define your career preferences  


define your career preferences

Know Your Objectives and Preferences

  • Define your own specific objectives, both personal and professional, before you begin.
  • Understand your preferences regarding work styles, environments, pace, etc.
  • Determine the job criteria that will help you meet your requirements
  • Think about which technologies you enjoy most, especially if you are experienced in more than one area.
  • Consider what types of roles will help you achieve your long-term goals.
  • Factor in the importance of learning new skills as you work.

Consider the Size of Organization You Like Most

  • Many professionals want to work for large companies on the international IT scene.
  • Others appreciate the opportunity to pave new roads with smaller innovative start-up firms.
  • For still others, the size of the organization does not matter at all.
  • Reflect on your own career experiences to date.
  • Have you found yourself happier in a small organization, or thriving in a large environment?
  • Factor your preferences in this area into your job search.

Select Hands-On Work or Management

  • Moving into a management role can be very rewarding
  • Management roles, however, include added responsibility, paperwork and the development of careers of those working under your supervision.
  • If you enjoy hands-on technical work, management may not be the right direction for you.
  • If you are contemplating a move into a management role, consider the reasons why.
  • If you would simply like to pursue a higher salary, discuss that possibility with your current manager.
  • If you are certain that management is right for you, demonstrate your willingness to learn and to lead.

Determine Your Salary or Rate

  • Understand that there is a wide range of salaries and rates for every IT role.
  • Research the ranges for different organizations in your local area
  • Base your range on the type of work you do, your years of experience and your financial obligations.
  • Seek a compensation plan that is appropriate for your given role.
  • Factor benefits, such as training, insurance coverage, retirement funds, etc., into your evaluation.
  • Avoid letting salary alone influence your decision to accept or reject a potential opportunity.

Are You Prepared to Commute or Relocate?

  • Some individuals view a commute as an opportunity for quiet time before the day begins.
  • Others prefer not to travel more than a few minutes to the office each day.
  • Think about your willingness to commute when evaluating positions.
  • Determine your transportation options to and from each workplace.
  • Decide whether you would be willing to move to an area closer to where a given office is located.
  • Consider asking whether the hiring organization offers telecommuting or other work-from-home options.

Factor In Your Special Needs

  • You may have special needs that affect your career choices   Single parents may require a daycare facility onsite.  If you have health considerations, for instance, you might need an organization with a comprehensive benefit plan. You may be averse to accepting a position that requires travel. Communicate your requirements up front so a potential employer can map an opportunity to those needs.

Stay Informed of Market Developments

  • Many IT professionals enjoy the challenge of learning leading-edge technologies.
  • Others prefer to work in areas in which they have experience.
  • Beware of being unwilling to move with the market trends.
  • At the same time, remember that lists of “hot” technologies are always changing.
  • Stay attuned to emerging areas where there are opportunities to learn and develop as a professional.
  • Understand market demands before investing in training in new areas.
  • Read industry publications and watch trends in order to make informed career development decisions.