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5 traits to have in finding career success in IT

By Ana Isabel Alonsagay

With Australia facing a massive shortage in IT skills and plenty of new roles (such as those in cloud computing and cybersecurity) currently at the forefront of tech – there’s never been a better time to pursue an IT career. 

While technical skills are undoubtedly crucial to IT success – having the right traits and characteristics can also help you advance the ladder.

SkillsTalk explore these crucial character traits below, and how each can help you in the IT field, regardless of your role or specialty. 

5 traits of successful IT professionals

1. An analytical, business-driven mindset.

The ability to collect, organise, and analyse information is required by nearly all tech professions; whether you’re working in cybersecurity, networking, or as part of a help desk team. Successful IT workers will need to assess and critically sift through data as means of solving urgent problems or making crucial business decisions. 

With “big data” on the rise (large sets of information derived from new devices and online activity), this mindset has grown ever-more necessary in tech. Analytical capabilities have also seen a rise in demand from the general workforce – ranking as “moderately high” among Australia’s priority skills alongside critical thinking and problem-solving.

Additionally, IT workers must have a solid grasp of business fundamentals and its intersection with technology. Professionals must understand how a company’s goals align with their tech-related activities, combining the two for further business growth and innovative opportunities. 

2. A strong communicator and “team player”. 

IT communication concept

Being an all-around “people-person” isn’t mandatory for the tech field – though you must possess the skills of an excellent communicator and collaborative partner. 

Successful IT professionals know how to communicate effectively with clients, customers, colleagues, and supervisors in a clear, concise manner. When explaining new findings or ideas (especially among those lacking the same technical knowledge), they are also capable of translating jargon to plain, colloquial language. 

With many IT roles taking place in a team environment, the willingness to work with and learn from others is also a vital employee trait. In a Forbes article, Lou Harwood of Skedaddle, Inc. describes a teamwork mindset as taking three different forms: being able to support colleagues towards a common goal; the drive to find new ways of improving performance and team productivity; and the ability to stay calm and motivated under pressure. 

3. Resilience.

Working in tech is no leisurely stroll, with each day bringing a new set of challenges. Failures are inevitable, but those who persevere are those who find success. 

Professionals require a resilient mindset in times of disaster (such as in the case of cyberattacks), or when handling smaller challenges, such as new skills pursuits. One must be able to keep moving, to refill their self-drive and overcome obstacles with a level-headed perspective.

This trait goes hand-in-hand with being a “team player” and efficient problem-solver, as persistence allows both characteristics to flourish; benefiting business outcomes and paving the way for further IT innovation. 

4. Adaptability and versatility.

programmers working together

The IT field can be an unpredictable one, with new industry developments and demands by the year. Maintaining your competitive edge requires a high level of adaptability – which includes frequent upskilling to keep your skillsets relevant and up to date. Standard tools and systems continually change, making ongoing professional development a vital and valuable practice.

Professionals must also learn to adapt at a micro level, as day-to-day routines in IT may change at the last minute. Equipment may crash or experience unexpected damage, and colleagues may accidentally mishandle files or leave them vulnerable to cyberattacks. Whatever the issue may be, the best IT workers are quick on their feet, able to pivot from their current tasks to address these problems. 

Additionally, successful tech experts are versatile and are able to branch out to varying specialties. For example – an entry-level programmer may expand their career opportunities by exploring areas such as software development, networking, or cybersecurity. Those who understand the basics of cybersecurity may boost their employability by specialising in areas such as penetration testing or ethical hacking. 

As an industry of multiple sectors, the more skills you brandish – the more likely you’ll find career success.

5. A “lifelong learner” perspective.

Finally, all successful IT professionals sport a “lifelong learner” mindset – the willingness to continuously upgrade their skills and existing industry knowledge.

As mentioned, the IT field is an ever-changing one, with skills demands constantly evolving with time. Being a “lifelong learner” thus goes hand-in-hand with adaptability, helping one pursue new ideas and educational areas to keep ahead of the technological curve. It involves being naturally curious, with the self-motivation to constantly seek new information. 

Those with this mindset also view failures as learning opportunities, rather than dead-ends. Additionally, they welcome constructive criticism, responding to such feedback with humility (rather than defensiveness) and a willingness to improve. 

Ready to launch your IT career?

Think you’ve got the traits of a successful IT professional? Be sure to sharpen those hard skills, too; with Upskilled’s wide range of IT courses where you’re sure to find a course to suit your desired role or specialty.

Dive into Australia’s exciting IT landscape, and enquire about a course today. 
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