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Thinking outside the tech careers box in 2023

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ARTICLE SUMMARY

The arrival of a new year is an opportunity to reflect on the past 12 months and re-evaluate your technology career priorities for the coming year and beyond.

It’s all too easy to get caught up in the daily routine of just getting things done, but if you have aspirations to level up in your tech career in 2023, you need to be prepared to think outside the box. The good news is that doing so doesn’t have to be difficult.

Solongo Erdenekhuyag, Head of Customer Success at Exasol

Here, Solongo Erdenekhuyag, Head of Customer Success at Exasol, gives us her tips to help you reframe your tech role and advance in your career.

Solongo has over a decade of technical project and program management consulting experience across a diverse range of clients, both in the public and private sectors, locally and internationally across various industries, such as banking, retail, energy, and telecommunications.

Solongo joins Exasol from Kinetica, where she held a leadership position in customer success, overseeing the company’s most significant and strategic analytics implementation projects.

Throughout her career, Solongo has emphasized a people-centric approach, putting the needs of her clients first and prioritizing their success. Her strong emphasis on building relationships and providing personalized support has helped her deliver exceptional value to her customers in the realm of customer success. Solongo began her tech career in business development and later transitioned over to project management, obtaining her certification as a Project Management Professional.

Solongo holds a Bachelor’s degree in International Economics and Finance from the Catholic University of America and a Master’s degree in Information Management Systems from Harvard University.

REFRAME THE TECH SKILLS CONVERSATION

If you work in tech, you’ll likely have heard time and time again about the importance of having technical skills like programming or database management. While there’s no denying that these skills are critical to the success of any tech company and are in high demand, it’s important to remember that they are just one part of the picture. So-called “soft” skills, such as communication, storytelling, and emotional intelligence, are just as important when it comes to career success in tech.

Having strong soft skills allows you to effectively explain complex concepts or insights based on data to a non-technical audience. No matter how well a product is coded, if you can’t clearly convey the benefits it offers to potential users, it’s unlikely to succeed. Understanding your customers, the audience who will ultimately use your product, and how to communicate its benefits to them are all critical factors that can help you advance in your career. I know from personal experience that these skills shouldn’t be underestimated, and that they can give you a competitive edge in the market.

GET CREATIVE WITH YOUR CURRENT ROLE

There may be small ways you can change or expand your current role to bring something new and innovative to the table. The beauty of the tech industry is that it is constantly evolving, offering plenty of opportunities to try something new in your daily work routine.

For instance, my role at a product technology company is not a traditional one. The type of strategy work I do is more commonly found at large management consulting firms. However, having a role dedicated to helping customers solve their unique business challenges provides significant value to both the customers and the business. When customers come to us with a specific technical challenge, we can have meaningful conversations with them to gain a better understanding of their business and help solve not just the original problem, but other challenges they may be facing as well.

To achieve this, I’ve leveraged skills I’ve learned in previous roles in project management and business development, while also developing new skills along the way. By combining these management skills with a technical understanding of the technologies involved, I’ve been able to carve out a unique role that allows me to stand out as helpful and innovative within the company.

You too may be able to find small ways to step outside the box in your day-to-day work. This might involve drawing on skills you’ve developed in previous roles or developing new skills that will set you apart from your colleagues. You might even consider taking official time off to study new skills or technologies. Rather than just checking boxes, it’s important to examine the bigger picture and think about areas you can improve or optimize to have a positive impact on the company and your own growth.

SEEK OUT MENTORSHIP AND COLLABORATION

Having a mentor who has already been through the ups and downs of a tech career can be incredibly valuable. This person can help guide you and offer advice on how to navigate challenges and opportunities. Seek out individuals who have experience and a track record of success in the areas you aspire to grow in and be open to their advice and suggestions.

In addition to mentorship, seek out collaboration opportunities both within your company and outside of it. Collaborating with others in your field can lead to the creation of new ideas, technologies, and products that you may not have thought of on your own. It also helps build relationships and connections in the industry, which can be beneficial as you continue to advance in your career.

STAY ON TOP OF EMERGING TECHNOLOGIES AND TRENDS

The tech industry is rapidly changing and it’s important to stay on top of emerging technologies and trends in your field. This can help you identify new opportunities and stay ahead of the curve. It’s not just about having knowledge, it’s also about being able to apply that knowledge in innovative and creative ways. Consider attending tech conferences, taking online courses, or reading industry publications to keep up-to-date with the latest developments.

BE WILLING TO TAKE CALCULATED RISKS

In order to advance in your tech career, you need to be willing to take calculated risks. This doesn’t mean you should make decisions without careful consideration, but it does mean that you need to be open to new opportunities and not be afraid to step outside your comfort zone. For example, you may consider taking on a new project that requires you to learn a new technology or skill, or you may decide to transition into a different area of the tech industry that excites you more. Just be sure to weigh the potential benefits against the potential risks and make informed decisions.

In conclusion, advancing in your tech career requires a combination of technical skills, creativity, and a willingness to take calculated risks. By reframing the conversation around technical skills, being creative with your current role, seeking out mentorship and collaboration, staying on top of emerging technologies, and being willing to take risks, you can set yourself up for success in 2023 and beyond.

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