How to Continually Challenge Yourself in Your IT Job

There is one constant in any technology career: the learning only ends on your day of retirement. Essentially, a successful professional life in IT requires you to challenge yourself continually. Challenges include learning the latest tech innovations, developing critical soft skills, and setting the goals to ensure you are always getting better. 

With a lifelong IT career in mind, here are a few ideas on how to always challenge yourself to grow as a professional. What about potentially acquiring an advanced degree as preparation for a possible executive role? Follow these tips, and the corner office might be in your future. 

Regularly Learn and Become Certified in a New Tech Skill  

As noted earlier, your learning never stops as an IT professional. When setting annual goals each year, make it a point to choose a new technology to learn. Try to pick something that both interests you and is also something employers want. More modern technologies like data science, machine learning, or mobile app development are good choices. 

In addition to learning this skill, also earn a certification in it. This adds some breadth to your résumé, making you more attractive to potential employers. Volunteering for a technology project at a non-profit where you can apply the new skill in action is considerable practical experience. 

Ask For More Responsibility at Work  

Talk to your manager about getting more responsibility in the office. What about a problematic assignment using emerging technology, maybe one you recently learned? A lead role on an important project is also a good source for additional responsibility.  

Leading by example is a great approach, as it displays your potential without stepping on anyone’s toes. Companies are always on the lookout for leadership acumen among their employees. Many firms prefer to promote from within as opposed to always hiring outside managerial talent. 

Consider Working on Technology Assignments on a Contract Basis  

Changing your career to become a tech contractor instead of an employee is another excellent way to challenge yourself continually. You are always faced with emerging technology stacks, different coworkers, and even new methodologies. The learning never stops, and exciting opportunities are still around the corner. It’s an excellent option for continued career growth. 

When you need advice on your technology career, talk to the experienced recruiters at Technology Partners. As one of the top IT staffing agencies in St. Louis, we know the companies looking for both contract and permanent employees. Connect with us as soon as possible!