6 Soft Skills You Need to Get Ahead in the IT Industry

By Chelsea Babin

The importance of developing technical skills and technical experience is a no-brainer if you want a career in the Information Technology industry. But, have you stopped to consider the soft skills you might need to develop in order to succeed? These 6 soft skills will help you get ahead as a technical professional and help you build a solid, sustainable IT career.

1. Communication and Collaboration: Whether you’re interacting with clients and customers or merely collaborating with an in-house development team, many technical professionals need to focus their soft skill development on communication and collaboration. This skill (or set of skills) will help you get ahead professionally because, the more people you can communicate clearly with along the way, the more likely you are to move into a lead, architect, or manager position in the future. If you want to advance your technical career these soft skills are essential!

2. Openness to Feedback and Criticism: This essential soft skill is important in almost any industry, but it’s particularly important for technical professionals who often work in collaborative environments. Remaining open to feedback and criticism helps you course correct before making a big mistake, learn from your big mistakes so you don’t repeat them in the future, and work well with others.

3. Curiosity: An inherent curiosity is a common trait and soft skill of the most successful technical professionals. Why? Because this curiosity serves as a driving force in the pursuit of better solutions, optimization, new technical knowledge, and a deep understanding of how things work or need to work in order to satisfy customers and clients. Cultivating this curiosity will certainly help you get ahead as a technical professional!

4. Accountability: There’s a fine line you need to be able to walk as a technical professional between volunteering your efforts on extra projects to stand out and add more value and not biting off more than you can chew. The ability to hold yourself accountable, foresee both the best and worst case scenario and factor those into your project planning, and complete all of the work on your plate will certainly help you get ahead in the IT industry.

5. Focus: If you’re able to focus you can become fully engrossed in one specific task which helps you get more work done in a short period of time, maximize the use of your technical skills, and concentrate in open office environments (which have become increasingly popular in the IT industry). Improving your ability to focus will certainly help you get ahead as a technical professional.

6. Analytical Thinking: At the root of a successful career in the IT industry is the ability to think analytically in order to solve the many, many problems that arise along the way. This invaluable soft skill goes hand in hand to improving your technical skills and your ability to solve problems or prevent problems from happening in the first place.

Want to advance your technical career? Developing and strengthening these 6 technical skills will help you get ahead in the IT industry and build a successful, flourishing technical career.

 

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