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4 Ways to Advance Your Career by Embracing Your CIO’s Strategy

 

As an IT professional, advancement along your career path is important. One way to move forward is by helping the CIO attain their strategic goals for the company. Understanding the CIO’s overall mission and the role of technology to increase company performance demonstrates your own strategic thinking abilities. You can talk about your experiences in future interviews to set yourself apart from other candidates and potentially land a new job.

Helping the CIO reach any of the following four priorities this year can aid in your career progression.


1. Data Analysis

Use your data literacy to address business needs and outcomes. This helps you transform the company to better carry out its mission. Understanding the analysis process, analytical tools, and how to work with data lets you collaborate with non-technical users and fill business needs through data and technology. This helps the organization become more inclusive, an issue that all stakeholders should be focused on.

2. Movement of Data to the Cloud

Most companies are moving their data to the cloud, adopting a software as a service (SaaS) solution, and increasing their cybersecurity. You can use your documentation, task delegation, and knowledge-sharing skills to facilitate and support these updates. Promotion of growth makes you a positive change agent in the organization.

3. Expansion of Self-Service Technologies

Many companies are looking for scalable, secure, and effective self-service solutions. This is because the pandemic continues to impact the way basic services are delivered to consumers. Demonstration of your knowledge and skills involving self-service technologies makes you an important team player. You can create practical roadmaps for adoption, transparency, and related issues.

4. Navigation of a Cultural Shift

Company culture is difficult to feel and maintain during times of significant change. This includes shifting from in-person work to remote or hybrid work and back again. Because working in silos is ineffective, you can break down the barriers by becoming a culture contributor. You can make it a goal to collaborate on projects to drive successful outcomes. This may include welcoming, training, and mentoring new team members, sharing knowledge and ideas, or boosting morale. Doing your part to contribute to a positive work environment and culture can lead to new opportunities within the organization.

Advance Your Career

Find a job with more responsibility with help from RightStone. Visit our job board today.


Successful Professionals: How to Improve Your Communication

 

Strong communication skills are necessary for career success. Because every job requires human interaction, the more easily you facilitate communication with others, the more efficient and effective your work will be. This is why developing your communication skills should be one of your top priorities.

Implement these five tips to improve your workplace communication.

1. Pay Attention to Communication Styles 

Knowing how others tend to communicate helps you effectively facilitate conversations. For instance, passive communicators typically act indifferent or agreeable to keep the peace. Aggressive communicators often freely express their emotions and can be intimidating. Passive-aggressive communicators may appear aloof when they are upset or annoyed. Assertive communicators usually are considerate and express themselves in a clear, direct manner. Careful observation of others’ verbal and nonverbal communication can help you adapt your own style to build a foundation for mutual understanding.

2. Actively Listen

Pay close attention to what others are saying. Ask clarifying questions to show interest and understanding. This builds respect for the people you communicate with and facilitates collaboration.

3. Show Empathy

Demonstrate a shared understanding of others’ emotions. Showing you can relate to how someone feels helps you more effectively communicate with them. You can determine an appropriate approach and exhibit the proper feelings toward what they are talking about.

4. Be Persuasive

Convincing others to complete a desired action or behave in a certain way is important. It can lead to increased productivity and help achieve a goal. The stronger your ability to influence others’ attitudes and behaviors, the stronger your impact within the organization.

5. Practice Public Speaking

Increase the effectiveness of your presentations by repeatedly practicing them. For instance, begin each talk with something that immediately engages your audience and holds their interest. Also, use notes to guide your presentations. Additionally, maintain eye contact with your audience. Plus, project your voice and pace your discussion so the information is easy to process. Further, use visual aids and end on a strong note to leave a lasting impression.

Looking for a New IT Role?

RightStone has a variety of IT roles that fit your skills, experience, and interests. Visit our job board today.


How to Create a Career Development Plan

Managing your IT career helps maximize your happiness and success. Because you invest so much of your adult life by working, you want to make the most of your time. Having a plan helps you set milestones and accomplish your professional goals.

Use these tips to develop a plan for your IT career.

Start with Your Current Role

Think about where you are now. For instance, make a list of your skills, strengths, and experience. Also, include what you enjoy doing most, what gives you energy, and what keeps you motivated. Additionally, focus on whether you prefer leading, collaborating, or working independently. Plus, consider whether you have finished your education or would like additional certifications or degrees.

