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5 Essential Soft Skills for IT Career Progression

5 Essential Soft Skills for IT Career Progression

Posted on January 31, 2017

5 essential soft skills for IT Career Progression

Stop overlooking soft skills. While some IT candidates brush them off as insignificant, that’s a mistake. Especially if you have your sights trained on the top. Employers want soft skills - more than you know. Facets like good communication, problem-solving and emotional intelligence are in high-demand - and those who wield them are well-positioned to climb the career ladder.

It goes without saying that solid technical skills are important to any IT role. You have to be armed with the knowledge required to nail your daily tasks. But technical skills will only take you so far. To progress your IT Career, your soft skills may be even more important than your technical acumen.

Here are five high-demand skills you should sharpen to aid your career progression:

1. Communication

Here’s a quirky paradox. We live in the age of instant communication. But good communication skills are increasingly hard to find. The higher you progress in IT, the more likely it is that you will have to communicate complex technical concepts with a diverse selection of people - everyone from clients, to the c-suite, to the people who still think IT is some kind of apocalypse-coaxing black magic.

Good communicators adapt to the context: the people they are talking to, the environment they’re in and the objective of the interaction. Think of a leader that inspires you. Chances are they are a savvy communicator. That’s not a coincidence.

2. Adaptability and initiative

Smart employers across all verticals are finally waking up to the transformative power of IT. It’s not beyond the realms of reality that the future of your employer’s organisation could depend on your leadership and guidance on technical strategy - at least in part. You need to adapt to the nuances of your industry, recognise the challenges and demonstrate how IT can be leveraged to hit business targets.

3. Problem-solving

Because that’s what IT is. Isn’t it? Spot the problem. Find an elegant answer.

4. Unflappability

IT problems can bring an organisation to its knees. You are responsible for fixing it. You have a to-do list that’s the length of a Roman scroll and your seniors continue to heap demands on your shoulders, without understanding the complexity of what they are asking. Sometimes every way you turn in IT, there are new stresses and challenges.

You have to be endowed with the glacial-like coolness to prioritise and remain focused on the task at hand.

5. Positivity

It’s easy to moan in IT, isn’t it? Nobody truly understands what you do. Or respects your rigorously-acquired knowledge. Sigh, you’re just so misunderstood. Then you realise: every type of job, in every type of profession, has its moaners. Moaning is a choice.

Stop being so sensitive and rise above. And make no mistake. This is about more than leaving your ego at the door. Positivity begets positivity. Organisations thrive on it. HR people know that, which is why they look for positive people when it’s time to recruit.

Over to you...

Two things to conclude.

One. There are plenty of free courses and resources online designed to help you improve your soft skills that’ll help boost your career prospects. So, sharpen, sharpen, sharpen. A willingness to invest your time in improving your soft skills is a great thing to mention at interview.

Two. Remember to promote your soft skills at every stage of the recruitment process: CV, cover letter, interview. You name it. And when you do, try to quantify your soft skills or explain them in the context of how they helped you overcome a challenge or solve a problem. Make it tangible.

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>> 5 CV essentials for IT or developer roles >> 5 IT interview questions you should prepare for >> Getting a job in the West Country as a web/software developer >> How to prepare for a job interview

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