6 IT Career Resolutions - InformationWeek
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12/19/2014
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6 IT Career Resolutions

Resolve to polish your skills, value, and appeal in 2015 with these tips from recruiters and senior IT executives.
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The end of the year is the perfect time to make smart resolutions and tactical plans regarding your IT career.

But where to start? The following potpourri of ideas, suggested by HR and recruiting professionals, as well as senior IT executives, is a great place to begin.

But make no mistake, our list isn't only intended for those who plan to job hunt in the new year. A number of these practical tips will boost your visibility and value with your current employer, increasing the likelihood of bonuses and promotions in 2015.

If you are looking for a new job, be sure to check out our slideshow: 6 IT Job Hunting Dos & Don'ts.

When it comes to sprucing up your professional career, the key is to create an alignment between the needs of the organization (or marketplace) and your personal assets. Keep these two dimensions in sync to avoid spinning your wheels and wasting time.

For more on the realities of today's talent situation, see our in-depth report: The IT Talent Shortage Debate.

For example, simply having up-to-date IT skills isn't your end game. With today's flatter organizations and spotlight on better collaboration between the IT and business organizations, companies are looking for IT professionals with strong communication skills.

Employers want new hires who can work on teams, lead, solve problems decisively, and prioritize work, according to the results of a recent survey by the National Association of Colleges and Employers (NACE), a nonprofit group that links college career placement offices with employers.

The end of the year is also a perfect time to take an honest inventory of your IT skills, and be ready to augment them.

"Be sure to know what is your strongest technology skill, and two to three additional skills that you are comfortable with or actively learning," Joseph Yeh, a recruiter with Riviera Partners, told InformationWeek for a previous story about job searching.

"Depending on your specific skillset/job responsibility, get certified in one or more technologies you don't currently have a certification for," Erik Balkan, managing director of IT staffing and recruiting services company Modis, told InformationWeek in an email.

One way to update your skillset is to take one or more of the free massive open online courses (MOOCs) for IT professionals. A number of MOOCs now offer, for a nominal fee, a certification upon successful completion of the course.

So before you head off to your holiday celebrations, check out our slideshow and commit to taking some of these steps next year.

And if you have additional ideas for supercharging an IT career, let us know in the comments below.

(Image: khfalk/Pixabay)

Ellis Booker has held senior editorial posts at a number of A-list IT publications, including UBM's InternetWeek, Mecklermedia's Web Week, and IDG's Computerworld. At Computerworld, he led Internet and electronic commerce coverage in the early days of the web and was ... View Full Bio

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David F. Carr
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David F. Carr,
User Rank: Author
12/22/2014 | 9:19:06 AM
Re: Communication
If you take the Toastmasters suggestion, and I highly recommend it, I could use some contributions from anyone with web design or LAMP web development skills for my WordPress for Toastmasters project. Could be a good way to make your mark on the organization -- and will also provide you with a speech topic that others can relate to.
jagibbons
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jagibbons,
User Rank: Ninja
12/20/2014 | 9:34:22 PM
Re: Communication
Having a mentor (as well as being one) is a great way to learn and grow. If you can figure out where you need to improve, find someone who is an expert in that and learn all you can. In my experience, both the mentor and the mentee benefit from a positive relationship.
PedroGonzales
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PedroGonzales,
User Rank: Ninja
12/20/2014 | 11:25:12 AM
Re: Communication
I think having a mentor is really important.  If they are a succesfull person in their field. They can be a huge asset in showing you what is the best path to take in your career.  I'm thinking of taking a certification as well. I think this will help in my future.
laredoflash01
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laredoflash01,
User Rank: Apprentice
12/19/2014 | 1:20:55 PM
Re: Communication
All political correctness aside, CIOs have made technology nothing more than capital black holes. They have no vision, are arrogant, and are idiots to boot. Heaven forbid they hire a good ethical, visionary, that is smarter than they. Ergo, all the hackings, and breakins. These people are the equivalent of Wall Street. Presently, it's "The Cloud". Thank God I retire this coming year. I have won more battles than I have lost. I'm good with that. It's been a hell of a ride. Now, to write a book, do research, go sailing, and drink a cold beer.
jagibbons
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jagibbons,
User Rank: Ninja
12/19/2014 | 10:44:10 AM
Communication
Of all of these, I think the last one on communication is probably one of the most important. A great leader who can't communicate effectively isn't going to have very many followers. Anyone who is aspiring for leadership, whether on the org chart or as an opinion or innovation leader, the ability to communicate a vision with clarity and passion is paramount to success. At every level of IT career, improving your communication ability will have positive effects.
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