How can we expand our skills beyond just tech?

%3CLINGO-SUB%20id%3D%22lingo-sub-1678071%22%20slang%3D%22en-US%22%3EHow%20can%20we%20expand%20our%20skills%20beyond%20just%20tech%3F%3C%2FLINGO-SUB%3E%3CLINGO-BODY%20id%3D%22lingo-body-1678071%22%20slang%3D%22en-US%22%3E%3CP%3EA%20successful%20career%20in%20IT%20doesn%E2%80%99t%20just%20mean%20being%20a%20great%20coder%20or%20server-whisperer.%20We%20need%20to%20be%20able%20to%20communicate%2C%20collaborate%2C%20motivate%20and%20support%20our%20colleagues%20and%20customers.%20We%20also%20come%20from%20diverse%20backgrounds%20and%20tech%20may%20not%20be%20our%20first%20career.%3C%2FP%3E%0A%3CP%3E%26nbsp%3B%3C%2FP%3E%0A%3CP%3ECome%20to%20our%20Table%20Talk%20ask%20how%20others%20have%20built%20their%20careers%20and%20share%20you%20own%20experiences%20to%20help%20others.%20Our%20MCs%20have%20all%20arrived%20at%20the%20current%20point%20in%20their%20own%20career%20journeys%20from%20very%20different%20directions%20and%20will%20support%20the%20discussion%20with%20their%20own%20experiences.%3C%2FP%3E%0A%3CP%3E%26nbsp%3B%3C%2FP%3E%0A%3CP%3ERSVP%20for%20our%20Table%20Talk%20%E2%80%93%20%3CA%20href%3D%22https%3A%2F%2Fmyignite.microsoft.com%2Fsessions%2FCON191%22%20target%3D%22_blank%22%20rel%3D%22noopener%20noreferrer%20noopener%20noreferrer%20noopener%20noreferrer%20noopener%20noreferrer%20noopener%20noreferrer%20noopener%20noreferrer%20noopener%20noreferrer%22%3EWanted%3A%20A%20Career%20Jumpstart%3C%2FA%3E%20to%20talk%20about%20developing%20new%20skills%2C%20building%20your%20confidence%20or%20changing%20your%20career%20completely!%20Join%20us%20on%20Wednesday%2C%20September%2023%3CSUP%3Erd%3C%2FSUP%3E%20at%2010%3A30AM%20UTC%3C%2FP%3E%0A%3CP%3E%26nbsp%3B%3C%2FP%3E%0A%3CP%3EWhy%20not%20begin%20the%20conversation%20here%20by%20posting%20your%20thoughts%2C%20advice%20or%20questions.%3C%2FP%3E%3C%2FLINGO-BODY%3E%3CLINGO-LABS%20id%3D%22lingo-labs-1678071%22%20slang%3D%22en-US%22%3E%3CLINGO-LABEL%3ECareer%20Development%3C%2FLINGO-LABEL%3E%3C%2FLINGO-LABS%3E%3CLINGO-SUB%20id%3D%22lingo-sub-1678207%22%20slang%3D%22en-US%22%3ERe%3A%20How%20can%20we%20expand%20our%20skills%20beyond%20just%20tech%3F%3C%2FLINGO-SUB%3E%3CLINGO-BODY%20id%3D%22lingo-body-1678207%22%20slang%3D%22en-US%22%3E%3CP%3EWhat%20a%20fantastic%20topic%2C%26nbsp%3B%3CA%20href%3D%22https%3A%2F%2Ftechcommunity.microsoft.com%2Ft5%2Fuser%2Fviewprofilepage%2Fuser-id%2F7969%22%20target%3D%22_blank%22%3E%40Rik%20Hepworth%3C%2FA%3E!%26nbsp%3B%3C%2FP%3E%0A%3CP%3E%26nbsp%3B%3C%2FP%3E%0A%3CP%3EOut%20of%20curiosity%3A%20do%20you%20believe%20you've%20reached%20your%20peak%20point%20in%20your%20career%3F%20I%20always%20felt%20there's%20something%20else%20I%20need%20to%20learn%2Fresearch%2Fimprove%20and%20my%20career%20largely%20feels%20like%20a%20non-stop%20self-development%20journey.%3C%2FP%3E%0A%3CP%3EClearly%2C%20this%20inevitable%20raises%20the%20question%20of%20the%20workplace%20as%20well%3A%20do%20you%20need%20to%20change%20workplaces%20regularly%20to%20constantly%20kickstart%20your%20career%20and%20learn%20more%2C%20or%20can%20you%20reach%20the%20heights%20of%20IT%20working%20for%20a%20single%20organization%3F%3C%2FP%3E%0A%3CP%3E%26nbsp%3B%3C%2FP%3E%0A%3CP%3EI%20for%20one%20have%20*ALWAYS*%20worked%20at%20the%20same%20company%2C%20for%20almost%2020%20years%20in%20a%20row%20and%20many%20of%20my%20peers%20have%20as%20well%2C%20whilst%20others%20in%20our%20industry%20are%20shifting%20their%20workplace%20every%2010-12%20months.