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The Future of IT: Career Advice for IT job seekers
Now more than ever, IT in the Netherlands has a front row-seat within any serious business. And it’s a hot seat. “Most IT heads are now part of the strategy meetings: advising on innovation, automation, data management, and the tools to empower business strategies,” explains Michael Page’s Ricardo van Dijk
In this article Michael Page presents six trends for IT teams over the next three years – the drivers and candidate ‘hacks’ that can help transform your potential into tomorrow’s must-have talent.
Drivers of change in IT
While Architects, Project Managers, Data, Security and IT leadership roles grace many of today’s jobs listings, what should IT professionals look for in a role – and how can you ensure you don’t become a victim of automation along the way?
No matter what happens, from the project swarm to the global fast-track, it’s an exciting new world for those at the cutting edge of IT change.
- Keep your eyes on the IT landscape
- Be a people-driven problem solver
- Are you ready for the swarm?
- Highlight your skills in understanding complexity
- Jump aboard the global fast-track
- Understand how your workplace DNA drives performance
Keep your eyes on the IT landscape
Michael Page’s Ricardo van Dijk notes that in markets where candidates often have several offers to consider, a major push factor aside from salary is the promise of exposure to new technologies: “Many are rightfully looking at what sort of IT landscape the employer is currently using – and what their vision is. At the same time candidates in IT leadership roles are looking for the impact they can have on an organisation. If you have the leadership skills to lead companies through a change process, you are in high demand.”
Normally hyper-aware of the dynamic market, top candidates assess each company’s appetite for IT investments. “Look for employers that will allow you to keep your tech exposure up-to-date,” he advises. “Nobody wants to be stuck with one technology for long. Every time I speak to top candidates, they always ask: where is the growth, what is the vision for this role and how can I make an impact on the organisation?”
Be a people-driven problem solver
IT hiring may be booming now, but any followers of the discipline know that this can change fast. As workplace futurist and author Alexandra Levit warns, without sharpening key skillsets, IT professionals may be at risk from automation: “It’s about making sure you’re on top of where your industry is going,” Levit told PageGroup.
“Where you can’t go wrong is the human skill elements: making sure you’re really strong in interpersonal conflict resolution, diplomacy, empathy, judgment, intuition, creativity and innovation. These are areas where for some time, it's going to be very hard for machines,” she notes.
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Are you ready for the ‘swarm’?
Within tomorrow’s company, the virtual, multinational, inter-discipline swarm team will become a key feature of project execution. “A swarm is a group that comes together for a short-term project and quickly disbands”, Levit describes. “I see these swarm teams becoming more commonplace. I'm on a swarm team right now for a client project where I've never worked with any of these people before – and probably won't again.”
Swarms are a typical feature of IT contracting and, as Michael Page’s Ricardo van Dijk explains, you need to develop working rapport at speed. “Working virtually has unique challenges – and then there’s need to get results quickly.” He notes. “There might not be enough time to sit down and understand your co-workers – you often have to immediately start producing results.”
Highlight your skills in understanding complexity
People looking for a role in a multinational company (MNC) environment must not only demonstrate project management skills – they must prove they understand the web of tasks and discussions around today’s modern MNC. “The past couple of companies I’ve been to are extremely ‘matrixed’ environments. You have you know brands, the functions and the categories,” advises Estee Lauder’s global CIO, George Kuan.
“It’s about finding someone who can navigate through a complex matrix environment, meaning strong leadership in terms of connecting the dots and strong communication. The type who can navigate through that is the type of person we’re looking for.”
“As an IT professional you can work in bubble anymore,” says Ricardo van Dijk. “You need to be able to understand the business needs, to offer a solution based on their requirements.”
Jump aboard the global fast-track
Michael Page’s Ricardo van Dijk says that a global footprint and the chance of a fast-track route can be an incentive for IT candidates seeking out a new employer. “You should select potential employers based on what they can offer in terms of personal and professional growth and the possibility to lead different projects within the organisation.”
This approach can be beneficial in attracting the right candidates, he notes. “It’s good for employee motivation, to be able to appreciate how a company runs in other regions – and is great for companies to make full use of their strengths as a multinational as a driver for talent.”
Understand how your workplace DNA drives performance
One of the keys to success is to understand yourself, and articulate the conditions that you will thrive in. “Make sure that you know what's important for you and what really drives you,” advises Estee Lauder’s global CIO, George Kuan.
And as Michael Page Ricardo van Dijk says, “You need to know what really drives your workplace passion to find success,” he explains. “If you know yourself well, it will be easier to select the right organisation to help you grow your career. With the right match, together you can get to amazing results.”