As IT and project management professionals, your work life is constantly changing. Technology advances more quickly than anyone can keep up with it, and projects have countless moving and interlocking parts that are always in a state of flux. Despite this constant turmoil, it can seem like your career is not going anywhere. How can you combat this professional stagnation? Here are three career development tips to help you advance your IT or project management career.
1. Learn New Skills
One of the best things you can do for your career is to strive to make yourself the most valuable employee possible. Part of this is learning new skills. In IT especially, there are always new programs, languages, and applications being released and challenging the industry standard. Follow your sector’s news, read journals regularly, and keep abreast of any new developments in your industry.
Although staying up-to-date with your industry’s new technology is vital, you do not have to follow the latest trends to add new skills to your repertoire. Study up on programming languages you never got around to learning. Read about different project and risk management strategies that are common in other industries or regions with which you may not be familiar. A skill does not have to be new to the world for it to be new to you.
2. Improve Your Skills
Learning new skills goes hand in hand with improving your current skill set. When your career seems to be stagnant, redouble your career development efforts by evaluating your current level of proficiency in various skills and developing a plan for improving those skills. Figure out which soft skills, programming language proficiencies, or other attributes you have that you can work to enhance. You may consider studying formally and getting a certification, or you may decide to study independently. Going to workshops or taking classes online is one way to hone your skills and make yourself a more valuable employee.
3. Meet Other Industry Professionals
In most sectors, career advancement hinges upon who you know. Networking is essential. While you are improving your skills and learning new ones, put some effort into networking. Workshops and conferences can be a great way to meet senior industry professionals and peers, and mentorships can be invaluable for young IT or project management professionals. Expand your network as much as possible, and strengthen the professional relationships you already have.
Lewis-Price is an SBA 8(a) certified staffing company committed to providing solutions to our clients and teaming partners alike. We staff diverse, engaged leaders in IT, cybersecurity, program management, and training. We value integrity and intention. We provide you with engaged professionals ready to join your team. To learn more about our staffing solutions, please contact us at (703)727-9182. Follow us on Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn.