What Is The Toughest Challenge Facing Your Career Right Now?

Hello,

What is the “Toughest Challenge Facing Your Career Right Now”?

Your challenges may be about how to get a job or how to improve your skills or how to get promoted on the job

Perhaps your challenges are about how to transition out of or into a business analyst or computer programming or database developer career. Whatever they are, go ahead and post your comment and we will deal with them for you.

Post your challenging issues as a comment on this post and I would be glad to answer it for you. I may answer it by writing a new article that addresses your concern or by posting a comprehensive reply to your comment

The concerns or challenges facing you are important to me, so go right away and post your comment

Thank You,

41 Responses to "What Is The Toughest Challenge Facing Your Career Right Now?"

  1. Rob   August 31, 2009 at 8:47 am

    Kingsley
    I will be taking a free ASP.NET class that will go for a couple of months. Do you think it would be good to study C# at the same time with SQL too. I am trying to get enough basic skills to get some real world experience. I have a tutor that will be helping me with C#. I have been monitoring and testing web applications for a few years and have been in I.T. for 10 years basically. You can also take a look at my resume at the link under my signature below also to see where you think I can fit.
    Thanks

    Rob Scarborough

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  2. Robert   March 30, 2009 at 3:03 pm

    Kingsley,

    I just want to thank you for your support. I have just started studying PHP/MySQL and for some reason I’m wondering if this is a good language to start with.

    I mean there is a lot of stuff involved with it like HTML, and other things but I just want to study one thing that will get me the most work right now. I mean C# and Java are real languages that are in demand but php is new and hot and all over the place.

    A lot of people say its a good start. I like testing scripts with Automation testing like Mercury Loadrunner stuff.

    Would it be better for me to start with QA testing type stuff or development and what would be the best language to start with for each one.

    Thanks

    Rob

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  3. Kingsley Tagbo   March 3, 2009 at 1:51 pm

    Robert:

    Yes, consider learning both ASP.NET & C# after you master SQL.

    There isn’t necessarily a high-demand for mobile development skills except if you want to focus exclusively on those types of jobs or you want to go into business for yourself as a mobile applications entrepreneur.

    Finally, the skills that you gain from C#/ASP.NET Software Development are applicable to Mobile Software Development.

    So, except you may want to first develop wel-rounded software development skills before you focus solely or exclusively on the Mobile Segment.

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  4. Kingsley Tagbo   February 22, 2009 at 10:58 am

    Andra Bishop:

    You’ve been a Systems Analyst and a Cobol Programmer and you’ve been out of the field for a long time.

    The industry changed quite a bit since the 1980s.

    For one the Systems Analyst career is transition to the Business Analyst / Software Architect / Programmer – Analyst Career

    Secondly, Cobol is (should I say dead!). Cobol has been replaced by PHP/MYSQL, Java, Microsoft.NET. By the way there is a COBOL.NET (Microsoft.NET version of COBOL).

    Thirdly: Getting back into the IT job market after a long abscence is quite feasible and possible.

    You need to start by choosing between the business analyst career and the software developer career.

    I have an article that will help you choose or decide between the business analyst career and software developer career … read more about it here: http://www.it-career-coach.net/2007/10/09/business-analyst-careers-compared-to-computer-programmer-careers/

    I would say that you start there first. There is still a relatively high demand for business analysis / software developer careers.

    The Information Technology Industry is still doing relatively well compared to the rest of the economy. That may not last forever though, so I would advise you to research and make up your mind as quickly as you comfortably can.

    Next, IT Managers are looking for three (3) attributes in their candidates:

    1.) Knowldege / Information: How much you know or understand the field (business analysis or computer programming)

    2.) Skills / Technical Mastery: How skilled you are at the individual skill blocks of each career (skilled in UM, Use Cases, Object Oriented Programming – OOP)

    3.) Experience:
    This is your most valuable asset as an IT Worker. IT Managers value hands-on experience above educational qualifications.

    The good news about IT Careers, is that you are not required to getting your career training or preparation from any accredited institution or in a specific number of years or pass specific exams.

    Unlike careers in the Medicine or Law, IT Managers want you prove in a practical way what you know. They don’t care aboiut how you know it or wher you learn it from!

