If there was ever a time to do an awareness check on your situation and make sure your career – and employment – is in the “safe and moving forward” zone, it is now.
“In this economy” has become the preamble to all sorts of reminders of good advice on how to survive and thrive. Let this be another one! With that said, here’s four ways to keep your job and maybe even do a little advancing this year:
Dust off your communication skills. It’s time to start speaking up in those horrifying status meetings. A sure sign of being overlooked by management is to glaze over like a donut in the back of the room while they drone on about what features are being pushed to phase two. Ask questions, make suggestions, and bring new ideas. It matters less what you say and more that you try. Trying gets noticed, and the noticed get remembered.
Improve your visibility. Meet and converse regularly with the key decision makers in your department. Ask your boss how else you can help. Keep your ears out for opportunities to pitch in on other projects. Keep the project manager updated on your status. Be positive in all interactions while you’re at it.
Ask for feedback – and use it. Ask your project manager and/or boss how you’re doing. Ask what can be improved or what skill sets your department needs to sharpen or gain. If you’re not sure how to obtain those skills, ask for training. Even if you are sure, ask for training. If you get feedback of a personal nature, do your best to make the changes suggested (or implied). Overall, it is important to show that you are acting on feedback instead of just soliciting it.
Continually educate yourself. Start by making sure you are staying current in you field. It could be as simple as attending the right conference and taking a few online courses each year to stay up on trends and keep sharp on new industry developments.
Next, look to add to your skills. A great way to add texture to your skill set is by obtaining project management skills. The new protocol in IT as of 2011 is to diminish costs and increase efficiency, and producers who are trained in project management are sure bets on how to do that. Why? Because chances are high that a project could be taken on by as little as one to three people and there aren’t enough project managers to be had for such small teams. If you’re a hardware or development geek who was just handed a two-week or two-month project to work on you need to be your own project manager – and you better know how to do it well.
- Our brand-new Android Development Training Program.
- ITIL training courses.
- Project Management Professional (PMP) certification exam prep courses.
- Oracle training courses including Data Guard, Grid Control and Application Express.
- Our list of IT certification paths and included courses.