Setting Career Goals for IT Professionals
Making progress in your career over the course of your lifetime is all about identifying and achieving your goals. This can be tricky when you need your goals to be relevant and specific but aren’t really sure how to go about setting them.
Here at CareerWise, we recognise that goal setting can vary between industries, and making the most of your own potential often requires a more streamlined approach. Read on for our guide to setting career goals for IT professionals.
What Are Your Career Goals?
Identifying and setting goals that work for you can be a very helpful way to focus on your career development. Consider the following questions carefully to help you in this process:
- What do you love? Following a career path that you are not passionate about is a surefire route to disaster. Think carefully about what you love to do, and what excites you about the role you are in. Consider the different areas of your chosen field and look at the roles within these areas to widen your scope and find out where your motivation really lies.
- What is on offer? You can’t decide what sort of role to pursue if you aren’t really sure what is available, so it pays to keep an open mind and be prepared to look outside the box. The IT industry changes very quickly and you’ll need to keep abreast of the technologies and systems that are leading the way in your field as well as informing yourself about the roles that are opening up.
- Are your goals SMART? Setting goals that are open-ended or non-specific is not a good use of your time and will not yield the results you want. Considering each long term goal that you have, you should be able to break it down into smaller chunks and create a manageable process of steps to get you there. Every goal should be Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant and Timely.
- Are you building your brand? Whether you are creating your brand as a developer or your career image in another area of IT, you need to consider how you are presenting and packaging yourself. Networking is a vital component of building your brand, and becoming a recognised speaker will be invaluable in your career development. Making the most of social media platforms such as Twitter and LinkedIn can be a great way to maximise your impact.
- Are you committed? If you’re not prepared to commit to your career progression and put in the effort required, you are unlikely to see the benefits you would like. Committing to your goals may be easier if you work in conjunction with others and ‘check in’ with each other on shared or similar goals. You may find that a mentor or coach is more helpful in keeping you accountable and pushing you to stay on track. As an IT professional, it will be useful to find a mentor or coach within this field so that he or she understands your specific needs and stumbling blocks. Being accountable to yourself is essential, however, and you should cultivate a routine that involves a disciplined approach to this.
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