IT professionals are often the backbone of the operations that help an organisation run smoothly.
With business partnering and commercial skills becoming increasingly important factors in securing salary raises and promotions, being visible within your organisation and getting yourself noticed is now more important than ever to your career progression.
First of all, you’ll need to think about exactly how you fit into your organisation. Think about what you do, what the scope of your role might be and where it might be likely to make professional connections - depending on the size and structure of the company. Types of questions you may have will include: who do I work with most, which other teams/ individuals would I get value out of working with, who do I not know much about? Reaching out to these people through team building exercises, charity days, corporate sporting groups and team drinks are all easy ways to get to know your colleagues. The more you make yourself involved, the easier it will become.
Being visible within your organisation and getting yourself noticed is now more important than ever to your career progression.
Join formal networking groups
IT in particular is a field which lends itself to knowledge-sharing and there are a huge range of groups dedicated to just this. Meeting IT professionals outside of your organisation can be a fantastic avenue for staying abreast of trends and meeting key influencers within the field. Trade magazines and professional organisations are often the best place to start as they tend to run events on a regular basis throughout the year. Making contact with your graduate or alumni groups is also a great way to stay connected to the greater industry.
Consider networking an investment
With networking, the more time and effort you invest in it, the better your return is. If you think it's tricky to begin with, remember that other people are there for the same reason.
Typically, important opportunities can present themselves at unexpected times, and the more you open yourself to professional exchanges, the more you will find opportunities for career advancement.
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