%20Which%20are%20the%20pros%20and%20cons%20of%20frequently%20changing%20the%20company%20you%20work%20for%20vs.%20working%20for%20the%20same%20organization%20in%20regards%20to%20the%20non-technical%20skills%20one%20and%20career%20development%3F%3C%2FP%3E%3C%2FLINGO-BODY%3E%3CLINGO-SUB%20id%3D%22lingo-sub-1694497%22%20slang%3D%22en-US%22%3ERe%3A%20How%20can%20we%20expand%20our%20skills%20beyond%20just%20tech%3F%3C%2FLINGO-SUB%3E%3CLINGO-BODY%20id%3D%22lingo-body-1694497%22%20slang%3D%22en-US%22%3E%3CP%3EThat's%20very%20interesting%26nbsp%3B%3CA%20href%3D%22https%3A%2F%2Ftechcommunity.microsoft.com%2Ft5%2Fuser%2Fviewprofilepage%2Fuser-id%2F11848%22%20target%3D%22_blank%22%3E%40iamalexmang%3C%2FA%3E%26nbsp%3B-%20I%20too%20have%20had%20a%20small%20number%20of%20long-lasting%20roles%20with%20a%20few%20employers.%20I%20think%20that%20is%20a%20positive%20thing%20-%20it's%20given%20me%20an%20opportunity%20to%20expand%20my%20skills%20and%20experience%20without%20having%20to%20deal%20with%20the%20pressure%20of%20switching%20organisations%20to%20advance.%20I%20remember%20some%20years%20ago%20when%20many%20had%20the%20opposite%20view%3A%20'You've%20been%20in%20that%20organisation%20for%20more%20than%20two%20years%20-%20what's%20wrong%20with%20you%20to%20mean%20you%20can't%20change%20jobs%3F'%20when%20I%20neither%20wanted%20to%20or%20needed%20to!%20Is%20there%20really%20still%20the%20pressure%20to%20move%20on%20quickly%20as%20we%20advance%20our%20careers%3F%3C%2FP%3E%0A%3CP%3E%26nbsp%3B%3C%2FP%3E%0A%3CP%3EI%20think%20there's%20still%20more%20I%20can%20achieve%20in%20my%20career%20without%20changing%20organisations%2C%20but%20those%20goals%20have%20shifted%20over%20time%20and%20as%20I've%20become%20more%20responsible%20for%20the%20careers%20of%20others%20through%20management.%3C%2FP%3E%0A%3CP%3E%26nbsp%3B%3C%2FP%3E%0A%3CP%3ETo%20add%20another%20question%20in%20this%20topic%2C%20how%20many%20of%20us%20came%20into%20IT%20from%20a%20non-technology%20route%3F%20What%20advice%20would%20we%20give%20others%20who%20wish%20to%20change%20career%20tracks.%3C%2FP%3E%0A%3CP%3EFor%20example%2C%20my%20education%20was%20focused%20on%20business%20-%20I%20did%20a%20degree%20(a%20long%20time%20ago%20now!)%20in%20Business%20Management%2C%20specialising%20in%20marketing!%20I%20managed%20to%20switch%20to%20working%20where%20my%20passion%20lay%20-%20in%20IT%3B%20how%20many%20of%20you%20have%20similar%20stories%3F%20I%20still%20feel%20that%20I%20gained%20more%20from%20my%20business%20degree%20to%20help%20my%20career%20than%20I%20lost%20by%20not%20doing%20Computer%20Science%20but%20what%20do%20others%20think%3F%3C%2FP%3E%0A%3CP%3ESimilarly%2C%20the%20academic%20qualification%20argument%20is%20raised%20often.%20I%20know%20many%20incredibly%20talented%20people%20who%20have%20built%20a%20successful%20career%20in%20IT%20without%20academic%20qualifications.%20We%20know%20that%20%3CEM%3Eshouldn't%3C%2FEM%3E%20be%20a%20barrier%20-%20what%20has%20your%20experience%20been%3F%3C%2FP%3E%0A%3CP%3EIn%20both%20cases%2C%20what%20advice%20can%20we%20offer%20in%20how%20to%20show%20the%20benefit%20of%20that%20wider%2C%20non-technical%20experience%20when%20looking%20for%20a%20new%20role%3F%3C%2FP%3E%3C%2FLINGO-BODY%3E
Highlighted
MVP