Include Your Destination

Figure out where you want your career to lead. For instance, think about what you want to be doing in 5 to 10 years. Then, focus on where you want to be in shorter increments. Also, decide whether you will be with the same employer in a more senior role, at another company, or in an entirely new career. Be sure your goals align with what motivates you the most.

Analyze Your Gaps

Use your career goals for the next 2 to 5 years to find postings for the type of job you want. See whether you have the education, skills, experience, and requirements for each role. Next, rate your list of education, skills, and experience against the job requirements. Use 1 to indicate no match between yourself and the requirement and 5 to indicate an excellent match. The lower the rating, the more time and energy you will need to invest in improvement. Then, group together the common skills and experiences you have a solid background in and those that require additional development. This shows the type of education, skills, and experience you should focus on.

Develop Your Career Plan

Use your list of the education, skills, and experience you need to develop to create your career goals for the next few years. Start by creating tasks related to each item and how you will achieve it. For instance, if you want to learn specific software, you could ask a colleague to show you or take a class. Then, organize a timeline for a logical direction in which to reach your goals. Begin with the short-term tasks you can quickly achieve, such as reading a book, before moving to the long-term goals, such as earning a master’s degree. Make sure your goals are specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, and time-bound (SMART). Give yourself start and end dates with milestones in between.

Measure Your Progress

Hold yourself accountable for making progress toward your goals. For instance, keep track of how your results align with your deadlines. Also, find ways to get back on course when needed. Additionally, revise your deadlines accordingly. Plus, celebrate your successes along the way.

Advance Your IT Career

Move forward in your IT career with help from RightStone. Visit our job board today.


5 Tips to Get Yourself Organized at Work

If you struggle to stay organized at the office, know that you are not alone. Many employees have this challenge. Fortunately, there are simple ways to overcome this obstacle.

Choose among these five ways to stay organized at the office.

1. Declutter Your Workspace

Keep only what you need in your work area. Maintaining adequate space helps you focus and be productive. For instance, move, discard, or donate what you do not need or regularly use. Also, make it a habit to keep things where they belong unless they are being used. Plus, clean up your desk before you leave for the day.

2. Maintain Your Inbox

Check your email three times a day: morning, afternoon, and before you leave work for the day. Maintain folders for urgent, important, informational, or other types of messages. Be sure to respond as needed or delete when appropriate. Also, unsubscribe to the newsletters and other emails you lack the time or interest to go through. Plus, when possible, use the phone or a chat app to convey information rather than send an email. Then, you will receive fewer emails in response.

3. Avoid Multitasking

Focus on completing one activity at a time. This results in increased efficiency and accuracy. When you try to accomplish more than one thing at a time, the brain has trouble switching among tasks. This makes it harder to concentrate and make decisions, which reduces the quality of work.

4. Take Breaks

Step away from your desk at regular times throughout the day. Use these breaks to take a walk, read a book, or meditate. Also, use your lunch hour to fuel your body with healthy foods and talk with coworkers in the breakroom. You should return to your desk refreshed and focused.

5. Plan Your Week

At the end of each workweek, plan what you want to accomplish the following week. For instance, keep a broad overview of your meetings and the tasks you need to handle or delegate. Use this information to plan each workday the night before. Include the activities you want to finish and the times you will work on them.

Find a New IT Job

When the time comes to find a new IT role, include RightStone in your search. Follow this link to our job board.


Leaving a Job with No Future

If you are passed over for a promotion you truly deserved, it may be time to find a new job. After all, you cannot stay in the same position indefinitely and advance along your career path. If you are not finding the room to grow with your current employer, then you need to begin finding a new one now.

If you continue to be passed over for promotions, implement these guidelines to determine when a good time is to leave your job.

Consider Your Last Promotion

You typically should be promoted after 18 months to 2 years in your current role. This timeline may be less if you discussed it before being hired. If you have been in the same position longer than 2 years and have no opportunities for a promotion, you should find another employer.

Look at Colleagues’ Promotions

Determine whether similarly qualified colleagues with the same level of experience as yours have recently moved up. Also, find out whether IT professionals in comparable roles at similarly sized companies have been promoted faster than you. If they have, then you need to begin your job search today.

