How to Find a Job in IT
[singlepic id=11 w=320 h=240 float=right]This is the beginning of a continuous series of articles about how to obtain a job in the IT (Information Technology) industry. I will cover what is going on today in IT and how you can fit into this field or advance yourself in the field if you are in IT already.
There are now and will be in the future, many job openings in the IT field. In the future, most everything you touch or work with will have some computer chip or powered aspect to the object. Your IT skills gained will be able to be applied to a wide variety of opportunities.
This is a very tough economy right now with perhaps 20 million people unemployed or underemployed. Still, there are 4 million or jobs being filled each month, with nearly that many jobs being eliminated. You want to be in the “jobs being filled” category.
Keep in mind that whatever job you are most suited for may not be the job that you really want, where you will be happy doing that job every day. You want to be motivated to go to work each day where you can contribute, be challenged, interact with good individuals, and leave each day feeling you have made a difference. And you want to be in an environment where you had a lot of instances of “fun” during the day!
The first step in determining what you would like to do, and in what types of jobs you are most likely succeed, is to do a self-assessment. How do your personality and desires match with different types of jobs and skillsets required?
Self-assessment is a process by which you learn more about yourself — what you like, what you don’t like, and how you tend to react to certain situations. Knowing these things can help you determine which occupations and work situations could be a better fit for you. You may recognize some of these tools if you ever worked with a career counselor or consultant.
There are many varieties of assessment tools, easy measuring a particular facet of you, like your interests, skills, personality, and values. Self-assessment tools are also either Self-Directed or Requiring Interpretive Assistance.
- Self-Directed means the tool is designed so you can use it and review your results without a licensed or trained professional interpreting the data for you. Even though they do not require intervention to read the results, you may still find you have questions. If that is the case, the service offering the tool may offer a way for you to follow-up or you can turn to our list of counseling associations for help in finding a counselor.
- Tools Requiring Interpretive Assistance mean your results will have to be discussed with a person licensed or trained in this particular tool so you can understand what the data is saying. The cost of the tool will include this interpretive assistance in some form.
Sometimes the problem is finding the right tool to help you in a particular situation. For example, you were just promoted and want to learn how to be a more effective manager. An interest inventory would not be your best option here, but what would be? Career-Intelligence.com has put together a nice table identifying which assessment tools are best for which learning situations.
Many people talk about their “type” or how they have taken personality tests, but I really think that few understand the information they have been given. What exactly is “type” and personality and what do they have to do with your job search? According to the Myers & Briggs Foundation,
“Psychological type describes the different ways people:
- prefer to take in information,
- prefer to make decisions,
- are energized by the outside world or by the inner world, and
- prefer to keep things open or to move towards closure.
These four preferences result in a person’s psychological type, sometimes called personality type. The theory of psychological type says that people with different preferences naturally have different interests, perspectives, behaviors, and motivations. Awareness of preferences helps people understand and value others who think and act quite differently.”
We have indicated if a tool is self-directed or requires assistance and if it is free or charges a fee for use.
- Myers-Briggs Type Indicator® (MBTI), the Myers & Briggs Foundation
- [Requires Assistance / Fee]. This is a very popular tool used in many situations, but the results require the interpretive assistance of a certified MBTI practitioner. You can find a full list of these practitioners at Association for Psychological Type, or you can purchase this tool plus an interpretive session from various online providers, including Career-intelligence.com, DiscoverYourPersonality.com, My Life Coach, and YourLife’sPath.com. Costs for this tool vary greatly, depending on the version of the test you select (online vs. paper), the type and amount of counseling involved and whether the test is offered with another instrument.
- Keirsey Temperament Sorter
- [self-directed / free] This test, made available online by David Keirsey, is like a short MBTI exam. Answer all the questions, and you will get a 4-letter personality indicator as the result along with a short explanatory document. If nothing else, it might help you to understand how you react and interact with others. There is a fee for an optional 10-page personal analysis.
- [self-directed / Fee] This an integrated inventory which measures your interests, strengths, support needs, and more. You can then take this and turn it into a career report with a few clicks. The fee covers the assessment itself and includes a detailed report. You have the option of purchasing personal phone sessions with a Career Coach billed at an hourly rate. This inventory is based on the Birkman Method, this rather detailed evaluation is designed to reduce the need for multiple assessments. Quintcareers.com gave it 3.5 stars out of a possible 4 and called it “easy” but they also noted it is time consuming, taking 30-40 minutes to complete. Yes, you can stop and go back to finish, but the assessment administrators recommend taking the time to do it in one sitting. There is a mini sample you can try. http://www.rileyguide.com/assess.html