Successful career development requires constant focus and planning. This is particularly true in the technology sector, where needs and trends are frequently evolving, pushing talent to transform their expectations and adapt to new skills.
If you have a passion for the agile and evolving world of cloud computing, then the easiest way to set yourself up for gainful employment, is to design a roadmap for attaining the perfect position. This means thinking about where you are right now, where you hope to be soon, and what you need to do to make the journey.
Although professional progress happens differently for every person, the following tips will set you up on the path to positive growth in the “cloud” space.
1. Start with a Self-Assessment (Audit)
Choosing the best path to your destination begins with discovering where you are right now. Do this by assessing your current skill set and comparing your potential against an example CV or profile for someone in the job you hope to get. If you’re not sure what kind of talents you’ll need to cultivate, you can always speak to a specialist recruitment agency for their tips and tricks on getting into the right trade.
A good auditing process will involve looking not just at your qualifications and education, but also your attitude, behaviours, and any must-have competencies that your ideal employer might be searching for.
Carrying out a self-assessment will help you to identify the gaps in your character that you’ll need to fill to earn the attention of the best cloud companies. Remember that social skills and the ability to communicate with existing employees will be very important for most cloud stars.
2. Set “SMART” Goals
Once you know where your journey to success begins, you’ll be able to start setting milestones and goals for the future that will help to guide you along the right path. While there’s nothing wrong with setting lofty ambitions for yourself, make sure that any of the targets you implement are “SMART”:
- Specific (Give yourself as much context as possible)
- Measurable (Provide clear criteria to measure your progress)
- Attainable (Know you can achieve your goals)
- Relevant (Don’t allow yourself to stray from your focus)
- Time-bound (Commit to a certain schedule)
Ideally, your aims should be “short-term” in the cloud industry, as the sector is constantly changing, and five-year plans may quickly become irrelevant or out-dated.
3. Develop Experience and Connections
Sometimes, getting the right experience for your new cloud career isn’t just about attending a lecture or completing a course. On-the-job insights are incredibly valuable, so look out for opportunities where you might be able to volunteer to take on cloud-based projects in an existing role or learn something new at an industry conference.
Speaking of conferences, who you know can be as important as “what” you know in the technology sector. While you’re out working, studying, or even shadowing experts in your field, look for opportunities to build relationship with peers in your space. You can even connect with thought-leaders online through social media and specialist forums to improve your chances of finding the right employer.
4. Plan for Consistent Learning
In a highly skilled sector like cloud computing, it’s important to remember that your education will never be “complete”. As the industry continues to evolve, and new updates are released into the marketplace, the professional with the most up-to-date knowledge will be the one that gains the most employment opportunities.
Look for ways that you can keep your skills on the cutting edge by volunteering to take on relevant challenges with your existing employer or signing up for podcasts and classes. There are countless ways to learn in today’s highly-connected digital world.
5. Become More “Influential”
It’s easy to forget that soft skills are just as important as hard talents in the cloud technology space. Many experts get so caught up in chasing the right formal education, that they forget how important it can be to enhance their communication abilities, and learn how to speak to CEOs, and business leaders.
As a cloud-computing expert, you’ll be the person responsible for convincing the managers in your team that you need to take on a new piece of technology or start a different business process. This means that you may need to demonstrate the power of the cloud ecosystem to your employer at any moment.
Practice communicating your ideas in a value-focused way – reducing your reliance on jargon and building your confidence around public speaking. The right employee can convince anyone to value their skills.