Write Down Your Contributions

Make a list of all the ways you provide value to the organization. This may include routinely helping to finish projects or making material contributions that lead to success. Use this list to determine whether you should be at a higher level than you are. If so, begin applying to positions that fit your skills and experience.

Talk with Your Boss

Meet with your manager to discuss a promotion. Prepare to talk about your contributions, achievements, and qualifications to move up. See whether your boss supports your request or provides concrete guidelines to be considered for a promotion. If not, begin your job search after work hours.

Enhance Your Skill Set

Find ways to gain or enhance the skills required for the job you want. This may include engaging in additional training, taking a class, or gaining certification. This can be beneficial in landing your next IT role.

Find a Higher-Level IT Job

Let a recruiter from RightStone help you find an IT job in line with your skills, experience, and interests. See which jobs are available today.


Charge Up Your IT Career by Upskilling

For the last decade, career advice has boiled down to a simple maxim: if you want a promotion, you need to change your job.

As more top-tier companies work to retain top talent, this advice no longer applies. Now, upskilling is one of the best ways to change the course of your career. By seeking new skills and reaching for new opportunities, you can find ways to move laterally or vertically in your company or into a new one.

Here’s how you can get started with upskilling in your career.

Make It a Habit to Learn Every Month

Upskilling works best when you commit to it long-term. However, you don’t need to enroll in a new certification or course every month. Instead, using bite-sized learning opportunities to pick up a new skill every month can help set you up for career-long learning.

Find something you’re passionate about, and get to grips with it piece-by-piece. You’ll find that you keep your learning achievable while also finding new ways to apply your lessons to your work today.

Learn from Team Members

Digital learning platforms are all the rage among Fortune 100 groups, but they can miss out on important learning opportunities that are right in front of you.

Your team members have more knowledge and skills than you know about. You can work together to ‘knowledge-share’ as a form of upskilling, which allows you to swap technical skills and practice teaching.

Invest in Your Soft Skills

Whether you work with technology or in technology, it’s important to remember that tech skills aren’t everything. Soft skills are also in need of continuous development, and they often get neglected.

Dedicate some of your time to developing yourself as a leader and a co-worker and honing your emotional intelligence. These skills will help you make the most of your tech skills and better position you for new opportunities.

Upskilling Can Change Your Life

Upskilling can do more than help you take the next step in your career. It’s also an opportunity to develop your passions, grow your life experiences, and enhance your ability to work and connect with others.

So whether your current employer offers a complete continuing education program or you need to cobble your learning experiences together on your own, upskilling is a worthwhile investment.

Are you looking to share your skills with the right client?  Visit RightStone’s job board to see what opportunities await you.


You Didn’t Get Hired – Now What Do You Do?

You spotted the job post of your dreams. You thought “That’s it. That’s the role I’ve been waiting for.” So, you applied and got that first call back. After weeks of screenings, interviews, and the final interview, you find out you didn’t get the job.

Rejection stings at any point of the process. But rejection is also an opportunity. So when you’re ready, follow these next steps to make your next interview a success.

Say Thank You for the Opportunity

It’s not the letter you hoped or expected to write, but it’s important none-the-less. 

Saying “thank you” is always a smart move. First, it’s mature and it acknowledges what happened. Second, it leaves a good impression with the employer, which is good news in case the chosen candidate doesn’t work out or you decide to apply again in the future.

Either way, it’s nice to be nice. So, your first order of business is to accept the decision gracefully.

Keep It Positive

Finding out a company passed on you hurts, even if you half-expected it. While the desire to wallow is natural, you need to remember that making it through the interview process means you did succeed.

By making it through the process, you proved you were a qualified candidate. You wrote a great resume or cover letter, and the hiring manager agreed. You then made it through the interview process, which is no small feat.

Ask for Feeback

With a positive mindset, it’s time to seek out a new opportunity. The best way to do that is through feedback.

It’s important to remember that the reasoning behind the decision could be a monumental issue or a tiny, almost imperceivable difference. Sometimes you don’t get passed on for any reason other than a gut feeling. 

Your feedback doesn’t need to cover why you didn’t get the job. Instead, you should focus on getting information on your perceived strengths and weaknesses. Where did you do well? Were there any stumbling blocks?

Sometimes, feedback gives you closure, or the feedback will help you find a new path forward.

