Growing Your Career in IT: Balancing Progress and Busy Schedules
Taking the next steps in your IT career can be challenging when you have a busy schedule. By integrating actionable steps into your routine, you’ll be prepared when the right opportunity comes along without feeling rushed. Here are tips from our IT recruitment team to help you set up a routine that propels your IT career forward.
Do your research.
If you know you want a change in your IT career, the first step is clarifying what you want that change to look like. Schedule 15-30 minutes into your day for a week to research new opportunities. Kick off the process by scanning through job boards. Keep an open mind about job titles and delve into the descriptions. Also, take time to research IT career trends to gain a better understanding of which jobs are in demand now and projected to be in demand in the future. Jot down any commonalities you notice among the jobs and trends that appeal to you most. If any key job responsibilities stand out to you, make a note. If specific job responsibilities capture your attention, jot them down. Look beyond the obvious. Say you envisioned a move into management, but find solo tasks resonate more with you. This insight is invaluable for shaping a career path that ensures long-term fulfillment.
Maintain an up-to-date resume and referral network.
Discovering a job posting that resonates with you is exhilarating, but the thrill can quickly fade when you start thinking about the tasks you need to complete before applying. To maintain excitement and make applying easier, we recommend creating a schedule for updating your resume, LinkedIn profile and referral network. Start by choosing a day on your calendar to tackle your resume and LinkedIn updates and reach out to your professional contacts to ask if you can list them as referrals. Establish a dedicated schedule for revisiting these tasks in the future. While there’s no rigid timeline, aiming for a review every six months is a great starting point unless your circumstances call for more frequent updates.
Sharpen your skills.
In the ever-evolving IT industry, improving your skills as best practices change can help you stay competitive in the job market. Start by pinpointing the specific skills you aim to broaden that align with your career growth objectives. This can be done by researching industry trends and consulting with professionals in the IT field. Once you’ve identified these skills, explore various resources such as online courses, workshops, or certifications to acquire them. Break your professional growth tasks into manageable steps by focusing on one task at a time to ensure a strategic and effective approach. Avoid working on multiple certifications and courses at once. This will help you not only stay ahead of the curve in the ever-changing IT landscape but also create a sustainable path for your continuous career advancement.
Grow your network.
Building and maintaining professional connections keeps your name top-of-mind with other industry professionals and helps you stay informed about industry trends and upcoming opportunities. Research IT networking opportunities in your area and create a networking routine that fits your schedule. This may look like joining a specific networking group that meets monthly or attending one-time events and conferences. Consider how much time you can devote to networking with your current schedule and hold yourself accountable to the schedule you set. When attending events, look for ways you can help others in addition to how you can expand your career. Be intentional about fostering relationships by offering assistance, sharing insights, and expressing genuine interest in others’ professional journeys. Regularly revisit and adjust your networking schedule as needed to align with your evolving career goals and maintain a consistent presence in your routine.
Achieving career growth in the IT industry requires a strategic approach that balances progress with a busy schedule. By setting aside time for career development, acquiring new skills, and enhancing your professional profile, you can create a path for continuous growth. Just keep in mind, it’s the consistent work and staying dedicated to your professional growth journey that’ll bring about those meaningful results. If you are beginning your IT career research, check out our IT job board.