Success Principle: Build You Career On Strengths Not Weaknesses

Build Your Career On Strengths Not Weaknesses
Build Your Career On Strengths Not Weaknesses

I have a cousin who was a skilled, talented artist in high school. Whenever he was painting a portrait, he would be playing his favorite rock band and be singing and dancing along … all at the same time!

One thing led to another, and his “artistic skills flourished into an entrepreneurial side business” and he started selling his portraits to supermarket chains!

Then it was time for college and his parents insisted on him choosing a career like “building engineering” that promised a stable income with lots of growth potentials vs. that of an entrepreneurial artist.

How Good Are Your Problem Solving Skills?

How Good Are You At Solving Problems?
How Good Are You At Solving Problems?

I know a Vice President (VP) who hangs a sign outside his office that says: “Don’t Bring Me Problems … Bring Me Solutions!”

What he really meant by that sign is: “if you don’t know how to solve problems, then you don’t have a place in the organization” … makes sense now, right?

Problem solving is one of your most important professionals skills because regardless of your job description or position, “you are hired to solve problems“.

How well you deal with problems will be a determining factor in how successful you are at work or in life.

How Are Certifications Going To Help My Career?

Why Are Certifications Not Helping My Career?
Why Are Certifications Not Helping My Career?

[Ask IT Career Coach] is a Career Advice Column for Information Technology (IT) professionals looking for answers to their most challenging career situations.

This question is about the benefit of Business Analyst Certtifications

Hi,

I have an IT background with a computer science degree. And I have four years of experience as a software developer.

Recently I completed an MBA (International Business) from UK. I also passed the ITIL v3 and and soon will be passing IIBA foundation certification.

How To Get Extensive Hands-on Experience In Information Technology

How To Gain Hands-on Experience in-Information Technology
How To Gain Hands-on Experience in-Information Technology

When it comes to the Information Technology Industry, getting more hands-on experience is one of your most important professional development activities.

In this post, I will explain how information technology workers including business analysts, computer programmers, database developers, data analysts, project managers, software testers and infrastructure / networking professionals can gain extensive, high visibility, career defining hands-on experience!

More Opportunities To Get Hands-on Experience

By far, the number one place to find hands-on project experience in the information technology industry is in web or software development projects!

How To Earn Significantly More Money, When Your Career Hits a Plateau!

How To Earn Significantly More Money, When Your Career Hits a Plateau!
How To Earn Significantly More Money, When Your Career Hits a Plateau!

Have you you reached a plateau in your career?

If you have, consider becoming a contractor.

As a contractor, you may earn significantly more money (20% to 50% more) and you will find more challenging work for your skill sets.

In this post, I will show how you to minimize the risks while maximizing the benefits of being a contractor so that you end up with significantly more money in your pocket!

What Is The Best Way To Choose A Career?

How To Choose A New Career
How To Choose A New Career

After witnessing the challenges in the lives of professionals dealing with under-performance, under-achievement, stress, anxiety, career stagnation, anger, depression or financial failure; I decided to write this article on how to make better career choices.

Choosing the right career is important because you spend the major part of your day (9 to 11 hours) at work. If you make the wrong career choice, you will put yourself in a painful, challenging situation.

So, choosing the right career ranks as one of the most important decisions you will ever make in your life.

How To Jump-Start Your Career When It Stalls!

How To Jumpstart A Stalled Career!
How To Jumpstart A Stalled Career!

It has been said that to “keep doing the same thing over and over again expecting different results is the very definition of insanity.

On the other hand, “if you want something you have never hard, you must do something you have never done!

So, if your career is stagnating, step back and take an honest look at your work.

Is your work everything you had hoped for?

If the smell of fresh-brewed coffee is the biggest reward after you walk through the office door each day, it’s time to truly perk up your daily grind and reboot your career.

What Software Do I Learn to Become A Business Analyst?

what software should you-learn to become a business analyst?
what software should you-learn to become a business analyst?

[Ask IT Career Coach] is a Career Advice Newsletter for Information Technology (IT) professionals including business analysts, computer programmers, data analysts, database developers, technical writers, project managers and software testers.

If you, have a challenging question about your career, submit it here and we will answer yours just as we are answering this question submitted by a technical writer titled: What Software Do I Learn to Become A Business Analyst?

Question

How do I learn or get the software knowledge that would make me a business analyst?

How to Tap Into Magical Hiring Powers

Tapping Into Your Magical Hiring Powers
Tapping Into Your Magical Hiring Powers

As a Career Coach, I come across questions or discussions from job seekers “looking for recruiter who can get them a job“.

From the way these statements are worded, it seems that all it takes for the job seeker to get a job is finding a recruiter with magical hiring powers.

