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Should I go it alone or hone people skills?

Question

I have been working as a SQL Server database administrator for the past six years but I now long to move up the career ladder. I have little knowledge of serious development. I am not sure if I should go down the people management route as this will be a big jump from my current support position. However, I do want to one day set up my own business. