Strategize and Prioritize: How to Get Ahead in the IT Industry
Technology is changing at a lightning fast pace and it is important for anyone interested in a career in IT to stay as up to date as possible. Regardless of your focus or experience, knowing where the industry is leading the workplace is essential. How can you stay up to date with information technology and use that information to keep one step ahead of your competition in the job market? Here are some resources you should tap into.
- Work with a mentor. Look for someone within the industry who is also knowledgeable and up to date on the latest trends in technology. This person can help answer some of your most important questions, become a sounding board, and even allow you to learn from their career mistakes.
- Join a trade organization. An organization dedicated to your specialty will always stay up to date on the technology that most applies to you. They will have in-person networking activities, seminars, lunch and learn events, and even organizational newsletters that can help keep you on top of these trends.
- Follow blogs from industry leaders. Some of the biggest thought leaders in IT are taking to the blogosphere to share their insights and knowledge. Follow these blogs and interact with them. Blogs may, in some cases, be better than books for learning technology since they are an immediate media source.
- Tap into social media. You should also follow these leaders as well as big companies on social media. Be sure you have a presence on LinkedIn, Facebook, and Twitter to get the most out of this platform. Follow individuals, blogs, and companies and join discussion groups.
- Use Google Alerts to get the latest news. Google offers the ability to allow it to do your research for you. Use Google Alerts to create emails for yourself that bring the latest trends, articles, or information about IT right to your inbox.
Once you have these resources at your fingertips, you need to establish a strategy to use them effectively. Start by looking at your specific needs. What kinds of information will benefit you the most in your career? Once you have that knowledge you should tap into the resources that will help you specifically. Then, prioritize them based on this information. You don’t need to read everything every day or else you will be paralyzed by information and never be able to take action. Finally, make sure you set aside time in your schedule to absorb and then use this information.