Posted: 26 Feb 2019
Are your fears are holding you back from advancing your IT career? These tips may help you build the confidence you need to secure your next role.
Many IT professionals dream of advancing their career but hesitate when it comes to starting a job search. Some are afraid of leaving their comfort zone and stepping into the unknown. Others suffer from ‘imposter syndrome’. In this short article, we look at some of the most common fears holding IT professionals back and suggest ways to address them.
You may be your own harshest critic when it comes to assessing your skills So, to address this fear, the first step is to take an objective look at the job descriptions of roles that you are interested in. What skills do employers typically require? Which of these skills do you already have? Which do you need to develop? How do your current skills benefit your employer?
Focus on your achievements rather than your shortcomings. Think about any gaps that you need to address and seek opportunities in your current role to enhance your skills— perhaps by volunteering for projects or teams.
Mentoring and training can also help you to feel more confident.
You will be better prepared to find a new role if you plan ahead in good time. The work you put in now will strengthen your CV and stand you in good stead with a new employer. Remember most employers will not expect you to fulfil 100% of the requirements of a new role on Day 1. If you match 70%, that is usually a great start.
If you’ve been in the same role for a number of years it can be difficult to know how you measure up against IT professionals with similar qualifications and skills. A confidential chat with Eolas Recruitment will give you a feel for what employers are looking for and the types of IT candidates that are most successful. If this highlights any gaps in your experience or skillset, you can then work on addressing them in your personal development plan.
Starting something new can be scary, whether it’s your first job, a new role with a new company, or even returning to work after a prolonged break. While there may be a lot to learn in the first few weeks, no one will expect you to remember everything on Day 1 so allow yourself time to settle in and get to know your new company and colleagues. Remember, it’s natural to feel a bit apprehensive at first but the feeling will pass.
Many people secretly worry that they are not good enough or that they don’t really deserve the successes that they earn. People with this so-called ‘imposter syndrome’ constantly feel inadequate and look for ways to improve themselves. One way to tackle this fear is to recognise that nobody is perfect. Documenting your achievements and developing better self-awareness can be helpful in overcoming imposter syndrome.
Candidates often feel they may put development opportunities in their existing job at risk if their employer finds out they are planning to leave. Whether this fear is valid will depend on your employer. It is usually advisable to be discreet in the early stages of your job search. While you may want to talk over your plans with someone you trust, it is a good idea initially to keep those conversations confidential and outside the workplace. Family, close friends and your recruitment consultant are good sounding boards. As your plans progress, there will come a time when you need to let your employer know but be alert to the risk that when the news is out, it may change your relationship with your current manager and/or employer.
It is natural to feel nervous about job interviews but if you have the right experience and skills for the role you’re applying for, there is really no need to let nerves get the better of you. Preparation and practice are the key to overcoming fear. When preparing, read up on the company and make sure that you are familiar with the job description of the role you are applying for. Try to anticipate the questions the interviewer is likely to pose. Make a list of your skills, focusing in particular on those that match the requirements of the job you are applying for. Prepare some practical examples of situations where you used each skill in the past. What was the impact? How would you expect to use the skill in the role you are applying for?
Currently, there are a wealth of opportunities for talented IT professionals at all levels in companies across Ireland. So, now is not the time to let fear stand in your way. Check out current opportunities here and contact our specialist consultants for information and advice on how we can help you achieve your career goals.
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