5 tips to kick-start your IT career
Need a new challenge? Or want to advance in your current job? Nothing is worse than feeling stuck. Fortunately, IT is a sector that never stands still for a second.
Companies everywhere are looking for new talent and motivated IT professionals. The following five tips will not only keep you relevant, but also give your career a refreshing boost.
1. Consider learning as a story without end
Until the beginning of the last century, lantern cutters were a common profession. But as streetlights were connected to the power grid, the demand for professionals also gradually decreased. In IT, experts in certain programming languages seem set to suffer the same fate soon. Although some obsolete languages, such as COBOL, do have future potential, developers need to evolve with the trends and languages of our time.
Those who do not want to emerge as the lamplighter of the 21st century should, therefore, remain committed to upskilling. The biggest mistake you can make is thinking you know everything. Especially in a rapidly evolving sector like IT. Depart as much as possible from the knowledge you have and explore new applications that companies are looking for. Or focus on other areas and stake out skills that you find interesting yourself. Lifelong learning is the message for every professional anyway.
2. Make communication and other soft skills your asset
Soft skills have been a buzzword in recruitment for several years. Especially now that it is becoming increasingly difficult for organisations to find the one and only white raven, they are looking for peo-ple with the right attitude and skills such as problem-solving or critical thinking, teamwork and lead-ership. These are all skills that you do not or only partly acquire during your years at university and therefore need to develop further in the workplace. Therefore, try to work in a team as much as possi-ble and dare to show initiative during projects.
One of the most important soft skills revolves around communication. Of course, as an IT profession-al, you don’t have to write a literary masterpiece, but it pays off if you are able to draft clear emails and express yourself verbally. Especially if you have to communicate with the board or with other users in the company, it is important that you learn to listen to expectations and can translate a tech-nical explanation into clear words.
3. Embrace new technology and automation
Recently, we have been overrun with new technologies, such as Generative AI. Those who handle this in a smart way can only extract the true added value. A good example is a software developer who writes and tests code on a daily basis. By leaving repetitive and time-consuming work to AI, this person can spend more time listening to user feedback and put emphasis on increasing the quality of appli-cations and software.
So definitely don’t avoid these kinds of developments, but try to learn more about them and figure out how to use them in your domain. Not coincidentally, data analytics and AI are currently among the most in-demand skills among employers.
4. Build a professional network and choose a mentor
This tip may sound like an open door, but we cannot emphasize enough the importance of network-ing. On the one hand, connections within your own organisation will help you explore future career paths. And on the other hand, external contacts will ensure that you stay up to date on trends. For example, join a community where you participate in discussions and answer questions. This way, you raise your profile and appear on the radar faster when an interesting project presents itself some-where.
A mentor can also give your career a boost. The most successful leaders will always say that they owe their careers to two factors: hard work and good mentors. A mentor helps you identify and achieve goals. And again, it is the perfect person to further expand your network.
5. Don’t linger within company walls
Nearly the whole of society runs on IT applications. So there are plenty of opportunities to use your skills outside the traditional work environment. Think of projects that offer you opportunities to give something back to society and introduce you to completely different sectors. Or take part in a hacka-thon, a concept in which teams develop solutions to challenges and problems in competition. This way, you will once again work on your soft skills and the end result will always be a nice addition to your CV.
But of course, above all, do not forget to provide sufficient free time as well. After all, in IT, there is always a job to be done. A healthy balance between work, leisure and development is therefore the best basis for boosting your IT career.
Are you ready for a career switch? Or are you looking for your first job in IT? Then CHRLY Belgium definitely has something to suit you. Discover all our vacancies and apply today!