How can one remain relevant in IT and maintain a long, prosperous career? Do you chase the latest tech trends and up-level your technical expertise accordingly? Or do you dive deeper into your current area of expertise?
My response tends to surprise IT pros because it’s not tied to technology. Instead, I recommend that they invest in sales and soft skills. I recently sat down with Matt Pacheco, Sr. Manager of Content Marketing at TierPoint, to talk about career development in IT. Matt wrote a wonderful piece highlighting the 8 career development tips for IT professionals here.
I’m not in sales means you’re not in business.
Sales skills are absolutely mandatory. Why? Because you need to be able to tell your story and sell your value. If you can’t convey your value to the business, your job may not be valuable enough. IT is in the business of supporting the business. IT professionals need to articulate their value on successful business outcomes if they want their careers to not only survive but thrive.
Soft skills are too cloudy.
What are soft skills? Soft skills can’t be measured through a technical certification or test. They include communication skills, collaboration skills, and all the feels skills such as emotional intelligence (EQ), empathy, authenticity, and genuineness. Soft skills are the great counterbalance to the pressures in IT.
Pressure pressing down on me
Being an IT professional means being under pressure that brings a cloud down, splits a team in two, and puts business on streets. We hold these truths to be self-evident that applications and systems inevitably fail and that threat actors continuously seek to breach organizations. Either scenario negatively impacts the business’ ability to make money. And we all know that the outcome of no income is going out of business.
When one chooses to walk the Way of IT pros, you are both hunter and prey. How you deal with the pressure along the journey is critical to maintaining a long and prosperous IT career. Help, sales and soft skills can. This is the Way.
Watch my full conversation with Matt below, you will.
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