To a certain extent, good IT decision-makers are known for acting with foresight – and many have already seen the recession on the horizon before the corona pandemic started. Only in this way was it possible for many tech companies to switch to remote work more or less effortlessly. You should act with a similar foresight in your career and now take the necessary steps to continue your IT career – despite the difficult economic times.
This includes, for example, acquiring new skills and throwing outdated behavior patterns overboard. Like progressive companies in times of downturn, you should now invest in your “infrastructure” and look for new ways to make yourself indispensable. We talked to various IT decision-makers and bosses about their experiences and give you six tips to help you flip the downturn.
Now is the time to try to increase your visibility and make new contacts – before you take advantage of them, as Tommy Weir, CEO consultant at Enaible knows: “It can be tempting to sit back and get in there to act responsively, but in doing so you hand over control to others, “says Weir. He urges IT specialists to visualize at which points in their career so far a good relationship with their boss and colleagues has helped them.
“In the end, every company is also a social structure – and whether you like it or not: Anyone who is liked is seen and heard,” said Weir.
- 1. Position yourself
Position yourself: At the beginning there are your profile and your goal. Who am I, what can I do, where do I want to go? If you don’t know where you are, and you don’t know where you want to go, you can’t plan a route, writes the author Ute Bluchten in her book “Networking with the job – showing insiders how you can make your dreams come true”. Depending on what you choose, you should definitely think about your strategy, which of course then includes the selection of communication channels (website, social media, business networks, newsletters) and of course considerations about networking in real life.
- 2. Everyone has a network
Everyone has a network – including you. Friends, fellow students, work colleagues, club friends, soccer buddies, lecturers and exchange students form the foundation of your professional network. Ute Blenken advises: “Research who of these contacts is on Xing, Linkedin or Facebook and network with them.” Anyone looking for a job should also raise the issue there.
- 3. Show yourself
Show yourself – online. If you want to be found by recruiters and headhunters, you can usually find a profile on Xing or Linkedin. not over. Create a well-thought-out profile and get in touch with potential employers yourself.
- 4. Show yourself part 2
Show yourself – in real life. Even if it may be difficult at times, but personal contact only makes the network stable and leads to more commitment. You can also look for an existing network (student organization, professional network, association, association) through which there are already many contact options with other people.
- 5. Get to know people
Get to know people – just for fun. The author recommends “systematic lunches”, that is to say encounters that appear to be random, in which a mutually beneficial exchange is usually created. The advantage: a lunch or coffee in between is short but long enough for a binding exchange.
- 6. Expand your network
Expand your network – with strategy. To do this, identify in your (online) business network who you really want to get to know or who can connect you to this person. Above all, you should know who is a relevant person in your industry or in a company. This can also be very helpful at a conference, because you can get closer to it – and maybe even talk.
- 7. Be active
Those who are never present anywhere are less noticed, receive fewer recommendations and tips if there is no exchange. This also applies virtually by being present on social networks, asking questions, exchanging ideas with others and showing yourself with your specialist knowledge as a personality.
- 8. Share your knowledge
Anyone who sees you as competent for a certain topic or as relevant in a certain group may recommend you. This can be for a new job in another company, for an exciting project or also for a lecture or a panel discussion at a conference.
- 9. Don’t get bogged down
It is good to take the time every now and then and think about what engagement has brought what. You should also look at the professional contacts from time to time and decide who you would like to meet again and who you would like to have more distance from.
- 10. Give yourself time and stay calm
Networking doesn’t always pay off immediately, and it doesn’t always pay off. But at least in the joy of being with others and doing something. But also for the job search and your career. So it’s best to start building your network now.
Ute Blenken, “Networking to the job – insiders show how you can make your dreams come true”. Campus, 2015, ISBN: 978-3-593-50220-5.
Steve Tcherchian, CISO at XYPRO, used the time during the economic crisis of 2008 to bring his skills set up to scratch: “I recognized the great opportunity to work on myself and spent nights researching, experimenting and doing learn – knowing that this will probably not pay off directly, “says the CISO. Tcherchian used the time to work on himself. That was anything but easy and sometimes very stressful, but you can’t grow without effort, says the manager.