    With that in mind, you may realize that all you have to do is focus your mind on the learning, training, education and preparation for the career (business analysis or software development) that you like and get ready to demonstrate in your resume, technical interview or on the job these three : Knowledge, Skills and Experience

    Andra Bishp, I hope This Helps … Please Come Back Here And Post a Feedback After You Follow My Recommendations And Solve This Problem

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  5. Robert   February 19, 2009 at 6:04 pm

    Thanks Kingsley, this helps a lot.

    I think with our financial situation I may need to consider .NET because I need steady work until I build my programming skills up more and then maybe after I get to a comfortable point I will switch over to something like PHP or C.

    Right now C#/ASP.NET are everywhere.

    I will follow your previous advice and start with SQL then maybe ASP.NET or C# and go from there.

    Do you think I should go with ASP.NET and .NET mobile after SQL to get a good foundation for mobile and .NET developement.

    I was just wondering.

    Thanks again for your help.
    Rob

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  6. Kingsley Tagbo   February 19, 2009 at 5:36 pm

    Robert Scaborough:

    – How To Become A Mobile Web Developer:

    You need to specialize in one or more mobile platforms. For example, if you are writing for Mobile devices that run on Microsoft Windows, you may want to specialize in .NET Framework Compact technology.

    However you may not be able to use the same language if you want to develop for the iPhone / Mac OS X environment … because Cocoa or Objective-C or something else is better.

    So, you need to begin by deciding on a mobile platform and then coding in languages that work for the operating systems of those mobile platforms.

    In addition, the .NET Development market is totally different from the PHP development world.

    If you wanna be a freelance developer, you may need to shore up your PHP / MySQL skills … and if you are thinking of going into contract programming, you may want to look at the .NET Framework platform.

    In addition, you have to factor in the types of tools that you willl have to install or adapt to as a .NET developer versus a PHP developer.

    As a .NET developer you may be able to earn significantly more but at the same time become limited to a 9 to 5 lifestyle versus the PHP market. The PHP/MYSQL market is popular as an open source alternative to Microsoft’s tools. You will have access to more gigs and projects because of the popularity of PHP.

    In the end, it all depends on what your career objectives are and situation and what your chances of success will be as you weigh the options in front of you.

    Robert Scaborough I hope This Helps … Please Come Back Here And Post a Feedback After You Follow My Recommendations And Solve This Problem

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  7. vijai   February 18, 2009 at 9:56 am

    Dear Kingsley,

    It will be helpful if you can guide me …

    I have done a bachelor course in Information Technology. Later, I finished an MBA in finance. I did not want to work only with machines as a computer programmer, that is the reason i got an MBA.

    Now, I have been working in a leading bank which gives me an opportunity to interact with people as well as using computer machines. This is my wish as I prefer to work with both people and machines.

    This is my first job and I stuck with it for the last three years. I was given a branch to prepare for an audit. It took one year to know the result and I completed the audit preparation with a year’s effort.

    Seeing this, I was given a new branch to organize the operations from scratch and to run it successfully. I have done it too, this took a year….

    Sir, Coming to the point, I have had patience to stay for three years and complete my assignments successfully … But when I look at my salary I think I have not had any big improvements

    I believe, I am strong at analyzing data and making decisions… I am used to analyzing audit data and making decisions and implement the decisions I come up with.

    I am requesting for your guidance on how I can grow further as I am interested in a business analyst job.

    I just want to see myself in top management within two years from now.

    I am not a sales oriented person too…

    Please guide me sir.. thanks.

    Rgds

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  8. Kingsley Tagbo   February 17, 2009 at 2:59 pm

    Charles Knight:

    If you have a year to prepare yourself and you are already working as a Quality Assurance Analyst, here is a plan that would help you transition to the right tech career:

    1.) Begin by creating a comprehensive end to end career roadmap or plan.

    Your career roadmap needs to include a SMART goal (specific, measurable, attainable, realistic and timely goal) For example, you need to define an end objective (for example, master business analysis or computer programming or software testing) and a timeline for achieving it.

    2.) Then you need to have a strategy for achieving your goal. Your strategy is the “how to achieve your goal” part. So without a good strategy, you are not going to achieve your goal, no matter how hard you try.

    For your sepcific situation, since you are transitioning to an entirely new career, your strategy needs to include: “gaining the knowledge, skills and experience” required to qualify for a new it career job as well as the “technical presentation skills” required to get hired.

    3.) Tactics: you need to define the specific tactics that would allow you to achieve your strategy. Your tactics is more like a day to day plan that you would carry out that allows you to execute your strategy. Your tactics is the execution part of the plan and if you don’t execute well, your goal setting and strategy won’t help you.

