Your Knowledge, Jobs and the Future
What is the future in jobs? Is education alone the solution? It’s about understanding what knowledge (training, education, certification) can do for you and what you need to do for yourself. Certifications confer advantage but the ability to sell yourself is not covered by technical certifications.
Yet, fruitful job search and success comes from your ability to sell what you have. Otherwise how do you expect to compete effectively in the job market? Even if you pass the exam, can you show that you are the best candidate for the job in the interview room?
Do you come across as someone with the ability to contribute and move the organization forward, or as someone who has passed an exam? Entitlement thinking won’t help. How do you highlight what you have to offer to prospective employers and clients? You’ve passed the exam, but who knows? How’re you positioning yourself for opportunity?
Technical ability can only take you so far in the job scene.
Communication and presentation skills are some of the soft skills you need in your arsenal. The reality is that while many positions in the IT industry require CCNA, MCTS, A+, etc, they also require strong communication skills, enthusiasm, desire to contribute, excellent references and more. Often you have to have ALL of these things in order to land desired positions. Certifications help and will open more doors but you still have to work to market yourself for job and career opportunities.
If you are a newcomer, certification can be of assistance in the job market provided you are realistic and creative in your job search. Recognize that basic fundamental knowledge and skills are a necessity for sustainable career growth. As you plan for education, training and certification also plan for experience as well. When starting out don’t aim too high in training and certification, instead match your experience and learning options. Be ready to market yourself, start from the basics and work your way up. Use uncommon opportunities to gain experience and build your personal network. Some may not be glamorous but use these avenues to earn your stripes and pay your dues.
Is the job your singular career focus?
Certification worth isn’t limited to new jobs or work opportunities. The right certifications also equip IT entrepreneurs with technical skills and knowledge they need. For example, as a solution provider offering network services you may invest in Network+ training to have a solid grounding in the technical aspects of networking. Certainly certification offers job advantage, but I must reiterate that there are no guarantees. Grow in career terms and go past the immediate job focus. What is the totality of your mission – the issues of purpose, substance and self worth that make an IT career real to you? Get certified, add soft skills and ethics to the mix and be creative.
You should always be defined by more than the job.
As George Crane states, “There is no future in any job. The future lies in the man who holds the job”. Certification can help your job search efforts. However, it is in combining the right attitude towards certification with other essential career elements that you significantly improves your jobs prospects and future career opportunities.