3 IT Soft Skills You NEED to Succeed!

While many people focus on hard skills when developing their IT career, your soft skills can be just as critical to your success.  Many college and university graduates leave the classroom armed with the technical ability and know-how to work on today’s most advanced systems in fast-paced and challenging environments. However, this form of experience does not necessarily indicate that a potential employee has the soft skills necessary to function well within a workplace.

Combine this with the fact that while hard skills are often easy to teach and transfer to new employees, soft skills cannot be so easily developed through standard forms of instruction, which makes those who already possess these traits even more valuable.  In order to ensure your IT career will flourish, make sure you work to develop your soft skills, especially in these three key areas.

Communication Skills

The IT field can be highly technical, making it seem very complex to co-workers who are not as familiar with the terminology and the intricacies of the profession.  In order to work more effectively with others, your communication skills will need to be developed in such a way as to allow you to work with those who may not have the same knowledge base or experience.

Sophisticated communication skills will allow you to explain the necessary information to those who are less familiar with the subject without sounding condescending.  This is critical when you are responsible for training users in the proper operation of new technology-based solutions, working with members of management to create project plans and outline business goals, as well as for guiding user requirements during product development.

Teamwork and Collaboration

While communicating effectively with other employees is important, so is the ability to work effectively as part of a team.  Within the IT sector, a project’s success is rarely based on the work of a single individual, especially as more technologies begin to integrate with each other in new ways.

Being able to work as part of a team allows individuals to pool their strengths and offset their weaknesses.  It can also serve as a wonderful learning opportunity for those interested in advancing their current skill set or cross-training into similar areas.  For example, the movement towards unified communication technology has begun to integrate voice services with other IT messaging solutions in ways that would previously have been unimaginable, and those efforts are now integrating with mobile technology and cloud-based IT solutions.  Being part of a collaborative team effort allows you to gain exposure into new areas, as well as network with other professionals with compatible skill sets.

Adaptability and Creativity

With the pace at which IT seems to change, an IT professional needs to be prepared to adapt to the shifting environment in creative ways.  This can include dealing unexpected changes to project requirements, most often referred to as scope creep, as well as adjustments to overall business priorities that can cause one project to be shelved in favor of pursuing another.

Additionally, you may be required to conjure unique solutions to improve the overall effectiveness of a final product, including integrating features across multiple systems while promoting mobility within the workplace.  This can lead you to use your knowledge in new ways, and being open to trying solutions that may not have been attempted before, in order to produce the desired outcome.

Looking for a Career in IT?

If you are looking for ways to help make your soft skills shine, the professionals at Resolution Technologies are here to help.  With a focus in technical staffing, we understand what current employers are looking for beyond the basic hard skills in the job descriptions.  Contact Resolution Technologies Today!


Essentials Every New IT Manager Needs

Stepping into your first IT management role can feel like walking into another world.  The position comes with a new set of roles and responsibilities that are well removed from the day-to-day tasks of an IT professional.  If you want to prepare to take your seat at the management table, here are some management essentials every new IT manager should possess.

Be Technically Competent

If you are going to lead a team of IT professionals, it is critical that you have a working understanding of their various skill sets and areas of expertise.  While you may not need to be able to perform every task that is assigned to each team member, you should have a fundamental understanding of every key piece of software, primary operating platforms, and other critical technology-based solutions that are being created, used, or supported by your team.

Be Able Take Charge and Lead Well

Whether you are taking a promotion within your current leadership structure or are beginning with a new company, be prepared to assert yourself in the role.  This includes effectively communicating your expectations to your new team, as well as serving as their representative in larger leadership gatherings.

As an IT manager, you function as a go-between in regards to your team and other nontechnical areas of the business.  You have to make sure other business areas understand what it takes to meet certain technical expectations, as well as be realistic about what is or is not possible based on your current resources.  At times, this requires being able to express highly technical information in a way that is easily understood by those without an IT background, as this helps ensure business-wide comprehension.

Be a Problem Solver and Negotiator

Regardless of the skills brought by your and the members of your team, issues will inevitably arise.  Whether it is based on a technical error or unexpected incompatibility, or a project goal that cannot be realistically met, you will need to work with both the members of your team as well as members of management in order to craft realistic solutions to problems as they come to pass, or before they are fully realized.

Functioning as a problem solver requires being informed of the current progress of any projects, as well as keeping abreast of any barriers your team may be concerned about when it comes to a project’s success.  As a negotiator, you have to work with the business as a whole to keep expectations reasonable, especially if changes are being requested on a project that is already in progress.

Be Authoritative

As an IT leader, it will be your responsibility to make sure project information is accurate when it is gathered, and you will also be the primary voice to stand up against unnecessary scope creep.  You will need to assess any changes in costs, both financial as well as those associated with the anticipated shifts to deadlines, in order to articulate how seemingly simple requests can have large-scale implications.

Looking to Advance Your Career in the IT field?

While taking your first IT management position can seem overwhelming, by focusing on the key areas above, you can begin by presenting your best self.  If you are looking for additional information on working as a leader within your workplace, or would like assistance acquiring your first hire, contact Resolution Technologies today.