2010 – My goals

My idea for 2009 was to have no new year’s resolutions, just a keyword for the year, #create.  That didn’t work out too well, I can think of countless excuses, one being the birth of my daughter in Jan, which played havoc with the amount of free time I thought I may have.  But the reality is that without clear goals, you’ll never accomplish much.  So for 2010 I ‘ve decided to set clear goals, and make them public, so that I don’t have any excuses to back down on any of them. Continue reading “2010 – My goals”

Honest CV

If you read between the lines in about 70% of the CVs I receive, this is exactly what they look like, excluding the experience.

The moment I see a lack of passion on a CV, it goes one way.  Shift-Delete, don’t even bother with a recycle bin, I don’t want to see it again.

Soft skills to help you excel in IT

I received this piece by email and thought I have to share it. 

ITprofessionals know that the development of technical skills is fundamental andnon-negotiable in the development of their careers.  The degree to which these technical skills are achieved and applied can beeasily measured through tests.  They can also be noted at a glance by simply finding out what tertiaryeducation the professionals have done and what qualifications were achieved atany one of the country's 21 universities.

At the Cape Peninsula University of Technology alone, there are 25 000 studentsdeveloping their technical skills and preparing for the working world by comingto grips with the technologies, theories and histories of their chosen careers.  But learning about and mastering the subject matter is only one of thenecessary talents every IT professional must cultivate.  There is a strong human component: essentially eight soft skills that must alsobe mastered for industry players to excel in their chosen technology fields.

Energy

Whether yourtechnical skills are average or above- average, applying a positive attitudeand energy can improve the working environment and your career prospectssignificantly.

Be energised about how you view problems, be positive in your approach tosolving them, and show conviction.

Attitude and energy applies as much to what you do as it does to how you do it.It also applies to the interpersonal skills you bring to the workplace.

Simply because you are a friendly person does not mean that you automaticallyhave the energy and attitude to be successful in your chosen IT career.

Communication

In anyprofession, communication is important. The more communicative you are, themore you will find yourself surrounded by people and projects that help yougrow your career prospects rather than bog you down with problems and hurdles.

Communicating ideas is important; doing so in ways that the people you aretalking to will understand is even more so.

In IT, however, there is an added need for written communication as it isimportant to provide users of systems or products with manuals and informationon how to maximise the solution.

Perspective

Keepingperspective when faced with major obstacles is a must.  It enables you to see complaints, compliments, issues and non-issues for whatthey really are.

Understanding the context in which things occur is also important. If neitheris done, it becomes difficult to overcome issues, little problems can be blownout of proportion and solutions mismatched.

Without context, you could find yourself scrambling to chase away the smokerather than putting out the fire. Worse, without perspective you could befuelling the fire instead of fighting it.

Business savvy

To ensurea successful, prosperous and long career in IT, it is important to understandthe business as well.  It is necessary to get a grip on what drives the business, to understand whatthe business's objectives are and what your role is in getting it there.  To effectively do your job, it is necessary to know what your managers anddirectors want of you and what the company's clients expect of you.

In coming to terms with the business, you must align yourself with it. If youfind that alignment is not possible, it is best to move on as you serve no oneworking for a company that you do not understand or appreciate.

Control

Control relatesto how you approach leadership. There must be an understanding and respect forthose in positions of leadership in the business.  They must be used as mentors to expand your skills and knowledge on as manyfronts as possible.  Occasionally, management decisions should be challenged, provided the businessstands to benefit.

Responsibility

On theother side of the control coin, those in positions of leadership must applythemselves to sharing their knowledge and they must lead by example.  Your leadership ambition must be fuelled by energy, but it must be checked byperspective and context, assisted through communication and guided by businesssavvy and control.

Direction

Responsibilityfor your career is yours and yours alone. Companies cannot be expected to tellyou what career you should be following or how to get there. Rather, theyshould assist in your career growth.  This is most effectively done when you align yourself with the business andtake responsibility for yourself, your knowledge and your actions.

Generalisation

Technology requires very specific skills to be acquired, but toensure a successful career in IT, you must complement these skills with ageneralist approach.  Broadening your knowledge and understanding in your chosen field, and coming toterms with the more general concerns that surround it, gives you power to goplaces. 
It makes you more marketable to employers and more sellable to customers. Whilespecialists can make money, generalists rule the world.

 

Some consideration

This week I decided to give a personnel agent the boot because of the second no-show of one of their candidates for an interview without any notification whatsoever.

I probably would have let it slide if the agent actually apologised after I notified her of the first no-show.

This gets me down to the topic, if any of these candidates or even the agent had shown some consideration, and did the right thing, one of the five candidates that had an interview scheduled might have been the right one.  But since none of them showed any consideration, I decided to do the same, and cancel all the remaining interviews, and move my business to another agent.

Unfotunately this trend of showing no consideration for our fellow South Africans is becoming more and more evident nowadays.  On our roads, in our shops, everywhere.

Until we don't start showing some, our country is never going to be the awesome place it could be…

The message that I'm trying to convey here, is that next time you do something that could influence the lives of others, have some consideration for the repercussions of your actions.