2016, a fresh New Year has started, and many of us have made New Year resolutions. Most of the time we hear about a list of to-do items relating to weight loss, exercise, eating habits, quitting smoking, etc., as New Year resolutions. But should we have a list of to-be’s, instead of a list of to-do’s?
What do we want to be during this year? Are we going to improve upon our values or conscience in any way? Are we going to make our life a meaningful one by impacting others positively through our expertise or resources? Are we going to learn new skills?
Speaking about new skills, IT professionals are quite vulnerable due to rapid technological evolution. Technologies that were relevant a few years ago are not so relevant now, or have gone through a major change/upgrade. If IT professionals do not keep pace with these changes they can’t stay relevant and their careers may be at risk during current times of change in business strategy or mergers/acquisitions or work movement due to outsourcing or internal restructuring.
Most of the times IT professionals are driven by the project assignments given to them. They are asked to manage more complexities with limited information and resources. They learn based on the opportunities given to them by their employers. If they are lucky to get projects with the latest technologies they can learn it and stay relevant in the future. Otherwise, even the most talented IT professionals’ careers could be at risk. Time flies! By the time, we realize this reality it could be too late for many of us.
Not many small to medium size companies have a technology skill development plan in place for talents. Moreover, the work life of IT professionals is very hectic due to the pressure of having to complete IT projects on time, or due to having to do shift work or reactionary nature of work to support production systems, combined with travel required. Invariably, IT professionals do not get enough time to plan for their own formal skills development.
Therefore, it is imperative that professionals with IT talent must plan for their IT skill development to stay ahead and to stay relevant all the times. Skill-sets and expertise are the only insurance one can have to protect an IT career and, by extension, one’s family.
2016 has just started and it is time for talented IT professionals to think about a “to-be” instead of just a “to-do” list.