A GUIDE TO SUCCESSFUL CAREER PATH
What skills are needed for growth in the profession
For the most part, climbing up the career ladder is as difficult as it gets. From junior to senior, from Team lead to SEO it all takes time. But what exactly lies behind these words? What knowledge and skills should be acquired and advanced to successfully navigate your way through career milestones?
THE BASIC MODEL
First of all, let’s establish a basic skill set for any specialist to possess:
1) Fundamental professional skills
You can’t become a profound mathematician without knowing that two plus two equals four. Just saying. The same applies to any given profession.
2) Basic skills in related fields
In order to achieve a higher career grounds in your chosen field, you must understand how to do what your colleagues do in their areas.
3) Soft skills
Leadership, emotional intelligence, self-control – all of these are vital not only to avoid being an outcast but to be able to clearly deliver your ideas and report the results of your work. Plus, it’s wouldn’t hurt to know how to deal with your failures.
4) Specific knowledge
Knowledge is power. Any knowledge, like some skills from your first ever job, may be vital, because you never know that will come in handy.
Suppose you finally caught your luck by the tail and landed yourself a job as a Junior engineer. You got your fundamental skills, soft skills, you’re emotionally mature. Looks like you’re ready for a fight! Not so fast. Since it’s your first job, the grownups will only let you perform some of the least difficult and least paid tasks. And rightly so, as you don’t have either understanding of corporate culture nor any actual working experience. Yet.
The future is bright though. The more you learn, the more you grow. And vice versa. The first couple of years of your career should be dedicated to doubling upon your initial skillset. And with a little pinch of patience added, it’s not that difficult. Now the tasks you assigned to become more complicated, as you grow under a mentorship of a more experienced colleague.
Drop by drop the water starts boiling, as you move towards your goal. This stage is harder than the previous ones because every inch of your expertise should be pumped up to maximum. At the same time, it is important to continue improving upon your core skillset, making your future job market forays a lot safer. But still, you’re the man now. Not only you perform all of your responsibilities without a safety net, but even help others in their ascending journeys as well.
There comes a time for every bird to leave its nest. Now it’s time for you to launch your own project and lead your own team. Or perhaps take up on a more promising career opportunity in a big company. But the trick is – your journey only starts from here.
At this stage learn as much as you can and don’t be surprised noticing your core skills stalling out, or even suffering a drop – there’s always a price to pay. Your goal now is to make your project work at it’s maxed capacity. And it doesn’t mean that you have to be a part of your team, or write code yourself. There’s always be more than enough on your plate.
ARCHITECT/HEAD OF DEPARTMENT
You’re at the crossroads now, deciding which road to take – ether stay a technical guy, who just wants to write, or become a big shot manager in a large corporation. Choose wisely.
Taking this option, you will actively interact with your clients in creating, modeling and representing an initial design for your team to develop. Also, your job is to validate more low-level solutions, presented to you by your team. To avoid mistakes and failures, the decision-making process should rely on facts and knowledge, rather than your hunch and experience, making an improvement upon your core skills as vital as ever.
At its very core, architecture is not only a matter of design but a matter of people as well. Pay attention to the people you work with. Sometimes, if the only way for your team to complete the project is to sacrifice some of the technical excellence – be it.
HEAD OF DEPARTMENT
Given the fact that you’re not taking part in the development process now, your core skills are either becoming obsolete or simply diminishing over time. But your soft skills should be at their highest level. After all, your results depend on your team’s performance and solving problems standing in the way of that is your absolute duty. Yes, it all depends on you now. Congratulations, you’ve made it!