Are you on the hunt for your next big opportunity? RightStone is placing qualified consultants like you with excellent employers. Get in touch to learn about the RightStone 360 process and see a list of current jobs.


Stepping Up for the Challenge – How to Ask for More Responsibility at Work

You have a set of responsibilities associated with your role. They may ebb and flow throughout the year, but you know them well and find you can achieve them comfortably.

Getting too comfortable can lead to boredom and complacency. But you don’t need a new job to avoid feeling stuck. You can ask for more responsibility to create new challenges.

How do you ask your boss for more responsibility at work? Keep reading for a short guide.

Look for Opportunities

“I’d like more responsibility around here.” It’s what you’re thinking, but that statement won’t win you any favors. Managers aren’t in a rush to delegate new tasks because delegation takes work, especially training.

So rather than asking for more work or opportunities generally, identify those opportunities for yourself and ask for them. Can you see things within your wheelhouse that your manager is stuck doing? Even better, are there action points that you could take ownership of that would add value to current projects or even the business?

There’s almost always room to scale. Once you find the opportunities that could grow your career, it’s time to figure out how you’ll do them.

Create a Plan

Before you present your chosen option to your boss, you’ll need to flesh out the idea.

How will you get the extra work done? Where will you pick up the skills? How much will it cost? What value will it add? Where will the spare time come from?

You’ll also need to demonstrate the stability of your current workload. No one is going to give you extra tasks if you can’t manage what you have already.

Pitch It the Right Way

With your goals identified and a plan in place, it’s time to pitch.

As with anything, context is key, and timing is everything. Don’t pick a particularly stressful time to make the ask — even if it might add value.

When you pitch, help them envision what the goal will do for them. Share the impact of the results’ impact and provide them with milestones and performance measurements to track them.

If they can see the value off the bat, they’re more likely to tell you to run with it.

Use Responsibilities to Create New Opportunities

You don’t need to feel stuck in your role. If you’re ready for more, all you need to do is ask — just make sure you have a plan before you do it.

Are you looking for a new role with new responsibilities? RightStone is placing qualified IT candidates in challenging positions right now. Find the list of currently available jobs on our website.

 


Questions You Must Ask at Your Next Interview

There’s one big job interview error that almost everyone makes. Do you know what it is?

It’s not talking too much or too little. The mistake has nothing to do with what you wear. No, one of the most pervasive misconceptions about job interviews is that the interviewer asks all the questions. On the contrary, an interview is a two-way street. Asking questions is the easiest way to demonstrate an interest in the role you applied for. They also help you assess whether the role and employer are right for you.

What questions get the best responses from interviews? Make sure you ask these questions at your next interview.

Questions About the Role

There are two types of questions you need to ask during your interview. The first relates to the role and the day-to-day responsibilities that come with it. These include:

  • Who do I report to?
  • What soft skills do successful people bring to the role?
  • What are the challenges of the role?
  • What did the past role occupant do to succeed?
  • How long did the last person to occupy the role stay in the position? Why did they leave?
  • What happens during a typical day?

The answers to these questions give you a good idea of what’s expected of you and what you can expect from the job itself. Not only will they help you distinguish the job from other roles, but they’ll give you something to think about if asked back for a second interview.

Questions About the Employer

Understanding your daily responsibilities is only have of the puzzle. As you know, the structure of the organization can help or hinder you in your job and down the road as you progress in your career.

What questions draw out the answers you need? Make sure you ask:

  • How would you describe the office/company culture?
  • What do you (the interview) like about working here?
  • How does the company promote employee and team development?
  • How does the role fit in with the company’s goals and vision?
  • How does the company evaluate success?

These questions help you identify the goals and values of the company and identify whether it’s a culture that suits your working style. You’ll quickly figure out whether the employer promotes from within, fosters talent, and prioritizes engagement without ever having to ask directly.

Interviews Go Both Ways

It’s a common misconception to think that a job interview places you and only you in the hot seat. For an interview to work, it’s important for you to interview your employer, too. You will learn far more about what they expect from you and the role, which gives you a better idea of whether you’re a good fit.

Are you looking for your next IT role?

At RightStone, we place candidates with clients that are right for you. Get in touch to learn how your next consulting job could be the start of a long-term relationship.


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