    Let’s look at how you will go about setting your tactics.

    How do you ensure that on a daily or weekly basis, that you will get the knowledge, skills and experience required to transition to a new career?

    Here is what you need define:

    1.) How you will gain the requisite knowledge
    2.) How you will gain mastery and turn your knowledge into skills
    3.) How to gain hands on, real-world, experienced. Note that without experience, you won’t get an interview not to talk about getting hired

    1.) Gaining Knowledge:
    Would you use books, free website content, onsite technical training, online training, coaching or mentoring services, newsletters, etc. You need to come up with what works best for you based on your work, family and budget

    2.) Turning Knowldege into skills:
    Note that knowledge and skills are not the same. Knowledge is a theoretical and skill is practical. You must turn theoretical knowledge, education, certifications, etc into practical skills

    3.) Gaining Hands On Experience:
    The most valuable asset in your career is your hands on experience. IT careers unlike careers in law, medicine and some other professional disciplines are big on experience.

    So, before you go anywhere, make sure you have defined specific steps you can take to get your hands on experience. Also, not every experience is equal. Employers give more weight to experience gained in some specific ways compared to experience gained in other ways.

    TO CERTIFY OR NOT?
    This is a hot topic. Tech workers are worrying about their certifications, degrees, education, etc.

    There seems to be two schools of thought. One school asserts that certificatins and educational degrees are everything. The other school asserts that certified tech workers do not necessarily have the experience to back it up and that certifications don’t matter anyway.

    I have a better way of solving this question. Instead of worrying about your certifications, educational qualifications, etc. focus on a developing complete plan. In a complete plan you can add certifications and educational qualifications as long as you do not neglect the other essentials: knowledge, skills and experience.

    Charles, I Hope This Helps … Please Come Back Here And Post a Feedback After You Follow My Recommendations And Solve This Problem

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  9. Kingsley Tagbo   February 12, 2009 at 3:18 pm

    Cat, Robert Scaborough, Andra Bishop, Joseph Fisher, Charles Knight … I am still going to answer your questions in full.

    I’ve been busy working on receiveing the current batch of enrolling students … but I will answer your question in full just like I have done for others.

    Anyone else, pls. feel free to post your questions.

    Thank you

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  10. Kingsley Tagbo   February 12, 2009 at 3:11 pm

    Rashmi:

    For Demo Training Videos or Materials, Go to:
    http://www.it-career-coach.net/video-demos/

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  11. Rashmi   February 12, 2009 at 8:02 am

    I am interested in the Business Analyst Boot Camp.

    Do u accept payment by credit card.

    I don’t want to sound rude but how credible is your program and certificate.

    I am a Sales professional with 4yrs exp and now want to move into Business Analyst Profession, so its very important for me, to understand, how much value will this course and the certificate add to my career

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    • Kingsley Tagbo   February 12, 2009 at 11:00 am

      Rashmi:

      Here is some customer feedback for you:
      http://www.it-career-coach.net/feedback/

      We are in the process of uploading some free video training materials today, so you will be able to evaluate the training resources better.

      Finally, Rashmi, you are evaluated and tested and graded as you complete each training module.

      Your grade is recorded in a web-based training software that acts as a transcript for you (it stores and displays your grade in every skill or learning topic).

      That is the sort of information hiring managers want. They want to see the specific topics or skills you mastered.

      Hiring Managers just don’t want you to say that you learnt SQL, they want you to show or prove that you mastered stored procedures or inner joins or subqueries.

      That is what our training excels at because you have a transcript that records your grade in eevry skill or topic you learn or master.

      Finally, yes, we will give you a certificate at the end of the training program … remember to check out the customer feedabck here:
      http://www.it-career-coach.net/feedback/

      Also,

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  12. Kingsley Tagbo   February 6, 2009 at 4:38 pm

    John Lewis:
    – “How To Land An IT Business Analyst Job”

    You need to start by forgetting about the economy or the recession! What do I mean by that?

    Well, you really can’t stop “the business of life” because the economy is in a recession! You may have to work much harder, interview for more jobs, send out more resumes, study more … but certainly not do nothing 🙂

    Now we’ve got that settled, let’s look at what you can do.

    1.) You are convinced that you can do a business analyst job based on your current experience … so, why not start with your resume?