Tcherchian is not the only proponent of this approach. Brent Johnson, CISO at Bluefin, is also convinced that uncomfortable times bring valuable experience: “From working with difficult customers to speaking to crowds of people who expect answers – exposing yourself to uncomfortable situations requires preparation and enables you to grow with them Economic stagnation limits the possibilities, but I have always used such times to further my technology and to make new contacts. “
Scott Caschette, CIO at Schellman & Co., recommends looking for investment opportunities in growth areas in the event of a recession: “The trick is to anticipate which industries and areas the upward arrow could point to. Look for big companies that are dependent on IT skills because of the economic downturn. “
It is advantageous to use any type of data that is related to the desired job. One way, for example, is to aggregate the data of all recruiting websites and job portals in order to get a comprehensive picture of the possibilities, according to the CIO.
Incidentally, Caschette’s recommendations are based on experience: At the time of the economic crisis in 2008, he was the IT manager at a large construction company: “The company was able to hold me for a while, but ultimately my
job was canceled to switch to the telecommunications industry and to acquire the peculiarities of the industry and the corresponding technical terms almost overnight. Then I made the appropriate contacts with the help of LinkedIn, “reports Caschette. Less than a month and a half after he was released, he finally got a new job.
“You should consider your technical training as a deposit into your career account. Your skills should always be up to date – not only when you are looking for a job.”
According to Thomas Phelps, CIO at Laserfiche, the corona crisis will ensure that in the future IT experts will have to act in a way they never dreamed of before: “The agility needed to change and that Looking at things from different perspectives has helped me to overcome difficult times. So look at the crisis not only from the perspective of an IT but also from a business decision maker. “
Under certain circumstances, this can also open up completely new opportunities when looking for a job – for example, by taking on a more hybrid role and combining or enriching your technical skills with those from other areas.
- 1. Communicative competence
Your communication skills will help you build consensus and generate understanding of your goals and desires.
- 2. Confidence
Among other things, self-confidence means being aware of yourself, knowing your own strengths and weaknesses.
- 3. Empathy
Those who are empathetic can more easily convince others of their cause.
- 4. Teamwork
Teamwork is required in every job advertisement. Being able to work in a team means, among other things, recognizing your role in the team and acting in accordance with the expectations attached to them.
- 5. Ability to criticize
To be able to criticize not only means to criticize (fairly, factually), but also to be able to accept, reflect and implement criticism accordingly. Dealing with criticism plays a decisive role, especially in teams, projects and in leadership situations.
- 6. Analytical competence
If you train your analytical skills, you will be able to grasp situations quickly and react accordingly.
- 7. Trustworthiness
Trust is the expectation of being able to rely on one another in critical situations.
- 8. Self-discipline / self-control
Those who do not control themselves always remain servants. Only those who have themselves under control can convince others.
- 9. Curiosity
Curiosity is the prerequisite for creativity.
- 10. Ability to deal with conflict
You can only live a self-determined life if you can accept other views and openly deal with your fellow human beings.
- 11. Assertiveness
Asserting yourself appropriately means convincing instead of persuading – or forcing. Others will be happy to follow you on your way.
- More about soft skills …
… can be found in the book of the same name by Gabriele Peters-Kühlinger and Friedel John – published by Haufe in the practical “TaschenGuide” format (fits in every pocket) for 6.90 euros.
Ken Underhill, Master Instructor at Cybrary, emphasizes the importance of keeping your resume up to date – even if there is currently no reason to do so: “This is the only way to ensure that no new skills fall under the carpet.”
In addition, according to Underhill, it is also crucial to know the job market – before you need it: “You should keep an eye on relevant vacancies at all times. On the one hand, you can keep a better eye on the salary structure of other companies and what theirs On the other hand, you may come across positions and job roles that are suitable for you, but which you would not have planned beforehand. “
Even while you are busy building a professional network, it is just as important at this point, as Phelps emphasizes: “Nowadays, many people are opening up new professional opportunities more through their network than through their résumé,” says the CIO.
“Use every opportunity to pursue certification and develop new skills – especially if your employer offers further training,” recommends Akhilesh Agarwal, Senior Vice President at APEX Analytix.
In Agarwal’s opinion, you should particularly consider the field of cybersecurity – after all, hacking attacks have increased dramatically in the wake of the crisis, which poses a direct threat to companies and their IT departments.
Ashok Balakrishnan, CTO at Skillshare, can only agree: “Lifelong learning is easier than ever today, thanks to free services and subscription models. The entry barriers are extremely low and the resources are more than sufficient to improve your skills It will be worth it in the long run and will open new doors for you. ” (fm)
This article is based on an article from our US sister publication CIO.com.