With a new year starting its time to plan your career development for the next 12 months

As the Christmas season ends along with another year, this seems to be a perfect time to refocus our Time, Talent and Treasury.  Thinking specifically of our IT professional career, with time slipping quickly and limited treasury, planning to develop our talents requires careful thought.

Needless to say our talents require development through training and practice. If New Year’s resolutions are your thing, you may well be considering using some of that precious time and treasury to develop your talents.  A New Year’s Resolution is well and good but before jumping into the fray stop and consider your goals: financial, personal and professional.

Promotions and money are typical goals but consider some of your personal and professional career anchors: organizational security/geography; independence/autonomy; technical expertise/people management; challenge/routine and always work/life balance.  There are no correct answers just choices that are right for your health and happiness.

Many years ago my first year political science prof passed on a tip he received.  Yes he said, I can see by the looks on your faces you are wondering what can I do with a poli-sci degree.  Well, you can look around and see the job openings, pick a career, study and work hard for three or four years.  You’ll graduate and likely find yourself unemployed as the openings have been filled.  So consider what you like to do as you might as well be unemployed at something you like as unemployed at something you don’t. I actually changed schools 18 months later.

Armed with a renewed sense of you, consider the IT work you enjoy best and where your interests lead.  They will likely be mixed with some technical, some process and even some management.  Yes it is important to line them up with your company opportunities but don’t let corporate goals completely overshadow what keeps you excited.  When your interests and company needs align you have a perfect match which is a matter of degree and rarely a home run.  There is nothing wrong with a single base hit.

And you’re not alone.  Professional IT societies likely CIPS, PMI, IEEE, ACM, ICCP to name a few, present opportunities for you to connect with your peers and discuss continuing education opportunities and plans.  As a long-time CIPS member and currently on the board of ICCP, professional careers are their focus.  Presentations and speakers at gatherings and conferences are intended to provide IT professionals education and exposure to a broad range of interests.

As a shameless plug for ICCP, I can attest to the hard work by IT professionals and academics in developing assessments which provide detailed results of knowledge and experience for the subject of each assessment.  Most people tend to focus on the single mark but the best lies in the second or third level outline results which you can use to direct your efforts for study and review.  Additionally academics are increasingly using aggregate results for review and course planning.

It’s a New Year and now is the best time to think about and plan your career development and direction for 2014.  So go ahead and make a New Year’s resolution for  your professional Time Talent and Treasury in 2014 – Happy New Year!

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