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Key career development strategies

A look at the key career development strategies covered in this newsletter over the years

By Amy Schurr, Network World
September 29, 2003 12:31 PM ET

As of Oct. 1, the Network World Career Advisor will assume a different name and focus. A new newsletter, Network World on IT Leadership, will replace both the Career Advisor and Network World on Management Strategies newsletters. The newsletter will cover your career issues and challenges as an IT leader, such as advancing the IT agenda within your company, budgeting, ROI, project management, and getting the most from your staff and assets.

I’ve enjoyed and appreciate your readership and feedback, and hope you’ll find the new newsletter that I’ll be writing useful. I also want to thank Melissa Shaw for all the valuable advice she’s given readers in her Management Strategies newsletter.

In light of this news, now is a good time to summarize a few of the key career development strategies featured in this newsletter over the years. 

* Network, network, network. Sometimes it’s not what you know, but who you know. Tap your wide base of industry contacts, former colleagues, friends, and nearly any one else you encounter and tell them about your job search. One of these people may lead you to your next opportunity. Of course, networking is a two-way street, so stay in touch with these folks regardless of your employment status and be on the lookout for ways that you can assist others.

* Develop your skills. Whether through informal training or certification, keep your tech skills current and learn about emerging areas such as security and IP telephony. Don’t forget soft skills either - managers say communication skills, business knowledge and project management can help position you for a promotion.

* Be persistent. When working to advance your career, you run into an obstacle, think about the ways you can tackle the problem. Being flexible and finding another way to package your skills, for example, might get you that interview. Consider a lateral move to another department in order to position yourself better for future growth. When you find a job posting that interests you, find a way to bypass the HR gatekeeper and go directly to the hiring manager.

* Toot your own horn. Your mother didn’t raise you to be a braggart, but in these times of downsizing, it’s important for senior managers to know what you contribute to the company. Make yourself indispensable by adding value to the organization and boost your visibility by volunteering for a high-profile project.

Read more about infrastructure management in Network World's Infrastructure Management section.

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