Goal setting, networking are key in preparing for an IT career change

If you've decided to take the first steps toward an IT career change, take a look at these tips to help make your move a success.

After serious thought and consideration, you've decided you need a new challenge and it's time to make a change in your IT career. But where do you start? Who can answer your questions about how to proceed?

That's where we can help.

Take a look at these five tips with expert advice about how to make your IT career change strategy a success.

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Evaluate where you stand and where you want to go: Our expert recommends doing this annually, but it's especially important to do a self-assessment planbefore you make any type of IT career change. This will help you evaluate your career status and your professional needs so you can build a solid plan of action with clear and practical goals.

Accomplish the goals you set for yourself: This one sounds like a no-brainer, but accomplishing your goals is a big step to making your IT career change happen. If you're committed to achieving the professional goals you set for yourself, you'll be ready to commit to a career change. These eight simple steps will help you hold yourself accountable and put you on the road to success.

Network, network, network: Who you know in IT can be just as important as what you know, so you should be a pro at networking with your peers. Knowing your elevator pitch, asking plenty of questions and staying in touch with the people you meet will improve your networking skills and expand your network of IT professionals.

Brush up your writing skills: Certifications and degrees are great, but you need to have excellent communication skills to be successful in your IT career change. This includes being able to write well. Frequently blogging about something in your field and volunteering for writing assignments in your current job are some easy ways to improve your writing.

Build up your (professional) social media presence: Traditional networking is a critical skill, but you will get left behind if you aren't a regular social media user. Build up your online presence by connecting on social media with the people you meet as you network. Regularly share content on your social media profiles and be sure to post content related to your field of expertise.

This was last published in July 2013

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Hi Toni, with the "worldwide" recession still with us - we are sometimes forced in making a career change. The secret to surviving these days is being "flexible" and being willing to learn new skills. I have been able to survive in spite of being 55 and laid off since 2008. What helped me was Nicholas Lore's book "The Pathfinder" - maybe you could feature him on your site. He also runs the Rockport Institute which has an AWESOME "Career Change" program. Love your article! Thanks, Angela J. Shirley
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