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Building Your I.T. Career: A Complete Toolkit for a Dynamic Career in Any Economy, Second Edition

Book Description

Building Your I.T. Career

A Complete Toolkit for a Dynamic Career in Any Economy

Second Edition

Break in. Move up. Earn more. Stay on top.

Get the I.T. career edge you need right now!

“They” say it’s tougher now to build a great career in I.T. “They” complain about outsourcing, cutbacks, and the tough economy. Don’t complain: act! Right this minute, outstanding I.T. jobs and careers are out there: You just have to know how to get them! This 100% I.T.-focused, up-to-the-minute toolkit delivers all the insider skills and insights you need to get your next great tech job now—and build lifelong success in the industry. It will help you plan your career, set achievable goals, organize them into practical action items, and make it happen!

Totally updated for today’s newest hiring trends, Building Your I.T. Career, Second Edition is packed with examples from real I.T. pros and hiring decision-makers, it will help you get in, get promoted, get raises, and stay in demand—one easy step at a time!

-- Focus on the I.T. careers you'll be happiest and most successful in

-- Discover what opportunity looks like today—and how to take advantage of it

-- Adopt the proactive attitudes associated with I.T. career success

-- Master the personal communication skills you need to get a job—and succeed when you have it

-- Develop more effective cover letters and resumes, and interview brilliantly

-- Break in to I.T. for the first time

-- Build your social media and offline networks, and use them to supercharge your job search

-- Negotiate salary and employment agreements that get you what you deserve

-- Learn (and do) what it takes to get promoted

-- Take advantage of telecommuting and consulting options

-- Move into management (if that's what you want)

-- Use mentors and career coaches effectively

-- Become a high-priced hourly consultant

-- Gain the personal financial discipline that liberates you to choose your best career options

