IT Pros Need Soft Skills Too
5 Soft Skills No Tech Expert Should be Without
The very best tech talent is in high demand and it’s estimated that will be truer than ever in 2017 –with IT being one of the fastest growing sectors. This does not mean that IT pros can rely solely on their technical skills. Hiring managers want IT talent that have the expertise to do the job, but they also want someone that is likeable, works well with the team, demonstrates problem-solving skills, and
In order to stand apart from the rest of the technical experts vying for your dream job in today’s competitive market, we suggest you take some time to strengthen the following key skills that when combined with your deep technical expertise, position you as a well-rounded candidate.
1. Communication Skills
If you are not able to clearly express yourself or make a business case in relation to your projects, it can be very difficult to be successful. Whether you will communicate primarily via email or in person in your role, you need to be able to make your points clearly, effectively, and with a good attitude.
Communications skills also play into your likeability factor. Though you MAY be an IT guru, communication skills are still important. How well you communicate with those around you – especially those who do NOT speak IT – ultimately plays a big part in not only how well liked you are, but how quickly and easily you avoid misunderstandings, resolve issues and get things accomplished.
2. Time Management
Put simply, time is valuable. Self-discipline, focus and good time management skills can lead to accomplishing more with less stress. If you are known as a “doer” who gets things done, this is a skill that can ultimately result in career success.
Need help in this area? There is an abundance of help to be found, there are articles, books – even apps – that can help you learn to use and manage time more effectively.
3. Problem Solving
IT consultants may not have been trained to think in terms of the big picture or overall business objectives, but this is a skill that is becoming more and more critical as business and IT align. If you can step away from the perspective of “putting out fires,” to assess issues and tactics from a business perspective and what actually makes good business sense, you will earn respect and become a much more valuable resource.
IT pros can sometimes have a very narrow focus due to the nature of their work. Work on developing your problem solving skills by observing processes related to your work and asking questions.
4. The Ability to Work Well on a Team
As more businesses look to outsource their IT functions, gone are the days that tech experts can hide away somewhere and avoid encounters with the rest of the world. This goes back to good communication and likeability. Whether you are interacting with co-workers, clients, partners or an executive team, if you play nicely in the sandbox, chances are you’ll be a better fit.
In today’s business world, you may have to rely on others just as much as they rely on you. By respecting the work of others, developing a good rapport with those around you and bringing your specific technical skill set to the table, you become a trusted advisor and collaborator – making your team much more effective.
5. Emotional Intelligence
Hiring managers know that workers with higher “EQs” are better able to work in teams, adapt to change, and are more loyal and flexible. Regardless of other qualifications, without certain emotional qualities, there is less likelihood of success. Qualities that fall under Emotional Intelligence are: self-awareness, self-regulation, motivation, empathy and people skills.
Mindy Mihajlov, Manager of Technical Recruiting
Follow Mindy on twitter – @MindyRecruiter
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