Top 50 career tips for IT pros, by IT pros. Learn how to get a job / ask for a raise, discover which certifications are hot, and find out which technologies to stay up to date on.
<ul><li> ADVICE FROM SPONSORED BY: Create your Spiceworks IT portfolio #SpicyCareerTips #SpicyCareerTips 2014 Top Career Advice from IT Pros 1 </li> <li> INTRODUCTION Want a raise? A little respect? Some peace of mind? These career-saving (and enhancing) tips are Youre a pro, no doubt about it. But if theres one brought to you by seasoned IT pros, savvy marketers... career tip your peers keep coming back to, its this: The and even a few Spiceworks employees who might learning never stops. Just like those users who keep know a thing or two about tech. You can also check losing their passwords over and over again its going out the amazing projects in their IT portfolios for more to keep happening... forever. expert insights and then create your own. Learn how So in the spirit of packing your brain full of as many petabytes of data as it can take, Spiceworks hand-picked some crowdsourced career tips straight to stay relevant in a world thats changing faster than an SSD reboot. Ready to get busy boosting your IT career? Read on! from the mouths of real tech experts. Whether youre looking to upgrade your position, get certified, raise the career bar, master new skills (and maybe even the Zen of IT maintenance), discover some resource goldmines, or just learn the art of being social Spiceworks has ya covered. Create your Spiceworks IT portfolio #SpicyCareerTips 2014 Top Career Advice from IT Pros 2 </li> <li> TIP 01 Promotion, anyone? I think that in order to get promoted in todays environment you need to demonstrate you can do the work. So, ask for additional responsibility and tackle larger At that point you have a track record of being able projects. Once you demonstrate you can be a senior to do the job and this will assuage any management systems administrator, for example, you can make fears that you might not be cut out for that position. your own case for promotion. Scott Roberts (jhuscott) IT Manager, Baltimore, MD Scotts IT Portfolio Create your Spiceworks IT portfolio #SpicyCareerTips 2014 Top Career Advice from IT Pros 3 </li> <li> TIP 02 Got skillz? Focus on adding to your IT knowledge yearly. I try to focus on a different skill or area of focus quarterly to add up to one new skill each year. And to echo others be nice to your users. They may create ridiculous issues, and ask crazy questions, but without your users, you dont have a job. They are your customers, and no matter how great of an IT pro you are, if youre surly all the time, your employer will find someone else who has similar IT skills, but better people skills. Katie Drucker (Katie) Social Media & Community Manager, Columbia, SC Katies IT Portfolio Create your Spiceworks IT portfolio #SpicyCareerTips 2014 Top Career Advice from IT Pros 4 </li> <li> TIP 03 Tales from the script... Learn to do sysadmin work from the command line and scripting. Many of the new technologies being deployed simply dont have powerful GUIs designed for them anymore. Eli Etherton (Eli @ elitehcomputerguy.com) Eli the Computer Guy, Baltimore, MD Elis IT Portfolio Create your Spiceworks IT portfolio #SpicyCareerTips 2014 Top Career Advice from IT Pros 5 </li> <li> TIP 04 Polish up your resume. The best advice I can provide for IT pros to advance their career in 2014? First and foremost, have a strong resume that includes a portfolio if possible. Expand this with an interactive portfolio online that If you dont already have one, start a blog online, concisely shows off all of your different skills, and be and write about your solutions to different tough sure to explain, in a nutshell, what sets it apart. Be problems you encounter at work. With social media aware that the non-tech savvy (including HR people!) such a big part of the world nowadays, employers may not understand what theyre looking at, at first are attracted to bringing on board rock stars online glance. Be a go getter today more than ever. The econ- celebrities who bring with them a following, have the omy is tough nowadays and employers are being hit ability to create buzz, and are able to summarize for hard, so you really need to show off how you can bring their employers where the industry is headed and how a positive ROI to your company. to move forward. Read full quote Dani Horowitz (Dani at DaniWeb.com) Business Manager, Bayside, NY Danis IT Portfolio Create your Spiceworks IT portfolio #SpicyCareerTips 2014 Top Career Advice from IT Pros 6 </li> <li> TIP 05 Know thy cloud. The cloud is growing at an amazing speed, and