How to Find the Ideal IT Opportunity for You
In 2019, new technology jobs and IT opportunities are being created all the time, thanks in part to the growth of emerging innovations like artificial intelligence, machine learning, and automation. These new trends have led to a spike in demand for highly-skilled employees, and with a lingering talent shortage, the IT industry is a job seeker’s paradise.
However, you aren’t looking for just any IT job. You’re searching for new opportunities that will propel your long-term career and life goals forward. You need the perfect opportunity for you. Before you begin the search for your next position, consider these three questions to refine your job search and ensure your career is on the right track.
1. If Money Didn’t Matter, What Would You Do with Your Life?
Everyone wants to find their “dream job”. Among the long list of “must haves” and “nice to haves”, a few characteristics matter more than others – such as whether or not a position can bring you meaning and fulfillment. One way to reflect on your current job and career path thus far is to think about what you would do if money was no object. What motivates you to get up each morning? What work or projects do you find interesting and enjoyable? What activities come naturally to you? Maybe you enjoy learning new skills regularly, and the thrill of a challenge or tackling diverse projects drives your work. Perhaps you have a knack for understanding problems and creating innovative solutions. Reflecting on these driving factors can tell you a lot about what kind of work keeps you engaged and what qualities to look for in your next IT position.
Asking these questions should also help you think critically about your values and beliefs. If having quality time with your family is important to you, then you should be sure to look for a job that does not require a lot of overtime or a job that offers flexible working options. Or, maybe you are passionate about educating the next generation and you want to help create positive change in communities. If so, you should aim to work for a company with strong corporate social responsibility values and efforts. Considering what matters to you beyond a good salary will help you focus on the qualities that drive you to do your best work and will allow you to find a tech job that incorporates these passions.
2. What Skills Do You Want to Learn?
It’s a well-established fact that people today will change jobs and careers many times during their lifetime. While some professionals find that creating a career map and identifying where they want to be in six months, one year, or five years, can be helpful in navigating times of uncertainty, it is unlikely that plan will account for the numerous transformations you’ll face in your career. Instead of focusing on where you want your career to go, consider your career in terms of the skills you want to learn.
Google executive Peter Roper advocates for this approach. He explains that before you leave your current job or accept a new role, you should consider the skills you want to gain in your next position. Roper found career success by consistently asking himself one question: What skill set can I develop to enhance my career? Looking at your career through this lens will allow you to appreciate what you have learned and what you still need to learn to reach your career goals. For example, you might have a background in web development, but you’re interested in learning new programming languages. This might lead you to search for a job that allows you to develop this new skill. Perhaps you have extensive experience in a specific technology, but you’d like to gain some leadership skills so that one day you can lead the tech team you’re a part of. Maybe you want to try changing the way you are working. Our consultants, for example, say that variety in work and the ability to learn new skills are major drivers behind why they are interested in continuing consulting work over accepting permanent job placements. Identifying what skills you’ll need to achieve these goals and finding a tech job that allows you to develop them is crucial to long-term career success.
3. What Matters Most?
You’ve reflected on what motivates you to do your best work, and you have thought about your career goals and the skills you want to develop. Now, it is time to dive into the details and identify what matters most in your next role. This will help you narrow your search and focus on tech jobs that fit your career goals and needs at this time. It is important to remember that, like our careers, our priorities are always shifting and changing. What matters most to you in a job at age 35 is most likely going to be different from what mattered to you in a job at age 25. This is okay, so long as you continue to pursue career options in line with your priorities at the time.
When you are ready to begin looking for a new IT job, think about the following categories and choose a few values that are most important to you. First, consider your intrinsic values. These are the intangible rewards that keep you motivated at work. Do you like variety and change from day-to-day? Maybe you prefer consistency and a set schedule each day. Do you like to take risks at work, or would you prefer a more gradual, steady path?
Next, think about your extrinsic values or the tangible rewards you get from the job. These include things like the office setting, vacation policy, travel opportunities, and earning potential. Do you like the flexibility of setting your own hours or is having more PTO a higher priority? Finally, think about your lifestyle and what is important to you outside of work hours. Is the job location crucial for your success? Do you prioritize spending time with friends and family?
Combine the values you identify in each of these categories to form your list of priorities. Make sure to account for them as you begin your job search. Otherwise, a seemingly ideal tech job could end up conflicting with your long-term career goals.
Let the Search Begin
Now that you have done the work and developed a clear understanding of your professional motivations, interests, and values, you are ready to start searching for tech jobs that fit your career goals. To help you in your search, Resource 1 has implemented a new job search app that allows you to create customized job alerts around specific skill sets and interests. Search for jobs by title or technology, add your resume, contact our Resource 1 team, or check out other career resources all through the easy-to-use app interface.
To get started, download the Resource 1 jobs app today!