Despite the demand for digital, there are always steps we can take to improve our employability.

So, if you are a tech professional what can you do to take your tech career to the next level?

The answer lies in career agility.

What is career agility?

Career agility refers to your ability to adapt your capabilities in response to changes. This may mean business change, changes within your job, or evolutions within an industry.

It’s about being aware of the trends and tech advances and taking active steps to react to them. It’s all about making sure you stay relevant and up to date.

A lot has been said about the skills gap and the demand for tech talent. Hearing this, you may be fooled into thinking your top trumps level employability will stick around forever.

While this is true to a degree…companies will always need tech talent…you do have a part to play.

Being agile and flexible attitude toward professional growth you’ll ensure you always have plenty of job opportunities no matter what changes lie on the horizon.

What can I do to boost my career agility?

Maintain realistic salary expectations.

Companies are offering starting salaries of record highs, but they can only range them so high.

Instead of being steered by salary alone, tech professionals wishing to future-proof their long-term employability may like to look beyond the salary.

Considering the complete value exchange between you and an employer will allow you to be guided by the other advantages of your next tech job. This extends beyond salary.

It includes things such as

  • Benefits packages
  • Annual leave
  • Upskilling
  • Purpose and motivation
  • Career progression
  • Colleague relationships

Changing jobs for salary alone may seem like a good move in the short term. However, over the longer term, considered career moves based upon opportunities for progression, the tech you’ll be exposed to, and skills development will yield greater results.

Consider contract roles.

In response to financial instability and scarcity in the numbers of permanent candidates, many employers are turning to the IT contract market to fill their vacancies. As our most recent The Recruitment Landscape blog highlighted, the contract market is growing at a faster rate than its permanent counterpart.

Temporary and contract assignments are favoured in the tech sector. They allow employers to meet short-term workload demands and allow them to access specific skills for one-off projects.

For this reason, contract assignments can offer invaluable opportunities to broaden your experience, diversify your skills and build a network.

Tech is the ultimate sector of change. Nothing stands still. Its constant movement puts tech contractors in positions of huge employability.

Master the growth mindset.

Having career agility means building a growth mindset.

Tech professionals are at the centre of an industry that is always changing. New tools, technologies, and best practices are emerging all the time. Without embracing these advances, tech professionals are in danger of becoming overwhelmed.

So many of our client requirements are at the hands of digital transformation projects. This is a world of work defined by constant change. A growth mindset is essential in your ability to adapt.

Upskill regularly.

Tech creates a rich environment for tech professionals to upskill and evolve. Many tech professionals are not only incredibly smart, but they have a genuine LOVE for their sector.

This means that many are already on a continual learning journey.  While many employers are eager to support the learning and development of tech teams, this isn’t a given.  In today’s ever-changing market, tech workers should take personal responsibility for remaining skilled-up for the future.

It’s worth remembering too, that soft skills are becoming as important for tech professionals, and this is a critical area of professional development that shouldn’t be neglected.

Plan for hybrid.

The world of work has undergone seismic changes. This includes how and where we work.  Most technology professionals work flexibly, with many working in a regular flexible or hybrid working model. We’re also seeing more technology professionals hired in fully remote roles.

For technology employees, the challenges will lie in remaining visible while working remotely. Communication among colleagues is key to the success of your career and the project you’re working on. You must be willing to adapt to the different communication channels to build relationships with colleagues outside your department.

Yes. The digital skills shortage has created high demand for technology professionals. However, those who are most successful won’t consider the skills shortage as an opportunity for short-term gain. Instead, they will be strategic in their job searches and think about a long-term career plan that adapts to current market trends and technologies.

Staying informed on future changes, adopting a growth mindset, and prioritising skills over salary will ensure you true career agility.

Whether you are looking for a permanent tech job or contract assignment, Ignite Digital can help you find your next tech role. Reach out today to find out how we can help you.

About the author: I manage the recruitment for a range of digital roles for my clients on both a retained and contingency basis. I specialise in senior and confidential appointments, always giving a first class representation of a client’s employer brand.

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