Soft Skills required to grow in IT Environment
Along with technical stronghold today’s IT environment demands great deal of soft skills ability to deal with various stakeholders from different geography and manage project effectively. Information Technology professionals are considered to be hard core technology people. Technology is their strength and core competency that is the reason why they are in demand all over the world (especially Indian techies). Today we will discuss about the top list of soft skills needed to IT professionals to grow fast in their career.
In an IT environment one will have to listen more than talk as customers are from different geography. Even within the project team there will be mixed culture and team members would have joined from different part of the world.
This is one of the most important elements of leaders which many people ignore. If you want to be a good leader you need to listen, IT professionals are not different, they will have to clearly understand the customer ever changing requirement told untold implied. When you are able to listen to the requirement you will be able to not only understand their needs, also you will be prepared to ask appropriate question which is important to deliver your project.
As you grow up the ladder in IT organization one will have to sell ideas to various stakeholders as well as customer to retain your position intact. Selling is part of business and you will have to learn whether you like it or not. It’s a great combination of technology expert with selling skill will make you a great combination of skills no one can stop your growth. Today selling is everything in a competitive global environment. IT projects are global in nature if you love to travel around and meet different kind of people you better
Presentation is a daily ritual in the It environment, every drop of the hat people set for meeting and look for presentation. In fact most of the time spent by project managers is attending one meeting to another meeting one project to other.
Presentation needs not a MS PowerPoint driven close door presentation. Presentation skill involves presenting your thought process in a structured manner to other person or team so that they understand the concept and buy your ideas. At times it so happens, your ideas are really game changing but you are not able to put across convincingly. Then your co workers or team lead will exploit you and take this idea and present it to management and take credit for it, So this skill will help you sell your ideas and facts to the larger audience thereby grow up the ladder faster than normal pace.
Learn to Negotiate (Negotiation Skill)
Negotiation is the important aspect of the life of an IT person. Its starts with a time line when they can deliver they goes to resources required and finally land up in project cost upgrade. It is an Art itself earlier the better you will start growing
No matter what is your role in the IT organization you will have to negotiate, negotiate for time, negotiate for extra resources, and negotiate for deliverable with customers, everything revolves around how good are you in negotiating and bring stakeholder to make agree for your terms. To protect your interest one will have to negotiate various aspect of the project. More you negotiate better you are protected and you will have to agree on common ground which will set expectation as well as commitment from both the side. Negotiation skills will help you to put yourself in a better position and agree upon common goal especially IT environment time of delivery and resources are frequently negotiate aspect one have to be mastered in.
Learning and teaching is the part of daily business of IT professionals. Frequent change in technology or high attrition rate will make this inevitable. Often these people need to upgrade their skill and teach others to keep them up to date. Fresh entrants to project need much needed support that is where one can build relationship by taking a role of coach or mentor, Continuous learning and mentoring will help you not only learn new subject and make you strong also other will look at you as a resourceful knowledgeable person which will have a very strong impact on your growth.
One of the key aspects of the IT project is its always agile and ever changing requirements. In India the project team itself gets churned within 6 to 12 months, most of your team members would have changed job or move to other project. Every six month new technology will get launched and you will have to get adjusted to new features. Learning is never ending process here.
IT professionals need greater flexibility as the nature of work involves various other stockholders and leads to frequent changes in aspect like requirements, Timeline, Resources constrain, Timings etc. One will have to cope up with these changes and work according to new norms. Flexibility is part of any good leader and IT is not exception. It will give you edge over others to move quickly if you are able to adopt flexibility as your strengths. It is not easy to be flexible you will have to really work on you system for long time to be match the need.
Creativity and Continuous Improvement
Creativity is a much needed skills everywhere to find solution to day today problems. In a technology driven environment if you are able to come up with creative idea where it can save time, money and resources to the organization your career is protected. When you have ability to find a creative solution to your customers pain you are much valued. However creativity is a very subjective quality to gage and assess but its very important skill of survival and growth.
Like any other profession IT professionals need greater degree of technical as well as soft skills requirement to meet new global challenges. Along with above skills mentioned if you are able to have a greater grip on the below aspect of the soft skills you will have a greater satisfied career in IT environment
More Soft Skills to Master in IT Job
- Stress management
- People Management
- Interpersonal relationship skills
- Managing office politics
- Influence skills
These qualities are a must for any person who wants to survive and grow up the ladder. IT environment has become very competitive and challenging. Gone are the days IT industry was a blue eyed boy of the western and Indian business houses. Today this sector is facing many challenges including geo political as well as skilled resource challenge as any other sector would have.
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