Thumbs up: you’ve made it past one of the most infamous years in recent history. Hopefully, you’ve had some time to unwind over the holidays. Ideally, you’ve used some of that time to reflect on your professional trajectory and get ready for 2021. Most likely, you’ve simply been too busy enjoying your seasonal favourites to start working on that just yet. No worries. We’ve narrowed it down to 3 key areas you should focus on if you want the year ahead to be as successful as possible and get 2021 right.
Also read our article: IT Pros: How to Work On Remote in the Post-Pandemic World
Technology is constantly evolving, creating new market niches and specialisations and transforming existing job functions. The pandemic has added an extra degree of uncertainty and change into the mix, making it more vital than ever to futureproof your career strategy through reskilling and upskilling. How to go about it is not too much of a secret: inform yourself, define realistic goals and learn whatever you need to achieve them.
Ask yourself whether or not you are doing enough to stay up-to-date with current technology trends. Follow the trade press and sign-up to newsletters that are exclusively dedicated to IT careers. Then reconcile emerging market needs with your own professional profile and aspirations, identifying those hot skills you should be acquiring over the next few months to remain competitive.
Current most in-demand skills include artificial intelligence, cloud and cybersecurity. But don’t forget to develop other, softer skills like business acumen or organisational capabilities. They can well make the difference between aspiring to a great versus a good job.
At this point, it has become clear that not only the current remote work situation is going to last for several more months, but that traditional, on-site presenteeism is forever gone. No news here, right? So what about it?
Well, as much as you might think you’ve got the whole working-from-home predicament sorted out, this should be the year to fine-tune your work routine and to find that sweet spot that works just perfectly for you. Perhaps it is 3 days at home and 2 at the office, or maybe you find it easier to always work from home. Perhaps you’d rather just go into the office once a week for team meetings or to socialise with colleagues.
If your current employer or portfolio of clients allows for that level of flexibility, take advantage of it and put together your own work schedule. Look to see what you could improve on regarding your daily routine. Experiment with how often you take breaks and how long these are.
Finally, to get 2021 right, make sure you are paying enough attention to the image you project as an IT professional. and keep in mind that your social media presence, your CV and your professional networking activity all have an impact on said image. And all these moving parts need to be in sync. Not saying that you need to become an influencer in 2021, but chances are that your online image can use a little polish.
But, besides improving your online visibility and making sure you present a cohesive image, you should be thinking of how you position yourself as a pro from a strategic standpoint. Keeping up with the times by reskilling and adding new capabilities is not as effective if you are not marketing it accordingly to any future employers and partners.
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