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5 Ways to Make Yourself More Marketable in IT

Photo Credit: FishPhotog via Compfight cc

Photo Credit: FishPhotog via Compfight cc

Today we are going to talk about how you can make yourself stand out in a field of qualified technology candidates. When you can do this you will have your pick of the options. There are a lot of jobs out there but following these 5 steps you will have the pick.

Understand the big picture

 Most technology professionals focus on their piece of the pie. I started as a Java developer and focused on the application too much. Once I realized how important that everything must work together to serve the business then things make sense. I began to understand first how our IT team works together to achieve business objectives. It can’t be the developers vs the DBAs or whatever else. We are one team.
Looking back I remember a feud between a few developers and DBAs and how we wasted time trying to prove one another wrong. It was really childish of us and wasted a lot of precious time and money. The business is the key driver, not the technology. I have been guilty of thinking it was the other way around and that can cause your career to stall.

Have a development plan

When you get into technology I am always amazed at the professionals who don’t keep up on their skills. Technology skills become outdated quite quickly as the pace of change comes pretty fast. One great way is to develop a plan of what things you are going to work on. I have identified a few technologies to focus on for 2016. As the year comes to a close it is a good time to look and see what you can add to your repertoire.
Of course everyone has jokes about the technology people who can’t carry on a conversation with anyone. I was amazed when I heard from someone who works for a major financial services firm was told, “IT doesn’t talk on the phone they only do emails.” Okay, there is some good material there… Seriously though technology professionals need to develop their soft skills. That is why I developed these programs. So please don’t just focus on the technologies or you won’t be very marketable.

 Take a chance on a Future skill

 We need to take chance’s as we look at what skills will be big in the future. Even if it doesn’t pay off chances are you will learn something. Sometimes you can take a chance on something and it will really pay off. For instance, I know people who were web application developers and when the iPhone first came out decided to learn iOS development and it paid off handsomely. Of course not every new skill you learn makes you marketable, but I guarantee you will learn a lot.

Get involved in a User group

You can learn a lot from the people you work with everyday. To broaden your experience more, it is good to get involved in the local user groups. This can be a wonderful avenue for you to meet people who work with similar technologies and have different or more experience. Also, you can work on your soft skills by presenting to the group.

Learn to explain technology

I have met only a few people who are really gifted at explaining the technology. This skill is highly coveted and is in great need at many companies and organizations. As things like the cloud, big data, and many others develop educating the rest of the business becomes even more essential. Some new technology won’t be used by the business unless someone can explain it to the masses.

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