How to Build a Successful IT Career

A man in a suit with professional pose

You prob­a­bly just left off a sem­i­nar where you met with senior devel­op­ers in their expen­sive design­ers and the exot­ic sim­plic­i­ty that exudes from all these “techie guys.” They are in their ear­ly twen­ties, and their suc­cess sto­ry inspires you. Run­ning through your mind are thoughts of whether it would be worth it in the end. You won­der when you will fin­ish debug­ging your codes and how much you dream of being a DevOps devel­op­er or a prod­uct man­ag­er. You want a suc­cess­ful IT career, but you can­not deci­pher your UI from UX. If this is you, this career coach­ing piece is a good place to begin.

As you already know, tech­nol­o­gy is a diverse and dynam­ic field with some of the biggest job prospects in the world. The IT field opens doors of oppor­tu­ni­ties for peo­ple across var­i­ous fields, and any­one can lever­age these pos­si­bil­i­ties to cre­ate an amaz­ing career.  Accord­ing to the US Bureau of Labor sta­tis­tics, the tech job mar­ket is expect­ed to grow at approx­i­mate­ly 13%. There is also a pro­ject­ed addi­tion of near­ly 700,000 jobs from 2020 to 2030. In Cana­da, the pro­jec­tion is a 5.3% growth in the next five years. With thou­sands of new entrants year­ly, there is room enough for every­one seek­ing a career path in tech.

So, let us get right to it. How do you build a suc­cess­ful career in IT?

Learn the art of soft skills

The play­ing ground in tech is lev­el­ing and accom­mo­dat­ing for new play­ers with­out the tra­di­tion­al uni­ver­si­ty degree. IBM’s CEO, Gin­ni Romet­ty, described “new-col­lar job” as one requir­ing soft skills learned through non­tra­di­tion­al edu­ca­tion paths. These jobs hire poten­tial over expe­ri­ence. They, how­ev­er, require tech­ni­cal and soft skills like lead­er­ship, team­work, work eth­ic, and crit­i­cal think­ing. Hir­ing man­agers are on the look­out for these skills, and they can be key to tak­ing you to your next role.

Become a specialist

The tech indus­try is vast, and many career options are avail­able, from gen­er­al­ist to spe­cial­ist. The tech world is immense. Research­ing and under­stand­ing var­i­ous roles and oppor­tu­ni­ties would help you fig­ure out which career path you want to take. Spe­cial­iza­tion puts you in a bet­ter posi­tion than oth­er tech pro­fes­sion­als. You may decide to be an expert in React, Angu­lar JS, cyber secu­ri­ty, data sci­ence, appli­ca­tion devel­op­ment, and soft­ware devel­op­ment. Spe­cial­iza­tion in tech posi­tions you for a suc­cess­ful tech career. A spe­cial­ized pro­fes­sion has less­er com­pe­ti­tion than a gen­er­al­ized one.

Improve your learning curve

The indus­try keeps chang­ing every day, and if you are not on the move, you could be stuck in the past when the future kicks in. You have to keep abreast of indus­try trends and be will­ing to adapt to changes. Update your knowl­edge and learn new­ly imple­ment­ed indus­try prac­tices, tech­no­log­i­cal advance­ments, soft­ware and hard­ware chal­lenges, and solu­tions. The field is dynam­ic, so you should upgrade your skills to con­tin­ue learn­ing irre­spec­tive of your level.

Get feed­back! This is a great way to keep improv­ing. Feed­back would let you know what you are not doing right and what you need to keep doing right.

Pick a career coaching mentor

Two seated women looking at macbook

The val­ue of hav­ing a men­tor in your IT career can­not be empha­sized. You might run into a few prob­lems some­times. These men­tors are vet­er­ans who have faced sim­i­lar chal­lenges and found a way out. Even if they are unable to pro­vide imme­di­ate assis­tance, they are cer­tain to have con­tacts who can. Elite careers offers you an exec­u­tive career men­tor­ing ser­vice. We have excel­lent coach­es that can pro­vide per­son­al­ized men­tor­ship to aid your career development. 

Be a leader

Tech com­pa­nies are on the look­out for prob­lem solvers – fron­tiers of ground­break­ing inno­va­tions. Being the next big thing in the indus­try stems from being able to take the ini­tia­tive and dis­play­ing good lead­er­ship qual­i­ties. The world is full of chal­lenges, and tech has spear­head­ed major solu­tions to glob­al prob­lems. Being a leader does not nec­es­sar­i­ly imply man­age­r­i­al posi­tions. Lead­er­ship is the sim­ple act of tak­ing respon­si­bil­i­ty and ful­fill­ing the ide­al team play­er position.

Build a strong network

Four women seating on a couch with two laptop

Your net­work can define the lev­el of suc­cess of your IT career. From rec­om­men­da­tions to inspi­ra­tion, the ben­e­fits are lim­it­less. Your net­work should con­tain experts in your field, man­agers of tech orga­ni­za­tions, and fel­low pro­fes­sion­als at your lev­el. Learn about what oth­ers in your net­work are enthused about in their orga­ni­za­tions, and fol­low their updates on LinkedIn and oth­er rel­e­vant social media platforms.

Join com­mu­ni­ties of like-mind­ed pro­fes­sion­als. Vol­un­teer for group projects as it allows you to show­case your skills. This can help for future rec­om­men­da­tions for more promi­nent roles.

It is easy to get lost in the crowd in the tech world, but IT offers you immense poten­tial to make a suc­cess­ful career. Apply these list­ed prin­ci­ples, devel­op good habits, be con­sis­tent and stay on course to achieve an out­stand­ing career.

Our career coach­ing ser­vices are the best in Cana­da. You can choose to apply for an exec­u­tive career coach­ing which offers you a more per­son­al­ized approach to your career devel­op­ment. Today, speak with our experts at Elite Careers for a prag­mat­ic career coun­selling ses­sion. We would love to hear from you.

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