But, is it really true?

Do recruiters have hiring powers and how much of the success or failure of the job search depends on the recruiter’s magical hiring powers?

How To Live Up To Your Potential in 3 Steps!

What Is Your Mission In Life?
What Is Your Mission In Life?

This question was submitted by a very young, exceptionally gifted and talented top performer who wants to know, “how he can live up to his potential”.

Hello,

I am very young (23) and was radically accelerated through college \ graduate school.

By next year, I will have a BA (Math \ Religion), MBA (Management Consultancy), MSc (Business IT), PhD (Computing & Mathematics), and PhD (ABD), in IT from leading universities, as well as 9+ years IT experience, with 5+ years BA experience with stellar recommendations.

6 Principles That Transform Your Work

six principles that transform your career
six principles that transform your work

Are you looking for a transformation in your work situation? Follow these 6 rock solid success principles that summarize what I have learned about building careers or online communities!

Whatever your industry, background or situation, these six principles will help you “Discover Your Passion“, “Do What You Love” or “Take Your Passion To Market“.

The first two (2) principles are designed to help you choose work that matches your strengths, education, training, background, skills, experience, hobbies or interests.

Success Principle: Learn the Most Marketable Skills

Learn a Top 100 Most Marketable Skill
Learn a Top 100 Most Marketable Skill

As a career coach one of the challenges that many of my clients face is that of learning the most marketable skills in the current job market.

An example is a client that I will call John who has been looking for a while even though he has an advanced management degree (MBA).

He wonders why he’s constantly getting turned down for business analyst jobs even though he is certain of this: most of those getting hired are less educated than him!

It’s Not What You Know It’s What You Do

There is a lot of good career advice on this blog. This advice is for all you good people that have been so kind as to listen to me.

I am always interested in hearing from you, especially after you put my advice to work.

Today’s post is just a reminder to put my advice to work because it works.

Here is an email from a reader who got a JOB by doing what I say:

Hi, I kept reading your articles about the IT career to choose.

Is College Worth The Money?

Academically Adrift: Limited Learning on College Campuses
Academically Adrift: Limited Learning on College Campuses
The answer to the question: “Is College Worth The Money?” is YES … so please go to the best college you can afford because there are doors in life that will be easier for you to open if you have a college degree.

That being said, there are pros and cons to attending college and a right / wrong mindset that you need to be aware of.

In a new book, “Academically Adrift: Limited Learning on College Campuses,” sociologists Richard Arum of New York University and Josipa Roksa of the University of Virginia, are of the opinion that “College Students in the US are not learning Much

Oracle Or Microsoft Access, Which Is Better?

Oracle Or Microsoft Access, Which Is Better For Me?
Oracle Or Microsoft Access, Which Is Better For Me?

Are you matching your strengths to your opportunities or are you just being ideological … interested only in following your own ideas even when they won’t get you any results?

Here is a situation that illustrates the challenges of being ideological versus being results oriented. It is a situation that illustrates the challenges of learning an enterprise software like Oracle compared to a poor man’s database like Microsoft Access.

Are you wondering about who this situation involves? You are safe my friend because today, I will mainly be talking about me 🙂

The Survivors Guide To Overcoming Unemployment

The Survivors Guide To Overcoming Unemployment
The Survivors Guide To Overcoming Unemployment
Several years ago, I had a conversation with a lady who had a computer science degree but was unable to get hired for any type of Information technology (IT) job.

I realized right away, that what she lacked was an understanding of how the IT job / career market works. The sort of information that is generally omitted in schools because no one thinks it is important enough.

So, after she shared her story with me, I did some research and came to the startling conclusion that she was not alone.

How To Start Programming for Mobile Phones?

[Ask IT Career Coach] is a Career Advice Column for Information Technology (IT) professionals looking for answers to their most challenging career, job or business situations.

Here is a question that illustrates the challenges facing us as we try to find a worthwhile career.

I am a recent college grad who has come to the realization that I wasted time and money in a psychology degree with nothing to show for it.

I have always had an interest in computers, and recently developed a strong desire to possibly move into the computer industry (mainly b/c of google android and my passion for cell phones).

What Is Your Personality Type?

What Is Your Personality Type?
What Is Your Personality Type?

One of the reasons why professionals struggle with their careers or under-perform at their jobs is that their work or career does not match their personality!

When hiring someone to do job, it’s easy to see what skills and training they have acquired or what types of jobs they’ve previously performed from their resume.

What is not so easy to see is how that same person’s personality traits will fit in with that of other employees or how their personality will thrive on a daily basis after you’ve have hired them.

Take Your Career To The Next Level!

STOP, if you’re about to register for our training and read this post now because we are only interested in the right type of participants for our online bootcamp courses.

