Career Testing
Career Testing
Career Testing
CAREER DEVELOPMENT / MAR. 07, 2014
version 5, draft 5

How to Build a High-tech Career

With the jobs of the future increasingly focusing on technology and Big Data, there is no doubt that a job in the tech sector is not only a growing one but also a lucrative one. “The jobs, now and into the future, will be focused on technology, science and math”, confirms Jim Turnquist, the director of Career Services at Michigan Technological University.

According to the U.S. Economics and Statistics Administration, job opportunities in the field of technology are increasing up to three times faster than other careers in the U.S. Careers in technology tend to move relatively faster and constantly evolve as new innovations emerge. If you are up to pursuing a career in the high-tech sector either as an employee or a self-employed entrepreneur, follow the advice outlined below to fast-track your success:

Network with Uniquely Skilled Colleagues

One of the best things about workplace diversity is that you are surrounded by people that have the skills and experience you probably do not have. Be honest with yourself and figure out what you don’t know. Then turn to the right people who can fill the gaps where you lack. Joanna Weidenmiller, co-founder and CEO of 1-Page, an enterprise platform that gamifies hiring notes that “the ultimate goal is to create a dream team where people can learn from each other and where each person’s contribution is unique and invaluable to hitting the common targets”.

Make the Most of Mentors and Support Networks

Consulting a mentor and forming a support network at an early stage is key to obtaining valuable advice to overcome potential challenges and build confidence as you move forward. Utilise groups such as Springboard Enterprises, the Dell Women’s Entrepreneur Network and the Dell Founders Club (aimed for funded founders and CEOs) in order to find the right support network that will make sure you are on the right track.

Strategic Time Management and Hard Work are Key

Being highly considerate and strategic about where you choose to spend your time is key. Undertake an activity only if it really adds significant value to the business and your output is critical. Otherwise, act efficiently by delegating and outsourcing that activity to someone else.

On top of this, embrace hard work when you are first starting out. If you join a team, the more valuable you are, the more responsibility you will be asked to assume.   

Trust Your Intuition to Build Something Unique

Make the most of your innate wisdom. Trust your own gut rather than following industry standards to build something creative and original. Combine any training skills you obtained with a number of new relevant technology skills to become more competitive and come up with niche ideas.

Embrace Curiosity

Finally, turn to companies that are willing to empower you as a young employee. The fact that you are an entry-level employee does not necessarily mean that you can’t create huge value and make significant impact. If you want to become a valuable asset in your company you should identify problems that need to be solved and opportunities that could be pursued and help advance your career.

It’s also critical to pursue your own curiosity. Curiosity should drive your decision making in accepting a job offer. Be inspired to find out more about the industry you will dedicate yourself to, the company culture, even the people you will be working with. It is this sort of ‘curiosity’ that will likely lead you to professional fulfillment in the future.

Since the tech sector increasingly becomes a lucrative area of expertise, don’t compromise with a mediocre job. Find the right people and support network, identify problems and come up with inventive solutions and research the company in which you aspire to innovate. This is how you will build and boost a high-tech career. 

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