5 Steps to Advance Your IT Service Career
DO YOU NEED SOME ADVICE ON HOW TO ADVANCE YOUR IT SERVICE CAREER? HERE ARE SOME CONCRETE STEPS TO MOVE FORWARD.
Every great figure in IT service has been in your shoes. You could be just starting out as a technician or analyst. You could be an IT service manager looking to make the leap to CIO. Regardless of your status, there are key steps that every person takes to successfully grow their IT service career.
It can feel daunting to set a plan around career advancement, especially if you’re inexperienced. But, if you want more control over the direction of your career, you need a plan to do it.
Here are five key actions that will help you organize your IT career growth efforts:
1. MAP OUT YOUR CAREER PATH IN IT
IT is a massive industry. There are countless directions you can take. Do you want to be a COO at an enterprise-level MSP? Or would you rather be an IT Director at a SaaS startup? Or maybe just pivot entirely to software development?
Ask yourself these kinds of questions, get to know the different job titles and descriptions available, and create a plan for the direction you want to go. Don’t forget to review that plan after each step forward and adjust if necessary. You should have a living career plan, not a static one.
2. LEVEL UP THE NECESSARY TECHNICAL SKILLS AND IT KNOWLEDGE FOR ADVANCEMENT
You probably already know that technical skills and expertise are mandatory for working in IT. In fact, they are a requirement for most entry-level IT jobs. But, having the right technical skills is paramount to moving up. For example, if you want to manage a support team that primarily services AWS servers, you need to demonstrate a strong background in both cloud computing and server maintenance.
After you’ve mapped out your career path, research the necessary technical certifications and skills you need to move forward.
3. PROVE YOUR MASTERY OF YOUR ROLE IN THE SERVICE TEAM
No matter if you are currently at an entry-level role or a manager-level role, there’s more to IT than just pure technical expertise. In fact, in a recent survey, over half of CIO’s cite communication or problem-solving skills as main drivers to career growth.
Project management, people management, and change management are just a few examples of soft skills that IT professionals should master before moving into an upper-managerial role. There are professional certifications like ITIL and Agile, which can help you move forward.
With these skills in tow, you will better understand how to demonstrate maximum value to your team and prove yourself worthy of moving up.
4. TAKE STEPS TO DEVELOP YOUR PROFESSIONAL NETWORK
Even if you aren’t currently planning to leave your company, it’s important to stay connected with your IT peers. Having an active professional network gives you a better chance of quickly landing on your feet on the chance of a layoff. A recent survey shows that the majority of people find their next job through networking.
Beyond job security, your network can help you achieve other professional goals as well. Your professional network can keep you informed on up-and-coming trends in the IT industry. They can help brainstorm possible solutions to business and IT problems that your team is struggling with.
5. CARVE OUT YOUR THOUGHT LEADERSHIP IN A SPECIFIC NICHE
As you are moving forward in your IT career, you will naturally start to gravitate towards an IT niche. It could be email server maintenance. It could be service automation. Whatever your niche is, it’s important to recognize and self-promote your thought leadership in that area. You can do this through a variety of means such as doing public speaking at events or publishing insightful blog articles.
The career benefits from establishing thought leadership are akin to networking. When you are recognized by your IT peers as an expert, people will start to search you out for answers. When the whole industry sees you as an expert, it’s much easier to land on a higher leadership role. You can also have a positive impact on your organization by being a thought leader.
These are only just a few steps you need to take to advance in your career. Make sure you stay informed of the latest trends and push yourself to keep learning through trusted information hubs.