11 Things IT Professionals Wish They Knew Earlier in Their Careers - InformationWeek

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4/6/2021
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11 Things IT Professionals Wish They Knew Earlier in Their Careers

What would you do differently if you had the chance to start your IT career all over again? We asked seasoned tech pros for advice that they would pass on, and here's what they had to say.
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Soft Skills Are Important

Image: Pixabay
Image: Pixabay

When Stefan Chekanov, CEO of secure messaging app provider Brosix, started his IT career, he was so focused on the technical part that he neglected building the soft skills that could have helped his career. "I wish I knew that being an IT expert requires a full package, especially if you want to scale up. A good IT expert needs to be proficient in the work but must be able to communicate well with coworkers or clients," said Chekanov. "When ignored, this aspect can significantly slow the work process and cause lots of misunderstandings."

Chris Bedi, CIO at cloud computing solution provider ServiceNow, had a similar experience. "To be successful, I have learned the importance of establishing clear lines of communication with every member of the C-suite and with employees of each department. This requires a completely different skillset and mindset than how things worked earlier in my career," said Bedi. "Stronger communication skills would have led to better outcomes with the work I was doing."

Kelly Walsh, CIO at The College of Westchester, learned it's important to be able to understand other people's point of view whether helping someone with a technical issue or working with senior management on a complex, critical project. "[Y]ou need to strive to understand and empathize with their experience. Not only will you be far more likely to earn that person’s trust and establish a strong working relationship, you will also open your own eyes regarding what it is like to be on the other side of that desk," said Walsh. "When you empathize and better understand the problems the user is trying to solve and how they impact them, you can often envision better, more effective and/or more long-term solutions."

Lisa Morgan is a freelance writer who covers big data and BI for InformationWeek. She has contributed articles, reports, and other types of content to various publications and sites ranging from SD Times to the Economist Intelligent Unit. Frequent areas of coverage include ... View Full Bio

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