It’s that time of the year again where you resolve to become a better version of yourself in the year to come. New Year’s resolutions are often made, yet rarely seen through.
The problem lies in the fact that either the resolutions are unrealistic or we cannot maintain the same level of dedication or commitment after some time. You have got to set realistic goals and then give it some time. It will take some time before you start to see tangible results but you need to persist.
There are two types of resolutions, personal and professional. Personal resolutions are related to your habits, health, and family life. Professional resolutions are related to your study, profession, or business. In this article, we will suggest five New Year resolutions every IT student needs to make.
#1 Learn a New Skill
IT is a demanding and ever changing field. You need to be on your toes the whole time if you want to succeed. The IT world keeps evolving. New technology hits the market almost on a daily basis. As an IT professional, you will be expected to be familiar with all of these technologies (even the ones which are arriving soon). Getting into this field means setting out on a never ending journey of self-learning. What’s a better time to start the journey than your time as an IT student?
This year, promise to learn and master at least one new skill. Try to go above and beyond the set curriculum or what you are taught in the classroom. It can be a relevant skill like programming or networking, or a soft skill like business communication or project management. Even better, go for a professional certification.
Choose a relevant skill or certification. For example, if you are studying marketing, you can go for digital marketing certification.
Similarly, when you want to get into networking, you can go for Cisco certifications. If you want to become Database manager, go for Oracle certifications. Remember that additional certifications can go a long way in helping you secure your first job. You can also consider online courses if you don’t have the time to join a training center.
# 2 Brush Up on Old Skills
As you learn new skills, it is easy to forget about the old ones. You might think that the knowledge of the outdated systems won’t be helpful; however it is worth your time to brush up these old skills. Whatever you learn since your early days in school is going to benefit you in one way or another.
You never know which system or technology you might be asked to deal with once you for enter the professional world. Plus, all new technologies are built on the basics of the old ones. For example, a new version of Microsoft Windows might be totally different but you can easily learn to use it if you have already used an older version.
By brushing up on the old skills, you don’t have to reinvent the wheel every time. Your familiarity with these skills will help you adapt and apply to every challenge that comes your way.
# 3 Get professional Experience
IT is a cutthroat business. There is a lot of potential for employment and growth. However, the competition is tough too. Every year, hundreds and thousands of students graduate. All of them start to search for jobs with the same degrees or qualification.
You need something special to stand out from the crowd. It is necessary to give yourself a boost in your chosen path. One way is to acquire professional certifications that we have already discussed. And another way is to get some Internship. Ideally, you should have both.
By doing this, you will get hands-on experience during your time as a student. Companies will be more interested in hiring graduates who know how things work in the real world. Many companies offer full time jobs to promising internees. Don’t be shy of visiting these businesses and dropping your CV with a request to consider you for internship. Follow these businesses through social media or website. Make sure you don’t miss the announcement when they are looking for internees.
# 4 Network
For an IT professional, people skills and networking skills can be a huge asset.
Don’t wait until you have a job or have stepped into the professional world to start making contacts. Get a head start by networking while you are still studying. As an IT student, networking should definitely be on your list of resolutions this New Year. Attend job fairs, open houses, talk to your professors and instructors. Who knows which contact might land you your first project?
Not to forget, creating and building a profile at LinkedIn. Remember, spending time on LinkedIn is a lot more productive than Facebook. We are not saying that you must ditch Facebook but make sure you are making contacts with HR managers or seniors in your field.
Even if it doesn’t land you a job, you will have some great advice coming from people who know the ins and outs of IT market.
# 5 Manage Time Better
Time is money. For an IT professional, this is especially true. IT projects are time-bound and poor time management means all of your efforts or skills will go in vain.
Plus, problems or technical glitches can occur at any minute, and these events require immediate attention. At times like this, it is extremely important for the IT professionals to manage their time. Otherwise, you would never get anything done on time.
However, time management isn’t something that can be learnt overnight. It is an acquired habit. Work on it now while you are still a student so that by the time you enter the professional world, you are already a pro at managing your time. Time management is all about setting the right priorities and finding the right solutions.
Remember, opportunity comes to those who create it. You must act fast to make things happen. Act on these five resolutions and you will see the difference at the end of this year. Instead of nervously waiting for your first job interview, you will be in a position to choose between different job offers.