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Articles > Managing Your Career - 2012 New Year Resolution
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Managing Your Career - 2012 New Year Resolution

By James Del Monte, JDA Professional Services, Inc.

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As this new year begins, we see explicit evidence indicating that the Houston IT employment market has recovered.  

One question I am often asked this time of year focuses on how one can improve his or her marketability and income potential.  Although this question yields a rather complex answer, there are several actions one can take with relative ease.  It is important to keep in mind that IT has transitioned from a pure technical function to more of a business resource with a global work force. Today’s market places a more critical emphasis on investing in one’s education, training, and interpersonal skills if one is to remain competitive.

A minimum of a bachelor’s degree is generally required by most employers while candidates for leadership roles should preferably have earned a master’s degree. Houston is fortunate to have several universities offering advanced degrees designed for the working professional. In addition to traditional colleges, several virtual universities with competitive programs are gaining respect within the business community. Alongside formal education, certifications within one’s field are viewed, in some cases, as a baseline for positions. Houston is home to several training centers as well as trade groups that offer their own certification programs. It is strongly advised that individuals keep their certifications current and add new ones ahead of their current position.

We have found that professionals who can clearly express themselves both orally and through writing are more often considered for promotion and receive additional opportunities to advance. Toastmasters is an effective means through which these skills can be developed. A second or third language is also an effective tool in working with a global workforce.

What you know is essential in advancing your career, yet who you know as a well-networked professional will yield more opportunities. Whether it is through an internal mentor within one’s organization or simply someone in the Houston community, I am often amazed at who knows whom and just how common it is to see promotions or hiring decisions made based on the recommendations of others. One viable means through which one can expand their network is by participation in the community. There are over 70 IT industry trade groups located and operating in Houston. Some are technical-oriented while others are largely social; but in any case, trade groups are great avenues for personal growth and many even offer opportunities to develop skills and take on leadership roles. For a list of Houston trade groups, visit JDA’s Hi-Tech Event Calendar.

As you evaluate your career options, maintaining a current resume with JDA will open the hidden job market to you.  Please forward to us your most recent version. Our current assignments are posted to our website on a weekly basis; check back regularly.

Have a blessed New Year
  
James Del Monte, CERS, CPC
President

Proverbs 15:22


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