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8 tips for getting your IT career back on track

Rich Hein | June 20, 2014
At one time or another, we've all felt were burned out, unwanted or on our way out the door. What if you're not ready to go? How can IT workers get their career back on track with their current employer?

Most of us are trying get ahead in this world, but occasionally we find ourselves in the unenviable career rut. Maybe you realize your current position doesn't align with your long-term goals. Perhaps you received a poor performance review, or were passed over for promotion, and feel like your career has gone off the road.

Now what? You've got to get your career back on track — and fast.

Charles R. Swindoll once said, "Life is 10 percent what happens to you and 90 percent how you react to it." He may be referring to times like this. Swindoll believed in the power of hard work and a positive attitude. Both traits are necessary to finding the path to your long-term career goals.

No one's going to hand anything to you, so you need to get your head in the game. But where do you start? Thankfully, we did the leg work for you. CIO.com spoke with hiring managers and career professionals; together they provide 8 tips to help you get through these trying times while still pushing forward.

Know the Warning Signs
It's not always clear as a bell that your career has gone off the rails. Sometimes, you have to identify the warning signs yourself. Our experts suggest the following signs that your career's in hot water.

You are no longer being invited to meetings or conversations relevant to your area of responsibility, warns Ed Nathanson, senior director of global talent acquisition with Rapid7.

Being excluded from future planning sessions is another red flag.

Your leadership team no longer trusts you with the important client, project, and/or technical team.

You hearing explicit or implied criticism of your performance, dedication, willingness to change, or other catch phrases. "It's a good sign that you've been identified, rightly or wrongly, as a potential problem," says Stephen Van Vreede, executive solutions architect at IT Tech Exec, a career management, resume and job search solutions firm.

People who used to be strong advocates for you aren't as enthusiastic as they used to be.

You've lost your passion. "If you're just not passionate about what you're doing, a change is required," Van Vreede says. "It may simply be a recharge of your batteries, a commitment to expand your learning, or something else. However, more drastic action may be required."

You're too comfortable in your role. "When tasks start feeling automatic, in this comfort stage, many professionals begin to lose their creativity," says Bill Ellermeyer, the founder of Ellermeyer Connect, an executive career coaching firm. "However, innovation is fostered from challenge and passion. You've got to remain engaged with the latest trends and proficiencies within the tech industry."

 

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