Stuck in your tech career box
It's time to get out of the box. Image: Ollyy/Shutterstock

Feeling stuck? Here’s how to advance your tech career

8 Jun 2017

Have you hit a wall in your tech career? Here’s how to get back on track.

Tech is expanding fast. Opportunities are plentiful. Everywhere you turn, there are tech jobs being announced both in Ireland and abroad.

That doesn’t mean, as a tech professional, you don’t suffer the same issues as everyone else when it comes to obtaining one of those jobs. And, when it comes to advancing your tech career, you still have to figure out where to go.

If you’re in the middle of your tech career and you’re not sure how to progress without waiting around for someone to promote you, it can make you feel a bit trapped.

Luckily, according to James Milligan of Hays Recruitment, the current supply dynamics mean there should be plenty of external options available to you if you feel you have hit a ceiling in your current company.

However, in order to make yourself as attractive a prospect as possible, there are some things you can do to ensure you’re developing your skills and maximising those opportunities.

“Try and get experience outside of your core area. Volunteer to work on projects in a different part of the business, engage with stakeholders that you don’t normally get exposed to in order to broaden your skill base and profile.”

Any skills outside of what your normal job covers will not only look good on your CV, but will show any potential employers that you take initiative and are willing to work outside of your comfort zone.

Milligan also advises that employees keep their qualifications current and maintain their tech career skills. “Even if you are not using them every day, you don’t know when your Prince2 qualification or Scrum Master will be essential to land that dream job.”

Whether you choose to upskill through your organisation or freshen up your certifications outside of work, potential employers will see that you were paying attention to the trends within the industry and were willing to learn from them.

Speaking of trends in the industry, it’s important to stay on top of them, not just for upskilling, but simply for improving your knowledge of the sector – even in areas that don’t apply to your current job. You’ll never know when you need to be familiar about those other areas.

“If you work in infrastructure, try and get exposure to cloud technology,” said Milligan. “If you are a developer, use online resources such as Stack Overflow and Github to build your profile, personal brand and network.”

Networking is another important part of advancing your tech career. Milligan advises attending hackathons and meetups to meet like-minded people and showcase your skills. “All of these things will contribute to you generating more opportunities with your current employer, and will play well in an interview process.”

Jenny Darmody
By Jenny Darmody

Jenny Darmody became the editor of Silicon Republic in 2023, having worked as the deputy editor since February 2020. When she’s not writing about the science and tech industry, she’s writing short stories and attempting novels. She continuously buys more books than she can read in a lifetime and pretty stationery is her kryptonite. She also believes seagulls to be the root of all evil and her baking is the stuff of legends.

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