In many ways, we are not like traditional classroom classes or most training schools.

For example, we focus more on experiential learning in the sense that we want you to perform well on the job and not just have a certificate that you can show-off on your resume.

Click here to read our thoughts on experiential learning.

Which Courses or Certifications Guarantee A Job?

Which Certifications Or Courses Guarantee Jobs?
Which Certifications Or Courses Guarantee Jobs?

This question is frequently asked by job candidates searching for certifications or training courses they can put on their resume, present to an employer and get a job.

However, the answer to the question: which online courses, certifications, college degrees or classroom courses guarantee a job is NONE!

This type of question is seriously flawed because it assumes that there is something out therea college degree or online course or certification program, that you can put on your resume and hired fast!

What Is the Toughest Challenge Facing your Career?

What Is The Toughest Challenge Facing Your Career?
What Is The Toughest Challenge Facing Your Career?

What is the toughest challenge facing your career right now?

Post a detailed question regarding your challenges right now, and I will help you take care of them, once and for all!

How To Discover Your Passion?

Perhaps, your toughest challenge is …

  • How to choose the right career or
  • How to make a career change or
  • How to get an entry level job that is inline with your career goals

Pros and Cons of Business Analysts vs Computer Programmer Careers

Pros and Cons of Computer Programming vs. Business Analysis
Pros and Cons of Computer Programming vs. Business Analysis

[Ask IT Career Coach] is a Career Advice Column for Information Technology (IT) professionals looking for answers to their most challenging career, job or business situations.

I get a number of questions from computer programmers or software developers looking to change their careers to business analysis or project management.

I also receive questions about the suitability of business analysis, project management or computer programming as a career.

If you sent me a question along these lines, please use this post to evaluate your choices or decide on the best career for you!

Breaking News: Software Engineers Have The Best Jobs In 2011

I dedicate a considerable amount of time to debunking myths and half-baked truths. And one about the future prospects of software developer careers has just been ratified!

According to a survey of the best and worst jobs in the United States, Software Engineers will have the best jobs in 2011.

For this survey, 200 professions were analyzed based on their pay, environment, hiring outlook, stress and physical demands using data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the Census Bureau and trade association studies.

According to this survey, the high-demand for Software engineering jobs is fueled by the desire for high-tech gadgets, iPods, tablets and other devices.

The Most Important Thing on Your Resume

The Most Important Thing On Your Resume Is What?
The Most Important Thing On Your Resume Is What?

There are several things on a resume that can help get you hired. These include your educational qualifications, certifications, training, the college or institutions which you attended, skill level and your hansdon experience.

But regardless of whether you are a business analyst, computer programmer, project manager, data analyst, report writer or network administrator, the singular, most important thing on your resume or career is your handson experience!

Handson Experience Builds your Career

Handson experience matters because it is the only credible, impartial evaluation of the work that you are doing and here is why:

#6 Success Principle: The Proof Of Your Desire Is In Your Pursuit

Pursuit Is The Proof Of Desire
Pursuit Is The Proof Of Desire

Life Is About What You Have … And Not About What You Don’t Have!

I get a number of questions along the lines of:

I am 25 / 39 / 50 years old, I don’t have any work experience and I don’t have a college degree.

But I want to become a good business analyst / computer programmer / project manager, what do I have to do?

If you find yourself thinking along those lines, this is what you should do: use what you have to get what you want!

A Day In The Life Of A Data Analyst

Data Analysis: Profiting From Numbers
Data Analysis: Profiting From Numbers

Data Analysts have the opportunity to work in several different domains or sectors, for example as banking data analysts, retail data analysts, telecommunications data analysts and as marketing data analysts.

The marketing data analyst role is one of the more common ones and a marketing analyst may be found analyzing databases of prospects, leads and customers for the marketing department.

In this post, we will take a peak into the day of a marketing data analyst…

Why Tech Jobs Are Better For You

Tech Jobs Are Better For You
Tech Jobs Are Better For You!

I get questions all the time about the suitability of technology careers for those who’ve never worked a tech job.

I understand those asking are anxious about their future.

However, making a career change to Information Technology is in many cases a better financial investment than taking on debt to buy a house or go to college!

If you are one of those, here are some of the best reasons why changing jobs to Information Technology (IT) is a sound financial decision.

Don’t Worry Get Married: How to Cope With An Ever Increasing Workload!

don't worry get married
don't worry get married

This post is written for professionals looking for ways to cope with conflicting or demanding work and life commitments.

How to cope with an ever increasing workload? Tech workers are under increasing pressure to get more work done during office hours, vacation time, weekend time or even away from the office at home.