A successful career in IT doesn’t just mean being a great coder or server-whisperer. We need to be able to communicate, collaborate, motivate and support our colleagues and customers. We also come from diverse backgrounds and tech may not be our first career.

 

Come to our Table Talk ask how others have built their careers and share you own experiences to help others. Our MCs have all arrived at the current point in their own career journeys from very different directions and will support the discussion with their own experiences.

 

RSVP for our Table Talk – Wanted: A Career Jumpstart to talk about developing new skills, building your confidence or changing your career completely! Join us on Wednesday, September 23rd at 10:30AM UTC

 

Why not begin the conversation here by posting your thoughts, advice or questions.

3 Replies
Highlighted

What a fantastic topic, @Rik Hepworth

 

Out of curiosity: do you believe you've reached your peak point in your career? I always felt there's something else I need to learn/research/improve and my career largely feels like a non-stop self-development journey.

Clearly, this inevitable raises the question of the workplace as well: do you need to change workplaces regularly to constantly kickstart your career and learn more, or can you reach the heights of IT working for a single organization?

 

I for one have *ALWAYS* worked at the same company, for almost 20 years in a row and many of my peers have as well, whilst others in our industry are shifting their workplace every 10-12 months. Which are the pros and cons of frequently changing the company you work for vs. working for the same organization in regards to the non-technical skills one and career development?

Highlighted

That's very interesting @iamalexmang - I too have had a small number of long-lasting roles with a few employers. I think that is a positive thing - it's given me an opportunity to expand my skills and experience without having to deal with the pressure of switching organisations to advance. I remember some years ago when many had the opposite view: 'You've been in that organisation for more than two years - what's wrong with you to mean you can't change jobs?' when I neither wanted to or needed to! Is there really still the pressure to move on quickly as we advance our careers?

 

I think there's still more I can achieve in my career without changing organisations, but those goals have shifted over time and as I've become more responsible for the careers of others through management.

 

To add another question in this topic, how many of us came into IT from a non-technology route? What advice would we give others who wish to change career tracks.

For example, my education was focused on business - I did a degree (a long time ago now!) in Business Management, specialising in marketing! I managed to switch to working where my passion lay - in IT; how many of you have similar stories? I still feel that I gained more from my business degree to help my career than I lost by not doing Computer Science but what do others think?

Similarly, the academic qualification argument is raised often. I know many incredibly talented people who have built a successful career in IT without academic qualifications. We know that shouldn't be a barrier - what has your experience been?

In both cases, what advice can we offer in how to show the benefit of that wider, non-technical experience when looking for a new role?

Highlighted
My advice for young people starting their careers - try out as much as possible, see what interests you the most from the opportunities around you, and if you finally find it (or you think this is it), get educated in this direction. The most important - get experience first, see if the subject is interesting and you are passionate about it, then developed yourself (learned from my example). But what would you advise to those (like me) which are enthusiastic about what they are doing (I am always thrilled when I go to my work), but are responsible for so many different IT tech areas that I am not capable to become an expert in each of those? And I envy those who can spend their life on a particular subject. I know that you can't become an expert in many areas at the same time, but how to wisely choose the focus for future development when you reach a certain level of maturity? I often got job offers which are aimed at experts in a given area and I am a kind of expert on a lot of things but on a bit higher level and not a particular one.