Jidaw Systems

The IT Career Top Dos and Don'ts

What must I do to grow my career in Information Technology (IT)? Many are always asking questions on how to approach career development and prospects in the IT field? An IT career can be full of challenges and excitement.

But there is no magic key. It all depends on the effectiveness of your career growth methods. Quality of effort is often the difference between frustration and achievement.

Here are top "dos and don'ts" tips that should ensure your effort is high quality, while keeping you on the right track. Note that none of these guidelines can stand-alone. To make meaning they all play together.

1. Do Empower yourself
Empowerment is about using knowledge to make things happen - to create opportunity. Knowledge options include: training, certification, books, work experience and the Internet. What's your attitude towards learning? Is knowledge acquisition an investment or a cost to you?

Career opportunities exist in many fields including: technical support, programming, web development, database and networking.
Understand what empowerment means. It's about learning how to fish, instead of always depending on others. It's about resourcefulness -knowing how to dig deep and knowing where to look for answers.

Put in quality sweat - learn, practice, and invest in substance and not flashy gimmicks. Be strong in the fundamentals. The great IT pro isn't satisfied with just doing. Excel in what you do. Aim high. Measure yourself with high quality global standards. And keep on learning - Lifelong learning is critical. Anything else is dinosaur land. Strike the right balance between doing and the ability to keep on doing. You have to make that balance so you'll be sure to bring the best value to your career.

2. Don't lose Focus
What is your WHY? Empowerment for what? Are you just following the crowd? Be wise. What is your passion? What do you value? Have a laser-like focus on WHY. "A dream without a plan is a nightmare".

Planning helps you with (WHY and HOW) focusing and organizing yourself. You know your stuff but are heading in the right direction? Where are you? What is your interest? What is your purpose? Where are you going? How will you get there? Understand the difference between the journey and the destination. How realistic are your expectations? Fulfillment is a function of expectations.

It is your duty to find your mission. As you invest in knowledge and skills, are you developing with purpose? In which area (s) do you want to make an impact? Get your priorities right. Focus on things that matter. Avoid distractions and let the main issue be the main issue.

3. Do develop your Creative skills
Focus on creativity and not consumption. Life, or opportunity, isn't usually a one-way street. Having the right skills and knowledge are great, but creativity needs more than just expertise. IT attracts everyone, but are they all making a difference? To stand out and stay ahead in IT, you need to go beneath the surface.
Observe your environment, seize the initiative and take bold steps. Learn to see beyond the obvious.

Get deep and drop the status quo approach. Creativity is not about the usual routine or copycat stuff. "Do not go where the path may lead; go instead where there is no path and leave a trail" - Ralph Waldo Emerson. What, where is the need? Think outside the box and see how your skills can provide an answer to the need.

Creativity also means being wise to opportunities available to you. Have an open mind. No two career strategies are the same. No straitjacket formula exists for career success. "Use open doors to unlock closed doors." For example, if the door to your career choice in database management appears closed, why not start by exploring open doors in technical support or networking. Such experience may eventually help you unlock doors to such career paths that may be otherwise inaccessible.

4. Don't neglect Service and Contribution
Technology is about service and contribution. Invest not just for passing exams but to contribute and to be of benefit to others. Drop the "its-all-about-the-pay" mindset and recognize that your IT career isn't just about money or acquiring certificates. Growth comes by solving problems and creating opportunities. How is what you know and can do benefiting others? Value means others must benefit from you.

Money is not your mission. Money simply gives you options for achieving your purpose. Get rid of unrealistic expectations. IT creates wealth, but it isn't a get-rich-quick scheme. "We eat to live, We don't live to eat". Get deep and add value. Your value not just knowledge is your power.

The power to shape your career is in your hands! I wish you all the best in your IT Career,


Next on The IT Career Top Dos and Don'ts - 2


Jide Awe
Jide Awe is the Founder of Jidaw.com


What Do you Have to Say? Post Your Comments about this content resource Here.



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November 12, 2008


Tunde Ajayi of Igboho, Oyo state, Nigeria says:



Very impressive, innovative and straight points that reshaped my passion and interest in IT career. visiting you soon! 



October 22, 2008


Paul of Lagos, Nigeria says:



Great write-up. 


April 25, 2007




Ted Terwase from Garki II, Abuja, Nigeria says:



A friend referred me to jidaw.com, I was reluctant even to visit the site because previous IT sites (which I shall not mention) I visited failed to state clearly why and how it is important. On jidaw.com, I find the words of Jide Awe not only as keypoints to making one's benchmark in the industry within years, I also find it as a motivating counseling for those who desire to get in, as well as those who are already in there. There hope for us, because there is a place of us who are willing. Kudos. 


Roger from Nairobi says:



It looks tough but the focus - your WHY is what matters. 


Dekunle from Abuja says:


Thanks but we need such talks on certification and career here in Abuja. Keep up the excellent work, I thank God for you and what He is using you to achieve.


Mobolaji Aminu  from Lagos says:


Sir, i want to thank you for the info. I just saw this article and it went along way in equipping me. i also want to thank you for your reply and by God's grace when i'm back in Lagos soon to register with you ever since i saw the advert and came to the site and saw the wonderful things you are doing for the IT world. I can only say God bless you real good! I am to resume in the University of Lagos as a part-time student and will register with you shortly. Thank you for your response and God bless.



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