A couple of weeks ago I was interviewed by a dice.com writer, asking what my recommendations for career resolutions could be for technologists. I had three things I shared that I thought were pretty darn good. You can see her article here: Career Resolutions Every Tech Pro Needs to Make for 2019
First, and I think the most important bit of advice, is to work on your soft skills.
I was not the only one surprised by the results of Google’s study of what made their top workers so successful, where the FIRST seven of ten things were soft skills.
Isn’t that mind-boggling? The top seven most important characteristics of successful Google employees do not include technology skills! I’m still shocked.
But I’m not surprised. Soft skills are so critical in today’s world, especially where there is a certain assumption of technical abilities.
I have 30 (and counting) Pluralsight courses that you can access that will help you with soft skills. You can see my soft skills courses on Pluralsight here.
While the primary audience of Pluralsight has been programmers, my soft skill courses are applicable to anyone. Want to become a better listener? Want to learn about leadership, management, even career management (of course)? I have that, and more.
I can offer you a 30 day pass on Pluralsight. Just get a JibberJobber account and then use the contact us to ask for more information.
Pluralsight costs around $300 a year, which is a steal considering what it would take to, for example, go to school or sign up for a boot camp. Many professionals around the world use Pluralsight to keep their skills up-to-date. Sometimes they have special offers…
My main point is, for your career growth, work on your soft skills!
Second, help others.
When you help others, whether you need help as a desperate job seeker or you are totally comfortable in your day job, you are creating great value in your network.
I told the author of the dice article about an opportunity that I had… what would have been a sure job offer through the brother of a close friend. It would have been awesome. I was at a networking event a few days earlier and met someone who would have been the perfect hire. In my conversation with the hiring manager I said that I’d be happy to pursue this, but they really should have the other guy come in, too.
Long story short: the other guy was offered the job. And I felt awesome, for the small part I had in his success.
Helping others can be as dramatic as that, or it can be as simple as saying “yes, I would be happy to meet with you for 30 minutes.” Helping others means you make introductions, or make calls on behalf of the other person. It means you remember someone’s name, or just greet someone kindly. It means you speak kindly of others. There are hundreds of ways you can help others…. I hope that this can be a career goal for you in 2019 and for years to come.
Third, do The Thing you know you need to do.
When the writer of that article asked me (in an email) what every technology professional should have as a career resolution in 2019, the first and second things mentioned above came to mind first. As we were talking, I had another idea. It’s hard to say “all technologists should do this.” We’re talking about tens of millions, hundreds of millions of people.
My idea was the one at the bottom of the article, the one where I was cited. It was that you already know what you should do. There is, I’m sure, at least one thing that you should work on. I’m not sure if it’s to get better at a certain hard skill, or to expand your network, or to get ready for a a leadership role or to branch out as an entrepreneur… I don’t know. But I bet you know.
So my suggestion is to work on the thing that you know to do. I don’t have a silver bullet answer for you… you already have the answer.
So work on that.