How to keep up with the demands of our careers? And IT professionals are worrying about how they can learn new technologies or sharpen their current skills because of the constantly changing face of technology.

Don’t Let Your Career Become A Silo!

Is Your Career A Silo?
Is Your Career A Silo?

Don’t let your career become a prison. Use it as a launching pad for achieving your dreams.

If you would like to change career but feel like you can’t satisfy the specialized requirements on job postings, here is some good advice for you!

[Ask IT Career Coach] is a Career Advice Column for IT professionals looking for answers to their most challenging career situations.

Why Is Changing Roles So Hard?

Changing roles is hard because Information Technology (IT), Web, or Software Development Managers want depth of experience in specific, narrowly defined or over-specialized skills.

Is Tunnel Vision Killing My Career?

Is Tunnel Vision Killing My Career?
Is Tunnel Vision Killing My Career?
Medically speaking, Tunnel Vision is a visual impairment that results in the loss of peripheral vision.

It is characterized by the inability to see objects outside one’s center of gaze even though they are still within view.

But tunnel vision also refers to a frame of mind where one is either fixated on a specific answer or unable to see alternatives.

Consider that many Information Technology (IT) professionals evaluate their career options as though there a few choice careers mainly:

  1. Computer Programming
  2. Business Analysis
  3. Project Management
  4. Data Analysis

#3 Success Principle: When It Comes To Experience, Beggars Can’t Be Choosers

Beggars Can't Be Choosers
Beggars Can't Be Choosers

One of the bigger issues facing IT professionals is: “the challenge of building experience“.

This challenge exists because employers still require experience for hiring, even when you need their jobs to build experience!

It’s the classic Catch-22: “chicken or egg which came first challenge” that may be solved through internships or full-time jobs.

However, internships are getting increasingly competitive (Read More …) and employers are still insisting on handson experience before making job offers.

Why Internships Are Hard To Get

For a while, internships helped provide the missing handson experience to IT professionals learning new skills or transitioning careers.

What Software Skills Do Business Analysts Need?

Have you noticed the increasing demand for business analysts with stronger software skills or a wider range of skill sets?

Because this is a top hiring trend, business analysts have expressed concern about the range of skillsets requested for on job postings.

Some of these strong concerns are often worded as:

  • What software skills do business analysts need?

  • Should business analysts be made to learn computer programming?

  • Which software programs are required for business analysis jobs?

Along the same lines, one of the concerns expressed is; should business analysts have in depth knowledge of SQL, Access, Customer Relationship Management (CRM) software and Reporting writing software?

How To Become A Rockstar In Your Industry

How To Become A Rockstar In Your  Industry
How To Become A Rockstar in Your Industry

Top performers, rockstars or successful professionals have a mindset or a way of thinking.

They practice a code or follow a set of principles that helps them achieve the best results in their industry.

This post features the “Rockstar Mindset” and other actionable strategies for becoming the best at what you do.

Always Be Learning

Stay Ahead of the Curve!
Stay Ahead of the Curve!

According to the Japanese Kaizen philosophy, consistence and commitment to studying, getting more information or improving your skills is better than sudden bursts of efforts.

The Job Market Outlook for Computer Programmers

Job Market Outlook for Computer Programmers
Job Market Outlook for Computer Programmers

Inspite of the outsourcing of Information Technology jobs, there is a net positive increase in staffing for computer programming jobs, because the fundamental demand for hi-tech skills in the US economy is quite strong.

The job market for computer programmers has virtually exploded in the last ten year and the demand for software developers will continue to be strong for the foreseeable future.

In this post, I would like to discuss the factors driving up the demand for computer programmers.

Job Market Surveys for Computer Programmers

One of the surveys conducted by Harris Interactive found that:

Desktop Programming vs. Web Developer Skills, Which’s In Higher Demand?

Desktop Vs Windows Skills, Which Is Better?
Desktop Vs Windows Skills, Which Is Better?

In this post, I compare the demand for web developer skills to the demand for desktop programming skills, so that you can decide which computer programming specialization is better for you and based on that make an informed investment of time, money and effort!

  • Desktop Developers create applications known as thick clients that reside on the desktop. Aspiring desktop developers have to learn windows application development using tools like Visual Basic, C#, C/C++.

How to Learn SQL or Databases

How To Learn SQL or Databases Online
How To Learn SQL or Databases Online

The demand for SQL query writing or database skills is tied to the high demand for web, intranet and internet application development skills

Organizations invest in web projects because they need to automate their business operations as it grows in complexity, expands in size or becomes more profitable.

This post addresses the following questions:

  • Why is SQL query writing skills needed?
  • What do SQL query writers do?
  • How can you become a SQL query writer?
  • What makes SQL query writers different from other developers?