    Highlight and expand on very task that you’ve performed that was essentially a business analysis task. Put more spotlight on the skills you utilized, the business analysis roles and responsibilities you held (formally or informally) and the results you achieved

    2.) Get more hands-on business analysis experience on your resume!
    Start again by volunteering for non-profit organizations. They are plenty of them around and in this recession they will be needing your help even more!

    Do a good job and ask the non profit organization to provide you a reference for for the work you’ve done for them.

    Use your spare time in the evenings and weekends to rack up your experience and references.

    Then go on a job hunt. Start by sending your resume to multiple recruiters (not just one or two recruiters) … telling them that you are in the market for a business analyst job … then just sit back and wait for them to line up business analyst job interviews for you.

    That is all you need to do. Take massive action towards landing your dream business analyst job and while you are on it, forget about the economy or the recession or your manager who denied you the opportunity to move ahead.

    FYI: Stephen Covey in “The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People” mentions that proactive people do not worry or focus on factors or things over which they have little or no control …instead they focus on their “Sphere Of Influence” … those factors or circumstances over which they exercise control.

    So, while you may not be able to change the past or the economy or the recession, you can dramatically improve:

    1.) Your Business Analyst Resume

    2.) Your Business Analyst Hands On Experience

    3.) Your Business Analysis Job Interview Skills

    John Lewis: I Hope This Helps … Please Come Back Here And Post a Feedback After You Follow My Recommendations And Solve This Problem

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  13. Cat   February 6, 2009 at 4:31 pm

    I took Java, C++, .Net in college. I know HTML, PHotoshop, and have been managing my own website for about 5 years.

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  14. Kingsley Tagbo   February 6, 2009 at 3:56 pm

    Chris:

    One more thing … apart from the “Job Interview” issue, you also wanted to know how you can start a career in web design?

    I would suggest that you master or become an expert at JavaScript, XHTML, CSS, PHP, MySQL and PhotoShop. Now PhotoShop is a really big software package, so you don’t have to master the entire suite before you start your web design career.

    However, you can master JavaScript, XHTML and CSS in 1 month and PHP, MySQL in 2 months. So, by my estimation, you can start your web design career 3 months from now.

    To build up your web design portfolio, start creating free WordPress themes for Blogs such as mine. This would put a lot of demand on you to grow quickly as people use your themes and give you feedback on all sorts of JavaScript / CSS / PHP errors .. but you will grow your skills quickly and you after a while, if you dedicate yourself and perfect your craft, people will starrt hiring you for private blog design jobs!

    I would suggest that you focus on one thing and master it first before starting the other thing. So, don’t worry about web hosting for now. Just master your web design career and you will have enough time and money to conquer the world 🙂

    I have a free article titled how to become a web designer here: How To Become A Web Designer

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  15. Cat   February 6, 2009 at 3:36 pm

    Kingsley,
    My biggest challenge is not knowing enough. I feel like I know a little about a lot of things and can catch on fast, but there is so much to know. I have been on two interviews and both started w/ phone interviews and I have come close to being hired but I don’t get hired. These interviews can last hours. I have a degree in Software Engineering. I belive I know need to know master some skills opposed to just know. I believe people can tell I could have the ability and I defintly have the drive but I still don’t get hired. I guess in this economy they can be picky. I am working tech support and personally I hate it but I am very good at it. I would love to be a developer.

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    • Kingsley Tagbo   February 6, 2009 at 3:44 pm

      Cat:
      What don’t you know enough about and if you don’t mind, how much do you know?

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  16. John Lewis   February 5, 2009 at 11:48 am

    I posted here yesterday and do not see it. Do I need to repost?

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    • Kingsley Tagbo   February 5, 2009 at 12:14 pm

      John:

      You don’t need to register to see your post or report. Your comment is #16 or you can search for the word “Lewis”.

      Don’t worry, I will answer it 🙂

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  17. ROBERT SCARBOROUGH   February 5, 2009 at 11:22 am

    Hi Kingsley,

    I was wondering about PHP/MySQL for mobile web developement stuff aqnd web developement.

    Is that a good language to start with or should I study Java instead. I live in San Diego and I really want something that will get me the most work across the board.

    A lot of people say learn HTML and Javascript first but I’m sure there are a lot of opinions on that.

    I also heard the .NET stuff is hot too.

    Just wanted to get your opinion.

    Thanks

    Rob

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