Rock Solid Tips for IT Career Growth

climb IT career ladderIt wasn’t so long ago when there was no such thing as IT departments. These days information technology is a huge part of business. Plus, the future looks bright for growth and opportunity in information technology going forward.

Sure, there is economic uncertainty - that is true. However, information technology isn’t going away. Technology has been thoroughly embraced as a way for organizations to improve and become more effective. 

That means IT professionals need to be sharp. They need to be prepared to jump on opportunities for career growth. It’s going to be an increasingly competitive world, but opportunities for career growth will present themselves. Be ready.

Tips and Advice for IT Career Growth

Mind Shift: Tech is No Longer a Sector

In an article released earlier this year by, several IT executives were asked about top IT job skills in 2014. Pete Kazanjy, co-founder of TalentBin, said that tech will steadily emerge into all kinds of jobs. Here’s what Kazanjy had to say:

“One of the biggest trends in 2014 will be the continued uptick in demand for technical talent, but more broadly across the entire economy, and not just siloed in its own ‘tech’ sector. Technology is ceasing to be a ‘sector’ on its own, and is instead becoming more critical in every industry.”

This is a mind shift that IT professionals need to embrace. Technology is being used to drive business. Since the role of technology is playing a larger role in daily business activities, it would be wise for IT pros to deepen their business acumen in order to maximize opportunities that result from this trend.

Social Media’s Influence on Job Getting

Whether you like it or not, social media isn’t going anywhere any time soon. In the article mentioned above, Phil Foley, Senior VP of Communications for NanoTech Entertainment, talked about the role of social media as it pertains to career opportunities. He said, “A lot of employers are using social media to do extra research on potential hires. It gives you a much quicker insight into receiving and analyzing a resume in order to see what the person is all about. That will not stop. It will continue to grow.”

The reality is that companies are using social media to research potential talent and new hires. They want a better understanding of the person behind the resume. You can use this knowledge to your advantage by using social media in a smart way. At the very least, do not allow social media accounts to negatively impact your chances at career growth.

In addition, social media will be used to supplement and fortify resumes more and more. Imagine a resume that uses social media to link to examples of work, LinkedIn recommendations, news articles, videos, online presentations, lectures, and more.

It’s All About the Talent, Baby

You need to understand this. It’s simple but very important. According to an article from US News & World Report, organizations are “obsessed” with talent. In fact, they are focusing on talent by adding new practices in hiring, developing, and retaining talent. This goes for interns all the way up to executives. Sharpen your skills and be totally committed to improving your talents (and making them known).

Wellness Matters

Nearly every adult is aware of the changing landscape in healthcare costs. With the potential for big increases in healthcare costs and concern over the effects on everyone involved, organizations are becoming more concerned with wellness and preventative care. According to China Gorman, US and Global CEO of the Great Place to Work Institute, “Healthy employees are more productive and present at work, but also more productive and present in their personal lives as well.”

So, here’s the deal. The better your personal wellness, the better prepared you are for career growth. This may not be popular with some, but it’s simply a reality. Wellness matters more and more to companies and organizations. 

Know Where the Opportunities Are

The old saying is an old saying for a reason, because it’s true. In order to catch a fish, you have to go fishing where the fish are. In terms of career growth for information technology that means knowing the industry hiring trends. It means knowing and anticipating what the IT job market will want. What kinds of talent and skills will organizations desire? 

The good news is that this information isn’t a big secret. The IT industry is always publishing the trends. Just doing a quick search online turned up an article that outlines 8 hot IT skills for 2014.

It pays to keep your ear to the ground and…

Network With Peers and Fellow IT Professionals

This seems like common sense, right? Okay then. Are you doing this well? Are you doing this at all? It’s easy to fall into your routines and forget to network with peers and other professionals. It’s amazing where good conversations can lead. You could be discussing how you solved a problem with a fellow IT professional and exchange cards. A week later your phone rings and they tell you how impressed they were with you and let you know about an opportunity that sounds perfect for you. IT pros love technology, but a good conversation can be irreplaceable.