more and more organizations recognize the immense benefits of cloud computing. Thus, the best way IT pros can advance their career is to learn about new cloud technologies. This is the area where the most exciting and the best paid jobs will be created in the years to come. Michael Pietroforte (Michael @ 4sysops.com) Owner at 4sysops.com Munich, Germany Create your Spiceworks IT portfolio #SpicyCareerTips 2014 Top Career Advice from IT Pros 7 </li> <li> TIP 06 Nice guys always win. Always be nice. This industry is full of jerks. Dont be one of them. If you are nicer than average there are many benefits: Youll have a better relationship with users and theyll Everyone will want to work with you thus you can be more willing to listen to you when you have to tell work as a team and divide the work among everyone them bad news. instead of doing it yourself. Managers will bend over backwards to keep you there (in small ways and sometimes in big ways). Being nice doesnt mean always saying yes. Have the discipline to say no when you have to... but always be ready to suggest alternatives that will help them get what they want some other way. Thomas Limoncelli (YesThatTom) IT Consultant (at Google) Bloomfield, NJ Create your Spiceworks IT portfolio #SpicyCareerTips 2014 Top Career Advice from IT Pros 8 </li> <li> TIP 07 The Golden Rule. My advice is: always follow The Golden Rule. Treat your customers, your coworkers, your employer, your employees and everyone else you encounter as you want to be treated yourself. This is the best long term strategy you can have. Ivan Nekrasov (Ivan@Dell) Spiceworks Partner Nashville, TN Create your Spiceworks IT portfolio #SpicyCareerTips 2014 Top Career Advice from IT Pros 9 </li> <li> TIP 08 The road ahead... We all have a vision of what makes us truly happy. Working in IT can, a lot of times, seem so reactive that its too easy to sit with heads down and just get lost in the job. Putting out fires, answering user questions, or kicking Do you have a sense of what your job will look like in off planning the next CTO-driven initiative causes us 5 years? I believe part of any job is to partially focus on to forget the vision and succumb to the daily grind. reaching professional goals. Part of that is to ensure Each of us has a sense of our professional goals and technical knowledge is obtained to accomplish daily we know when a direction doesnt feel right. As an IT tasks, but there should also be defined guidelines to person right now, the next 3-5 years will be interest- ensure that goals are reached. ing. Cloud adoption is moving at such a fantastic pace we all deserve a chance to take a breath and plan for our professional career. Rod Trent (Rod Trent at Windows IT Pro) Community Manager of Windows IT Pro, owner of myITforum.com Middletown, Ohio Create your Spiceworks IT portfolio #SpicyCareerTips 2014 Top Career Advice from IT Pros 10 </li> <li> TIP 09 I T for the win. Maybe this is less advice than it is an endorsement of IT as a career. Its a great foundation to build your career on. The technical, business, social and interaction skills you learn can take you far. Heres a little known fact about me my second job That company folded, but that experience got me a job out of college and my first job at a start-up was as at Apollo, which brought me to NeXT, which helped me a sysadmin. It was a 20 person company building start my first company Motive where I met the three next generation software for the CAD / CAM indus- other founders of Spiceworks. And the rest, as they say, try. My job was to keep 20 Apollo Workstations (a is history. And you thought Spiceworks being about competitor to Sun in the 80s) up and running. Everything IT was just an accident :-). Scott Abel (Scott) President & CEO at Spiceworks, Inc. Austin, TX Create your Spiceworks IT portfolio #SpicyCareerTips 2014 Top Career Advice from IT Pros 11 </li> <li> TIP 10 Be water, my friend. -Bruce Lee Listen to this small snippet from Bruce Lee and then integrate this philosophy into your IT career. We all know how fast IT can change. Being like this will help you flow with any changes, whether they are fast or slow or aggressive or unpredictable. Jeff Grettler (Jeff Grettler) IT Operations Manager at Spiceworks, Inc., Austin, TX Jeffs IT Portfolio Create your Spiceworks IT portfolio #SpicyCareerTips 2014 Top Career Advice from IT Pros 12 </li> <li> TIP 11 Look at the big brain on [you]! Learn, educate yourself! To be successful in IT you need to do more than just get training. Certs are also valuable and I do have them. They help Do not stop learning, its a journey. Go out into the you get launched and learn more about