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5 Questions to Ask Before You Take a Tech Job

Getting the right IT job might be like finding the perfect pair of shoes – so many choices and facets to consider. In the essence of time, it might pay to have a few simple heuristics to help us make better decisions. Mary K. Pratt for Computerworld shares the insights of CIS new hire Gregg Diamant, who developed just the right set of tools for finding just the right job.

Size IT Up 

  • Align Expectations
  • Projects and People
  • Technology Use
  • Discern the Mission
  • Know the Big IT Picture

When the descriptions on job postings often don’t quite match the lived experience, it pays to ask questions about what Pratt calls the daily duties. If your preferences don’t match any of the specific requirements described by the employer, it’s a sign to pack your ‘briefcase’ and move on.

Perhaps you like the role you’re getting into, but what if it’s a misfit within the overall department? For a young employee, this distinction can be critical, since it’s the mission of the department (not the specific job title) that will shape and determine one’s career legacy. And since technology is the most important component of any tech job, an important question should center on the department’s roadmap for meeting its objectives. If the response to this question glosses over technology requirements, it may signal a lack of technical vision on the part of the company.

Additionally, getting a feel for the overall mission of the position will go a long way in helping you determine the company culture. If you’re committed to delivering customer satisfaction rather than just pleasing management, you need to know if the company shares that vision. Generally speaking, there are two types of IT outfits–one that simply acts as an appendage to the business, and one that seeks to integrate itself with business objectives. The latter form is preferable, since highly integrated IT is more beneficial for the overall success of the company and its employees.

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About Eric Anderson

Eric Anderson is a staff writer for CAI's Accelerating IT Success. He is an intern at Computer Aid Inc., pursuing his master's degree in communications at Penn State University.

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