The technology sector is a vast and evolutionary entity, and one which in many ways seems impervious to the peaks and troughs of economic performance. It is also a global industry, and while it may be synonymous with Silicon Valley there are a host of cities throughout the world that are also hubs for innovation and digital growth.
In fact, London, in the UK, is fast emerging as a leading digital powerhouse of the technology sector. Popular among developers and investors, its rise to prominence will help to add diversity to the industry and also create additional employment opportunities for qualified individuals.
While aspiring technology professionals can choose from a wider range of potential job opportunities, there is, however, no guarantee that they will achieve success in such a changeable and competitive marketplace. So if you are to develop a successful career and represent one of the market leaders, you will need to consider the following 12 ways to thrive in the technology sector:
1. Identify your areas of interest in the technology sector.
The technology sector is one of the most diverse marketplaces in the world, which means that there are multiple fields of expertise that you can specialize in. It is therefore important that you identify any areas of particular interest, and understand whether or not you have the skills to succeed in these disciplines. With so much competition in fields such as software development and website design, an underlying enthusiasm can also afford you a critical edge when applying for positions.
2. Consider individual sectors and their potential for future growth.
Once you have identified technology-related jobs and disciplines that appeal to you, the next step is to consider their viability in the existing economic climate. The demand for specific technological products and services constantly fluctuates according to trends in innovation and the wider economic climate, so you will need to measure this before making a firm decision. After all, there is little point in pursuing a career path that has no genuine potential for long-term growth and development.
3. Be proactive when developing targeted industry skills.
As a fluid and evolutionary industry, the technology sector is continually placing new demands on its workers. While the rate of innovation and progression is more prominent in some markets than others, anyone with ambitions to succeed within the technology industry must remain proactive when updating their qualifications and seeking out relevant skills. The search marketing industry provides the most prominent example of this, as the changeable nature of Paid Search and Google AdWords requires employees to adopt a tenacious approach to learning and regularly update their skills.
4. Develop experience in your market of choice.
Whether you are completely new to the technology industry or have previously worked in a relevant field, it is important that you develop experience within the sector you have targeted. One of the best ways to achieve this is to operate as a freelance service provider, as this enables you to acquire practical experience and additional earnings without sacrificing an existing career. As an independent contractor, you can schedule your workload appropriately and gradually establish yourself as an industry expert.
5. Forge a strong network of industry contacts.
Another benefit of freelancing is that it exposes you to a global pool of relevant industry contacts, as you have the opportunity to represent businesses and clients from around the world. This can have a huge impact on your potential for future growth and development, and ensure that you have access to a continuous stream of viable employment opportunities. If you are to enjoy continued success in the technology sector, a strong and interactive professional network is absolutely pivotal.
6. Communicate openly and directly with colleagues.
Let’s face it, there are some areas within the technology sector that are particularly challenging and enduringly stressful. Take IT service provision, for example, which generally requires the maintenance of an entire computer network and the completion of urgent, real-time tasks on a daily basis. Proactive and direct communication skills are therefore essential, as they enable you to talk openly about the progress of individual tasks and ensure that your colleagues are kept updated about the technical issues that are hindering their productivity.
7. Learn the art of improvisation.
As anyone who has ever attended an interview for a technology position can testify, there is a huge emphasis placed on the ability to think analytically. In addition to this, a growing number of technology employers are also keen to assess their candidate’s capacity for improvisation, especially in relation to the development of innovative and unorthodox solutions. Problem-solving remains the single most important skill for a technology worker to possess, and it is equally important that you are able to conceive unique and unusual solutions when traditional remedies fail.
8. Work in an innovative and inventive manner.
On a similar note, the ability to think innovatively and creatively is something that should influence every aspect of your work in the technology sector. This not only applies to the strategies and solutions that you create when solving problems, but also the methods that you use to present your ideas, communicate with colleagues and drive product development. Although an inventive and unorthodox method of working may not always deliver results, it at least provides a unique perspective that can help businesses to evolve within their chosen market.
9. A keen sense of PR and marketing.
Google embodies the nature of the contemporary technology sector, as it is constantly innovating new ideas and concepts for the future. One of its most prominent drives has been to create a greater alignment between online marketing practices, and this has had a considerable impact on the technology sector. More specifically, technology workers must strive to develop a greater understanding of concepts such marketing and PR, especially those who are required to successfully develop commercial websites or cultivate interactive social networks on behalf of clients.
10. A strong and resilient character.
As with any fast-paced or competitive market, the realities of the technology sector can be extremely harsh. This is especially true in the fields of software and product development, where even market leading companies such as Google have wasted millions of dollars on flawed and ultimately unsuccessful projects. Such failures are inevitable in a constantly changing industry that relies on innovative thinking, so technology workers must have a strong and resilient character that enables them to recover from individual disappointments.
11. Remain open to change and advancement.
A relatively high level of involuntary staff turnover is also prevalent in the competitive technology sector, as companies are constantly forced to aggressively pursue leading industry talent. This can have a highly detrimental impact on technology workers, who may occasionally find that their job is threatened by the arrival of more proactive or qualified employees. With this in mind, it is imperative that you remain open to change and take a tenacious approach to seeking out new employment opportunities.
12. Attend technology trade shows and events.
On a final note, your chances of succeeding in the technology industry will rely heavily on your philosophical outlook and approach to work. The fine margins of success are often determined by seemingly insignificant factors, and you must be willing to showcase your enthusiasm, strength of character and an ability to think innovatively if you are to prosper. Regularly attending trade shows and events is an excellent way to translate this into practical action, as they provide you with access to the very latest in real-time trends and cutting edge innovation.