If you love all things technical, you probably don’t have your sights set on getting an MBA or taking night courses in management. But at the same time, if you hope to move up the ladder into project management and later executive positions, you will need to know about a lot more than programming. To help you make the most of your time and effort, we’ve created a list of the business skills that are most important to the careers of technical professionals.
A Business Mindset
IT pros are focused on the details of code and the outcomes of processes. Business professionals are focused on budgeting, Lead Scoring, and strategic planning. Understanding how IT affects business, and the broader objectives of that business, is essential for ambitious employees in technical fields.
All Forms of Communication
Technical professionals are not known for their communication skills. But business professionals rely on their communication skills – written, verbal, body language – in everything they do. Refining these skills can be a challenge, but IT professionals must learn to be clear, confident, effective communicators if they also want to become leaders.
Problem Solving and Critical Thinking
These are skills that are integral to IT already, but they operate differently in a business context. The most difficult responsibility for many managers is finding effective solutions to complex problems rather than resorting to the strategies of the past. Accomplishing this requires a thorough understanding of business and leadership.
Coaching and Mentoring
IT is often an insular pursuit, or one that happens on teams with very clearly defined roles. The responsibility to push others to achieve more rarely falls to employees in IT. But this is one of the key responsibilities of managers, and doing it effectively is never easy. Any technical employee that hopes to succeed at the next level must be able to get more out of what they’re given. A coaching service offers specialized coaching plans, which are designed to help clients achieve their objectives quickly.
Finance and Budgeting
The worlds of finance and IT rarely overlap. And considering how complicated financial management is in practice, learning to do it effectively can take a lot of time and close study. Managers are often judged by their ability to stay under budget, however, which is why this is one of the most important business skills to master.
IT professionals are often subjects of change and rarely agents of it. Professional employer organizations (PEO) help small and big businesses to find employees that can contribute to the development of business and grow professionally. Check out this useful reference to learn how your business can benefit from PEO services. Managers, on the other hand, are tasked with articulating a new vision and effectively guiding their teams through all the obstacles and setbacks that change entails. Any manager that can’t do this effectively is doing a disservice to their team and to their employer.
Picking up all of these skills might seem like a daunting undertaking, but remember that it is not an overnight process. Professional development is something that happens throughout your career and pays dividends over the long term. When you are ready to start striving towards the next rung up on the ladder, contact the team at JH Technical Services.