It’s that time of year again – many Millennials have just finished getting their degrees and are looking to enter the workforce. This is especially true for the large amounts of 20-somethings that flock to the IT industry in NYC. As these young professionals look to enter the job market in this unique nad expanding industry, there are important things for them to keep in mind that those that have traveled this path before them, have learned along the way. While a resume or connection will get you in the door places, it is your other skills and strengths that will help you to expand and advance your IT career.
Even though you think your degree is complete, one of the best things you can do as you progress in the IT world is to continue your education – be sure to attend classes, get specialization certifications and read up on all the happenings in and around the industry. You really can never stop leanring and recognizing this is one of the pillars of having a successful career in an ever-changing field.
That being said, networking is key – no matter what industry or job field you are entering – and is something you must continue to do at all stages of a career, whether you are employed or not. Going to meet-ups and industry thought-leadership events around the city are key to meeting new and interesting people that are leaders in the IT and tech worlds – not to mention they can turn into mentors and of course, even future bosses.
By going to these events, you will also hone another important skill: communicating. Many IT and tech professionals get lost in the industry lingo and ins and outs of the back ends and builds. However, the biggest reason that many IT projects fail is due to miscommunication and misunderstanding between the tech and non-tech professionals involved. Keep in mind that the end users of the projects and products you are involved in are not always the most tech savvy but will be the ones who determine the success.
Finally, never lose your entrepreneurial spirit or drive. This is a quality that is critical to have in an industry where many jobs are contracted by project on a short-term basis. Of course there are full time positions out there but even the executives hiring for those are looking for candidates who are self-motivated and willing to think outside the box to find success. Doing side-projects and taking the initiative to start projects outside of your day-to-day jobs speaks more to your drive and determination than anything you could list on your resume. This is what will ensure a lengthy and prosperous career in the IT field.