-- Make yourself nearly indispensable

Table of Contents

  1. Title Page
  2. Copyright Page
  3. Contents at a Glance
  4. Table of Contents
  5. About the Author
  6. Acknowledgments
  7. We Want to Hear from You!
  8. Reader Services
  9. Introduction
    1. Who Should Read This Book
    2. How to Use the Toolkit
    3. What Is the Toolkit Approach to Career Development?
    4. How This Book Is Organized
    5. Online Supplements
  10. Part I. Your Career
    1. Chapter 1. The Toolkit Approach to Career Development
      1. Justifying the Need for an I.T. Toolkit
      2. Actions & Ideas
    2. Chapter 2. Career Building Defined
      1. The Danger of a Tool-Driven Mindset
      2. A Job Is Not a Career
      3. Conclusion
      4. Actions & Ideas
    3. Chapter 3. Information Technology: A Great Career
      1. Why I.T. Is a Great Career
      2. What About Outsourcing?
      3. Conclusion
      4. Actions & Ideas
    4. Chapter 4. Defining Yourself: Aptitudes and Desires
      1. Considerations in Your Career Choice
      2. Conclusion
      3. Actions & Ideas
  11. Part II. Filling Your Toolkit
    1. Chapter 5. Self-Assessment
      1. The Power of Self-Assessment
      2. The Dangers of Self-Assessment
      3. Four Questions of Self-Assessment
      4. Conclusion: Making It Personal
      5. Actions & Ideas
    2. Chapter 6. Attitude
      1. The Effect of Attitude on Your Career
      2. Positive Mental Attitude
      3. Beware: Two Pitfalls of Attitude
      4. The Role of Attitude
      5. Attitude Checks
      6. Conclusion
      7. Actions & Ideas
    3. Chapter 7. Communication Skills
      1. Defining Communication Skills
      2. The Benefit of Communication Skills: An Effective Communicator Is Viewed as More Intelligent
      3. Written Communications
      4. Verbal Communication
      5. Presentations and Training
      6. A Brief Note on Listening
      7. Conclusion
      8. Actions & Ideas
    4. Chapter 8. Technical Skills
      1. Your Technology Skills
      2. The Role of Learning
      3. The Fear of Obsolescence
      4. Another Perspective: Transcendent Skills
      5. Reducing the Parts
      6. Tips to Speed Up the Learning Process
      7. Conclusion
      8. Actions & Ideas
    5. Chapter 9. The Cover Letter
      1. The Purpose of Your Cover Letter
      2. Three Vital Ingredients in Your Cover Letter
      3. Conclusion
      4. Actions & Ideas
    6. Chapter 10. The Resumé
      1. Your Ambassador to the Professional World
      2. The Purpose of Your Resumé
      3. Determining Who Is Looking at Your Resumé
      4. Resumé Basics
      5. Conclusion
      6. Actions & Ideas
  12. Part III. Putting Your Toolkit to Use
    1. Chapter 11. Breaking In to I.T.
      1. Correcting Perception
      2. I.T. Happens Outside of I.T.
      3. Other Avenues into I.T.
      4. Interning
      5. Conclusion
      6. Actions & Ideas
    2. Chapter 12. Building an Active Contact List
      1. Enjoy People
      2. Develop a Personality
      3. Have Other Areas of Interest
      4. Engage in Conversation
      5. Track and Remember Your Contacts
      6. Share Opportunity
      7. Professional Networking and Social Media
      8. Conclusion
      9. Actions & Ideas
    3. Chapter 13. The Job Search
      1. Getting What You Want Requires Wanting Something
      2. Defining the Job Search
      3. Remember: Looking for Work Is Work
      4. The Toolkit Approach to Finding a Job
      5. Job Search Outline
      6. A Job-Search Comparison
      7. Social Media and the Job Search
      8. Conclusion
      9. Actions & Ideas
    4. Chapter 14. The Interview
      1. Practice Your Interview Skills
      2. After the Interview
      3. Conclusion
      4. Actions & Ideas
    5. Chapter 15. Salary Negotiations and Employment Agreements
      1. Start Early
      2. Know What You Want
      3. Understand the Employer’s Perspective
      4. Be Creative
      5. Be Firm
      6. Your Worth to the Company
      7. Negotiations Never Fail
      8. Be Flexible
      9. Employment Agreements
      10. Conclusion
      11. Actions & Ideas
    6. Chapter 16. On-the-Job Promotion
      1. On the Job
      2. Maintaining and Building Your Network
      3. Identifying Areas for Success
      4. Attitude
      5. Working for a Tyrant and Other Joys
      6. Conclusion
      7. Actions & Ideas
    7. Chapter 17. Your Career and Social Media
      1. Social Media/Social Network Definition
      2. Privacy Concerns
      3. What Is Your Use of Social Media?
      4. Not a Professional Networking Replacement
      5. The Seven People You Cannot Be Online
      6. How to Use Social Media Effectively
      7. Assessing Your Use of Social Media
      8. Social Media Conclusion
      9. Actions & Ideas
  13. Part IV. More Options to Build Your Career
    1. Chapter 18. Telecommuting
      1. Careers That Lend Themselves to Telecommuting
      2. The Benefits for the Employee
      3. The Benefits for the Employer
      4. The Concerns for the Employee
      5. The Concerns for the Employer
      6. Conclusion: Next Steps
      7. Keys to Successful Telecommuting
      8. Conclusion
      9. Actions & Ideas
    2. Chapter 19. Consulting
      1. The Consulting Life
      2. The Benefits
      3. The Pitfalls
      4. Resources for the Consultant
      5. Online Supplements for the Consultant
      6. Conclusion
      7. Actions & Ideas
    3. Chapter 20. Management
      1. Leadership
      2. Process and Time Management
      3. Critical Skills You Need Now
      4. Conclusion
      5. Actions & Ideas
  14. Part V. The Value-Added Toolkit
    1. Chapter 21. Make Yourself Indispensable
      1. A Word About Value
      2. Being Proactive
      3. Understanding Technology’s Role in the Organization
      4. Maintain a Business-First Mentality
      5. Create Standards, Automation, or a Programmer’s Toolkit
      6. Create a Peer Knowledge Network
      7. Be Known as the Go-To Resource
      8. Be Ready and Willing to Take On the Necessary Responsibility
      9. Have Experts You Call On for Your Organization
      10. Be Passionate About Something!
      11. Never Blame, and Always Have a Corrective Plan
      12. Adopt Concept Over Process
      13. Conclusion
      14. Actions & Ideas
    2. Chapter 22. Concept Over Process
      1. What to Expect
      2. What Not to Expect
      3. COP Objectives
      4. COP Origins
      5. What Is a Process-Driven Mindset?
      6. Moving from Process Driven to Concept Driven
      7. Conclusion
      8. Actions & Ideas
    3. Chapter 23. The Role of Mentoring
      1. Mentor Characteristics
      2. Mentoring Others
      3. Conclusion
      4. Actions & Ideas
    4. Chapter 24. Career Coaching
      1. Career Coaching Topics
      2. What to Look for in a Career Coach
      3. What to Expect from Your Career Coach
      4. The Limitations of a Career Coach
      5. Individual Coaching Versus Group Coaching
      6. How Coaching Is Structured
      7. How Much Does Coaching Cost
      8. Coaching as a Career Path
      9. A Final Word on Coaching
      10. Topics of Discussion
    5. Chapter 25. Financial Control
      1. The Impact of Finances on Career Building
      2. Financial Control Creates Options
      3. Financial Control Is Largely Mental
      4. Money Is a Tool
      5. Debt and Spending
      6. Some Basics of Financial Planning and Stability
      7. Conclusion
      8. Actions & Ideas
    6. Chapter 26. A Professional Blog
      1. What Is a Blog?
      2. Really Simple Syndication and Notifications
      3. How Do Blogs Work?
      4. Why You Should Blog
      5. Blogging Basics
      6. What to Write About
      7. Writing Style: Tone and Voice
      8. Using WordPress
      9. Getting Started with WordPress
      10. Actions & Ideas
    7. Chapter 27. 12 Weeks to Profitable Consulting
      1. About 12 Weeks
      2. The Profitable Consulting Toolkit
      3. A Website/Blog
      4. Business Cards
      5. Mailing List/Newsletter
      6. Your Services
      7. Sales and Marketing Basics
      8. The “I’m a High-Value Solution” Perspective
      9. Developing Your Pitch
      10. Your First Case Study
      11. Tools for Tracking Your Business
      12. Pre 12-Week Kickoff: Getting You Ready
      13. Actions & Ideas
    8. Chapter 28. Be Proactive! Be Positive! Add Value! Share Opportunity!
      1. No Job Makes a Career, No Job Breaks a Career
      2. Adversity Happens
      3. Overcoming Adversity
      4. Staying Engaged with Your Career
      5. You Make a Difference
      6. Where Do You Go from Here?
  15. Appendix. My Reading List
    1. Websites
    2. Books
    3. Conclusion
  16. Index
  17. Ad Page