4 Essential Soft Skills Every IT Professional Needs
With the consistent evolution of Information Technology, IT professionals are expected to keep up with its latest trends and software updates as much as humanly possible. From planning and systems integration to troubleshooting and identifying the correct applications to use, IT professionals hold an essential and intricate role in the development of their companies.
And while these hard skills are important and necessary, IT professionals can’t ignore the soft skills that also play an important role, both in their success and in the success of their organization. Here are four soft skills to keep in mind and commit to building throughout your career as an IT professional.
1. Non-Verbal and Verbal Communication
As with many professions, the ability to compose a professional email and the confidence to speak in front of a team during meetings or presentations are crucial. IT is no exception. IT professionals work with other employees on a regular basis to troubleshoot, to manage updates, spearhead software installations, and in some cases, mange a team.
When explaining to an employee why his or her computer is having issues or recommending the right application platform for a new business unit to senior executives, IT professionals must be able to communicate effectively, clearly and concisely.
2. All for One, One for All
Yes, you have a specific expertise in IT that you continue to nurture throughout your career. However, there are many different facets in the IT function that might require your help as well. Possessing a good team work ethic is essential to your career growth in IT.
Oftentimes, the IT organization receives large projects and team collaboration is the quickest and most efficient way to complete these assignments. Remaining flexible in your industry and helping your team is not only a good reflection on you, but also on the IT function within your company.
Usually there are specific steps and resources IT professionals refer to when performing daily tasks. However, IT can also be unpredictable from time to time and professionals are expected to think outside of the box. In an IT world of black and white, identifying the occasional gray areas is just as important, so it’s OK to put on your problem-solving hat when necessary.
4. Patience and Persistence
In addition to problem-solving skills, IT professionals need patience and persistence. Technology can have a “mind of its own” at the most inopportune times, and it becomes the IT professional’s responsibility to identify the current issue(s). Approaching these tasks with patience is key to identifying a solution and persistence is essential once you’ve implemented the solution.
Although soft skills are less tangible and not always easily measurable, they do coincide closely with your job skills and your personal attributes. Knowledge and experience are key components to having a successful IT career, but do not ignore the importance of demonstrating soft skills to move your IT career even further.