a wider range world, both figuratively speaking and literally. of subjects than you normally come into contact with in your day job. This helps build the width of your knowledge. But most of all, be open minded and look outside of your current responsibilities. Become an excellent generalist before you specialize. Have a T-shaped skill set. Go wide generally and deep in your current specialties. Move out of your Learn from talking to your peers, partners, vendors, consultants who all bring their points of view to the table. Participating in a community and outside of your jobs responsibilities also builds your communication skills, both in discussions and while presenting. Read full quote comfort zone every now and then and tackle a difficult problem or area. Didier Van Hoye (workinghardinit) Blogger (Working Hard In IT), Microsoft MVP Gent, Belgium Create your Spiceworks IT portfolio #SpicyCareerTips 2014 Top Career Advice from IT Pros 13 </li> <li> TIP 12 So whatcha want? In your job search, know what you want. Take time to think about what is most important to you in your next opportunity. Too many people jump to the next job without really Just answering a few of these questions for yourself analyzing what they really want and end up in a can help set you in the right direction when you are place that is not right for them. searching for a new role or when you get another Ask yourself things like...whats my passion, do I like structure or chaos, do I like big or small companies recruiter phone call. Youll know what sounds right for you and what doesnt. and why, do I like a narrow role or spinning lots of plates, what makes me crazy about my job, why do I like to go into work everyday? Jennifer Cantu (Jen C) Director of Talent & Culture at Spiceworks, Inc. Austin, TX Create your Spiceworks IT portfolio #SpicyCareerTips 2014 Top Career Advice from IT Pros 14 </li> <li> TIP 13 Quick Top 10. 1. Dont get a I know everything better complex. 2. Improve your social skills -> this will make a lot of things easier in your life. 3. The I in IT is more important than the T. And the 6. Be open and flexible, i.e., learn to implement best place to get I is from people. what you may not know rather than being boxed 4. There are two types of IT companies: business-centric and technology-centric. If you like to geek out, avoid business-centric companies, and the other way around. 5. Grow a sense of humour to survive the stressful situations that you will encounter when something might not go as planned. into learning and implementing what you know. This will stand you in good stead and give you a broad background as you grow in your career. 7. While you are in college do a search for the job you will be seeking when you graduate, and do a gap assessment amongst the experience, projects, technology, and certifications you will need to land the job. 8. Be focused on what cluster you want to specialize in. Maxime Trottier (Devolutions) IT is far too big to be a generalist. Spiceworks Partner Read full quote Lavaltrie, Quebec, Canada Create your Spiceworks IT portfolio #SpicyCareerTips 2014 Top Career Advice from IT Pros 15 </li> <li> TIP 14 Know your bottom line. Build an expansive network of contacts first and foremost. Chances are you have many of the skills you need if youre looking to advance your career, you may just need a resume booster or two with a few certifications. If you have the right contacts and the resume Networking, Network Security (CCNA, CCNA Security, to back it up, you should be able to obtain the JNCIA-Junos for the Juniper folks, JNCIS-SEC, etc). position youre looking for with a reasonable amount of effort. Windows or Linux Servers (Linux+, RHCSA for Red Hat folks, RHCE, MCSA for Microsoft folks, MCSE, etc) Learn the following and get certified: As much as I dont like working on servers outside Virtualization (Hyper-V, ESXi VCP5, Oracle VM of work, it helps to set up a hardware lab at home Certified Implementation Specialist, etc). to build out new environments to test out and learn new products. Ralph E. McNabb III (rmcnabb) Microsoft Engineer, Southfield, MI Ralphs IT Portfolio Create your Spiceworks IT portfolio #SpicyCareerTips 2014 Top Career Advice from IT Pros 16 </li> <li> TIP 15 Be resourceful. You cannot know everything. If you do then you are worth more than your company can afford. Use your resources such as the Spiceworks Community, Google, Experts Exchange, etc. Karl Ross (Karl8674) Systems Engineer Bradford, PA Create your Spiceworks IT portfolio #SpicyCareerTips 2014 Top Career Advice from IT Pros 17 </li> <li> TIP 16 Raise the bar... So you want a raise huh? Do you thin...</li></ul>