If you’re a tech professional, you probably know the big steps you can take when it comes to growing your career: earn a degree, earn a certification, or learn a new programming language.
However, there are also small, granular ways you can advance your career that don’t require large investments of time and money. Consider the small steps and habits you can use to grow your IT career.
Identify Your Motivation
Identifying your career motivation is a simple approach to ensuring you are growing your career in the right direction. Your motivation may not necessarily be the same objective of a particular position, but there ought to be something in your work that makes your feel valuable. Motivation could also be the sense that your job is contributing to something important. For example, if you’re in software development, your purpose could be making the lives of everyday people easier.
When you feel like you’re working toward something bigger than yourself, it’s easier to get up and going every morning. When you can tap into an internal motivation, it makes you more willing to tackle a difficult project or pursue a certification.
Understand Your Ideal Jobs
Establishing your “dream jobs” is vital to advancing your career. But simply targeting the highest-paying or most high-profile jobs is just the bare minimum. A key next step is to research the necessary skills, experience, and other job requirements for your target roles. For instance, you may discover that you need a graduate degree or leadership experience for certain jobs.
Also, it helps to understand projected job growth for your target jobs. Getting to know people in your field who are further along in their careers can lead to some valuable real-world advice.
Be Active in Your Community
During any career, it’s easy to lose direction and plateau. One of the best approaches to keep forward momentum is to engage in a peer community. People within a healthy community can inspire and challenge each other to reach new heights.
When looking to engage with a community, try to find people who have similar values and desire for growth. Dedicate time to networking both in-person and on social media. Regular meetups can be either social or more professional in nature. Either way, it’s important to open your mind to new ideas and expand your horizon.
Don’t Fear Failure
Those who tend to see failure as a learning experience are more likely to achieve success in the long run than those who avoid failure at all costs. These people get comfortable with taking strategic risks and they are willing to make themselves vulnerable, both of which are essential for professional (and personal) growth.
Track Opportunities in Growing Tech Fields
The tech industry keeps growing, diversifying, and evolving. Some areas of tech expand rapidly while some are holding steady or even shrinking. Focusing on expanding fields can increase your potential for advancement. Some the most rapidly growing tech fields right now include data science and machine learning.
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