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Top tips to securing an IT promotion

Attaining promotion follows similar stages in nearly any major industry, but when it comes to the IT sector, there are a few steps which can really help you get ahead.

The diverse nature of the IT sector means that many roles require different skills or abilities – the key therefore is to try to be as rounded as possible.

However, while this is most certainly the case, it’s equally as important to be highly skilled in one or two areas as this is what helps to set an individual apart from the crowd.

In order to enhance the likelihood of securing a promotion there are several main pointers to remember, as outlined here.

Express interest in available roles

Not every promotion will occur on merit and many will require some sort of application or interview process. This provides a number of opportunities for people to showcase both their interest in a promotion and their main skill set.

Coming from within a firm can be an advantage in some cases and employers will often welcome applications from staff who display a genuine interest in expanding their IT skills and abilities.

These roles be more beneficial to an individual in terms of their personal development while the individual will be able to bring new and innovative ideas to the table.

A word of warning though, only a third of internal applicants are usually successful – mainly because they do not take the application process seriously enough.

Stand out from the crowd

In instances where one particular set of skills is required, those with the right abilities are immediately more likely to be considered for a promotion or new role.

Part of the process of getting yourself noticed relies on advertising any main skills that might be relevant to the position at hand. You need to ensure that decision-makers are aware of your suitability for a role and provide evidence of this rather than merely stating it.

Doing more than is necessary can also allow an individual to stand out. Being at the heart of major projects or putting forward innovative ideas has the same effect.

Brush up on your key skills

The world of IT evolves on a near daily basis and this can mean that certain skills are now outdated or no longer relevant. 

Keeping abreast of developments in the sector helps to ensure it is possible to recognise trends as they occur. In such a competitive sector, staying ahead of the game is essential.

From understanding technological updates to learning new methods of doing things, there are plenty of ways to develop skills and all of them should bring long-term benefits.

Enhance your knowledge

Following on in a similar vein is to consider ways of making yourself even more employable – in IT this often relies on knowing more than others.

This may be in terms of technical expertise or in terms of dealing with problems in an effective manner. ‘Soft skills’, such as an ability to communicate, can be just as important as any subject knowledge so try not to neglect these.

Make sure you’re confident

It might be a well-known stereotype but a confident individual is far more likely to succeed in an interview.

Given that the IT sector is extremely technical, anyone wanting a promotion should display their knowledge in a way that portrays confidence in their own abilities.

After all, how is someone higher up the professional food chain expected to feel confident in you if you lack confidence in yourself.

Finally, put business first!

First and foremost, any work involving IT will be business focused; designed to drive revenue and boost profits.

Putting processes in place that help a business, regardless of their field of operation or size, are likely to be well received and it is a key point to remember when looking for a promotion.

If a move will likely have a positive impact on the bottom line it is far more likely to occur, than one which may not.

Read our related blog: Top five tips for advancing your IT career
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