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Eight Tips for IT Career Longevity

You’ve finally made it. The career of your dream is suddenly a reality. But now a different challenge arises: namely, how do you maintain this new found ideal? For IT professionals, like individuals from all fields and backgrounds, the struggle to get there is trumped only by the struggle to stay. In an article for IT Business Edge, CTO Eric Reed and CIO Patrick McGuinness combine their dual wisdom of how to sustain IT careers in the form of eight useful tips.

Getting into the Mix

1. Ability to Learn
2. Confidence to Lead
3. Collaboration

If you’re a beginner without experience on your side, you’ll need to leverage attitude and intellect, which is why being open to the acquisition of new knowledge and skills is an IT career must. Being a leader comes with time. The way to get there is to cultivate an attitude of openness and respect, and to utilize an effective style of communication. Far from going it alone, the career-minded IT pro is dedicated to working with people, and every new endeavor must be collaborative.

Ally with the Business

4. Adaptability
5. The Smartest People
6. Visibility
7. Find a Mentor

For many, the allure of an IT career lies in the prospect of working with new technology. But remember that businesses are more focused on ends than means. With that in mind, realize early that you may not be the smartest person on the team. That’s okay if you work effectively with those who are. The key to gaining recognition is in your communication with management and your ability to communicate the value of your work succinctly. Your “ace in the hole” will inevitably be a mentor or similar figure in the organization that can guide you to the proper destination and make recommendations on your behalf.  

8. Long Term Objectives

Lastly, getting caught up in the everyday details of the job is the surest way to lose your career footing. Keep long-term goals in mind too!

View the original slide show at: http://www.itbusinessedge.com/slideshows/eight-tips-for-it-career-longevity.html

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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