (or LinkedIn profile). Here are a few highest-paying and most in-demand options to look into:
- AWS Certified Solutions Architect
- Certified Cloud Security Professional
- Certified Data Professional
- Certified in Risk and Information Systems Control
- Project Management Professional
Obviously, which one to choose depends on your knowledge, experience, and interests. But you can totally find the certification that fits your goals and expectations.
Think of How Your Network Can Help
Building a successful career in IT isn’t just about the job seeker’s education, skills, and accomplishments. As is the case with most competitive industries, it’s important who you’re in contact with. So one of the best things any IT professional can possibly do is build and sustain a vast professional network.
Knowing the right people opens new doors for job seekers. For example, if you know someone in the company you’d like to work for, they can give you invaluable advice or recommend you to the hiring manager. So don’t neglect to meet your colleagues at various events and add everyone potentially helpful on LinkedIn.
Make Sure Your Career Goals Are S.M.A.R.T.
Finally, look at your goals (it’s always better to have them in writing) and analyze them. All decent goals, including career goals in the IT industry, must be S.M.A.R.T. This means:
- S. – Specific. You know what it is that you want exactly.
- M. – Measurable. There are specific criteria and performance indicators that you can use to assess your progress (for example, income).
- A. – Attainable. It’s possible to achieve what you want.
- R. – Relevant. What you want short-term makes sense for your career in the long run.
- T. – Time-bound. You know when you want to achieve what you want.
Ultimately, it isn’t all that difficult for an IT professional to create a career development plan. But it does require thoroughness and serious self-reflection. Make sure to analyze your current position and identify the barriers that prevent you from doing better career-wise. Develop a list of S.M.A.R.T. goals. If possible, hire a career advice expert who specializes in IT to help you.