Are you part of the IT world? Perhaps you’re a recent graduate eager to kickstart your career, a new immigrant striving to break into the industry, or an ambitious professional aiming for that long-awaited promotion. Here’s a little secret: In a job market flooded with an average of 200 applicants per position, your technical skills alone won’t cut it.
Let’s break it down. With 200 applicants, even if we assume that a modest 10% are qualified for the role, you’re still contending with 20 others who are just as technically proficient as you. So, how does the Hiring Manager choose who gets the nod? They turn their attention to a critical factor: your “Soft Skills.”
Soft Skills encompass the abilities that help you navigate the workplace successfully by interacting effectively with others. These include your capacity to communicate with potential clients, mentor colleagues, lead teams, negotiate contracts, follow instructions, and meet deadlines. After hours of research, article synthesis, and document analysis, we’ve identified the pivotal soft skills that employers are seeking when hiring:
Critical Capabilities to Success:
Thrives in Chaos – Anyone in a technology role can tell you that Chaos is part of the experience of being in IT. Whether it’s a taking on a project you have never done before, a critical operational issue, or a project that may not be going according to plan, in technology, there is always new issues coming up that will result in plans being de-railed and approaches changing. Being able to stay calm and adapt accordingly is very key to being successful in IT.
Evolves With Technology – Being in IT, means that you need to have a passion for innovating and constantly learning how to use new technologies. Whether it’s a new programming language, delivery methodology, process change or approach, you are willing to step out of your comfort zone and new ways of operating. Being in IT, means you need to constantly evolve your way of thinking and approach.
Communicates Clarity – The ability to successfully communicate complex concepts information technology in a simplified way is critical to success! When working in IT, there are two main populations that you will support end-users and technology teams. For end-users, being able to accurately understand requirements/issues and explain technical jargon to them in simple ways will help with solving issues a lot faster and with less headaches. When working with Technology teams, critical to success is being able to translate business requirements collected into technical specifications that can be implemented by development teams.
Important Capabilities That Will Get You Promoted:
Reasons Critically and Solves Problems – We have talked about the ability to thrive in chaos, and this capability is an evolution of that. By understanding how to reason critically and tackle problems, it allows you to move from instead of just implementing strategies, taking an active role in the creation of solutions, and providing critical information/feedback that could help find a path through the roadblock/problem. Things will always go wrong, but having the ability to build a strategy to take your organization through it will always get you recognized.
Empowers Team Effectiveness – Information Technology is all about working as a team. Even if you are a technical resource and you never talk to a end-user, you still have to work with other teams. In the interconnectedness of today’s technology, there are multiple stakeholders you will have to support and that may have to support you. Allowing for better collaboration between teams and individuals results in problems getting solved faster, initiatives getting completed with less confusions and on-schedule! You don’t need to be a manager to empower your team to work effectively as well! This can be done at any level thorough motivating the team, listening, and finding ways to work better together. Working well with other always gets you noticed and will result in great things!
Drives Performance and Productivity – Being able to build a plan to get work done and actually be able to deliver on time, budget, or according to SLA’s are a key skill needed to get promoted. This includes accurately understanding and collecting requirements as understanding how to approach tasks and break them down in a logical manner. To do this successfully you need to have industry knowledge and the related technical know-how to be able to successfully navigate problems and projects and deliver. The ability to deliver is key to anyone wanting to grow and get promoted. No, it’s not going to be the only factor that’s going to be looked at, but if all the other things are great, then this factor will give you the edge.
Now that you know about the capabilities that are matter in IT, the question really comes down to do you have them and are the strong enough to help you stay ahead of your competition? To find out, take our OrgInsights Assessment today!