Valued By Employers
Skills, Attributes and Attitudes
When working in IT the skills you have will make or break your career. You must be constantly improving and learning new skills to keep up with the ever expanding and advancing industry. There are new systems being produced all the time so it is important that you keep your knowledge up to date and are constantly learning how these new systems work. It is also important that you keep learning new skills so that you can be more versatile in the workplace.
When working with software it is important that you continue to learn new programming languages and techniques so that you can continue to improve and find more efficient ways of doing things. When working with hardware it is just as important to continuously learn better ways of doing things and keep up to date with new technology so you can keep your systems up to date and working to the best possible standard.
In IT it is very likely that you will be working with a lot of important tools and machinery so it is vital you understand how to use them properly and safely.
There are a number of attributes the ideal employee must have to be successful in IT such as planning skills, organisation, time managements, written and verbal communication, team working, creativity and numeracy.
When working in IT you need to be able to organize yourself and manage your time wisely. There will often be deadlines that need to be hit and you will never reach them on time if you don't plan ahead.
By planning out what needs to be done and setting milestones for when things need to be done and managing your time efficiently you will reach the deadline more easily and finish on time.
It is also likely that at some point you will be required to work in a team. When working as a team productivity and flexibility will be improved allowing for more efficient work meaning things will get finished much faster, When working as a team communication is important. Communication is important because it allows you to inform people of what you are working on and also give feedback on other peoples work. it is also important to pitch in ideas and feedback to try and improve what is being done. Written communication can be used to inform multiple people at a time, even those who aren't present as well while verbal communication is useful for communicating quickly with people who are present and getting quick feedback.
Creativity is very important in IT as it is a rapidly expanding field that requires constant innovation to stay ahead of the competition. If you are unable to come up with new ideas or expand upon current ones you won't be able to get very far and you will quickly fall behind.
Just as important as creativity is numeracy. IT involves a lot of mathematics and so a strong understanding of maths is required. Without good mathematical skills it will be difficult to understand how a lot of hardware and software works and so improving and developing them will be nigh impossible.
When working in IT you need to be determined, patient, dependable and much more to succeed. You will have a lot of responsibility and need to be determined and motivated to finish everything on time and to a professional standard as your work represents the business as a whole. Other people also need to be able to rely on you to do well as the company and other workers could rely on your work.
In IT it is important that you are a good problem solver as a lot of things can go wrong at any moment and you need to be able to deal with them to keep everything working properly.
It is important that you can be independent and get things done without relying on someone else's help as there won't always be someone there to help. However it is also important that you know when help is needed so that you can move on instead of hitting a wall and stopping all productivity.
Having good leadership skills will also be a great help as team work is common and every good team needs a leader to keep it productive and working smoothly.
Principles of Effective Communication
When using vocal communication it is important to remember that basic communication skills are vital and will make communication much easier. Remember to adapt your voice to suit the environment, for example don't shout in a small room but don't speak too quietly if the person you are talking to is far away, don't use slang and speak clearly when addressing an individual or group to make sure that they understand you properly. When engaging an audience you can use technology to more effectively communicate. As an example you could use a powerpoint presentation to more easily infer information or data or make a presentation more interactive. You can also ask if people have any questions to make sure that everyone understands. When communicating it is also important to remember things such as body language to be more engaging in verbal exchanges.
With written communication it is important to be professional and proofreading for spelling and grammar mistakes. If you're letters or emails do not use correct grammar or have multiple spelling mistakes people will not take you seriously and ill be less likely to want to work with you. This is especially important when communicating with a client. It is also important to keep relevant so as to not waste peoples time and get the point across as simply as possible so people can understand what you mean.
When writing a letter or email it is important that you keep to professional standards, use proper etiquette and to start and end it appropriately. For example don't use slang or emoticons in a professional email or a fax.
Barriers to Effective Communication
When communicating with someone from a different culture it can be difficult as they could speak a different language, have different etiquette in regards to communication and they might not understand a lot of idioms. To prevent these factors from stopping communication you could make use of certain technologies such as translation programs to make communication easier. We now also have much easier access to information with the internet so we can research the other peoples culture before hand so that we are aware of any major differences and prepare for them.
It is also difficult to communicate with people who have an impediment that affects there communication. Verbal and written communication can be made impossible when dealing with people who are deaf and/or blind respectively. To get around this you would need to use solely verbal or written communication depending on there disability. We can use modern technology to improve communications with people who have disabilities by using text to speech or speech to text apps. This would make communicating much easier and would also allow blind people to hear what emails say or allow deaf people to see what is being said in a conference so they can be more involved and be less alienated in terms of communication. If it is difficult to communicate with someone you might be less likely to try and so they could miss vital information. by using these technologies they remove these problems and make communication much easier.
Simple factors such as background noise, distractions and a lack of concentration can also affect communication as they prevent you from giving your full attention to what is being said which means you could miss vital pieces of information. To prevent these factors from making to much of a problem you could move locations to somewhere with less distractions and noise so communication would be easier. This would also help people concentrate and so they will be more likely to understand everything that is being said.