There are a number of general skills, not specifically related to IT that employers in the It and many other industries are looking for in a prospective employee.
Communication or interpersonal skills are highly valued by many employers. In the IT industry it is likely that your job will involve working closely with other people. These are likely to be both IT professionals and IT users whose knowledge of technical aspects of IT may be very limited.
Even in your first job you will probably be expected to deal with several issues at the same time and to keep tight deadlines. You will therefore need to be able to plan in order to get the tasks you have been set completed on time and to organize all the information and resources you will need.
There are a number of ways to help you in organizing your tasks, this can be as simple as a to-do list, or making a note in a diary or a calendar or using more advanced programs such as Microsoft project.
You will have to be able to carry out work tasks efficiently. For example you need to make sure you have the equipment and information you require to do the job. This might be as simple as just having a pen and paper with you knowing the address and telephone number of a business you are visiting.
In business, people don’t like the excuse as “im sorry I forgot to bring it” or “I would have but I didn’t have you’re number”. Of course, occasionally we make mistakes, but well organized professionals don’t have to make excuses like these very often.
Time management is related to planning and organization skills. It involves making the most of your time and making sure you keep your appointments and deadlines. Being organized and making sure you have the right equipment with you will help you avoid wasting time.
Because life is very busy and there are so many things to remember, many people find it easy essential to keep a diary of their meetings, appointments and deadlines. Paper diaries can be useful but many people use electronic diaries instead.
In your first job in IT you probably wont be working on your own. You are much more likely to be working as part of a team, and you will probably be the most junior member of the team. A team normally has a leader who will allocate tasks and monitor progress.
For a team to work well you must:
.Understand what your role is within the team and what you are expected to do. If this isn’t clear you must speak to the team leader.
. Understand what roles of other team members are and what information or support you need provide for them.
. Deal with problems with another team member in a positive way. For example, if someone in your team isn’t providing you with the information you need to do your task, speak to them politely first to try and resolve the problem, if that doesn’t work then speak to the team leader.
. Remember that working a team involves a give and take, and you must be able to cooperate with other team members. In addition, you will have to do your best to get on with people who you might not choose as friends.
. Support the team leader by following their instructions carefully and keeping them up to date on your progress.
The level of numeric skills you need in your job will partly depend on the job you do. However, almost every job (not just It jobs) require basic numeracy skills, including the ability to carry out arithmetic and day to day mathematical calculations, such as working out percentages. Some IT careers such as programming may require a higher level of mathematical ability.
As with numeracy, how creative you will need to be will partly depends on the type of job you will do. Some jobs such as web page design or desktop publishing require a lot of creativity. But creativity doesn’t just