There are dozens, hundreds, perhaps thousands of jobs in IT today. If you’re new to the field, that can make it incredibly hard to find the right fit for your mix of skills and interests. At the same time, the chances are high that you’ll find a job. But are you going to find the right job, not just one that tides you over until something better comes along? The effort to find the right fit means that you must take the time to determine your niche in the IT field. This article will help get you started on this important form of self-evaluation.
Find Your Niche—Do These Things
Start by evaluating what matters to you. What are your passions? Do they match the skills you’ve built? Don’t pick an IT niche because you think it’s cool or the money is great or it’s kind of interesting. This is your life, so pick a career niche that you think you’ll be happy with five years down the road. While this may sound hard to figure out, just ask yourself if you’d do the work even if you weren’t being paid for it. That’s a pretty good chance you’re heading in the right direction.
Start by evaluating what matters to you. What are your passions? Do they match the skills you’ve built? Don’t pick an IT niche because you think it’s cool, or the money is great, or it’s “kind of interesting”. This is your life, so pick a career niche that you think you’ll be happy with five years down the road. While this may sound hard to figure out, just ask yourself if you’d do the work even if you weren’t being paid for it. That’s a pretty good chance you’re heading in the right direction.
Determine if you can actually get paid for what you want to do. Sure, we know there are many IT jobs out there. But is what you want to do in one of those job categories? Within the broader category of your field, what subset would interest you for a long-term role? For example:
- If you are a developer, what languages are your favorite? Within your language skillset do you prefer working at a particular place in the stack (backend/frontend/middleware)? Do you have a specific type of software that you prefer to work on, such as mobile or web? Would you like to manage a team of developers or be a lone code slinger?
- Would you prefer testing as your subset of IT? If so, what are your favorite testing environments? Would you rather work on testing automation?
- If you want to learn project management, would you prefer to learn SCRUM, Kanban, Waterfall, Agile, or something else? What project management tools do you prefer? How large should the project be?
While you can ask yourself many questions to help hone in on the kind of career you’re looking for, the reality is that you may start down one path and find you much prefer something else. For example, we’ve seen testers roll into business analyst positions because they prefer working with stakeholders over just testing software. We’ve also seen fledglings in the IT field switch from project management to technical writing because they prefer documenting data and methods over developer wrangling or crunching numbers.
The point is that there may be some trial and error as you figure out your IT niche and the field is constantly changing. Developers often learn several languages early on in their career, but they find that they much prefer one over another. It’s a process of carving out a fulfilling career path where you can make money doing what you really enjoy.
Blackstone Talent Group helps IT teams find their niche. We’ve helped hundreds of IT professionals find a rewarding career path and we’ve helped dozens of companies find the talent they so desperately need. Talk with our team to find out how we can help you find your unique talent and apply it to a niche in the IT field.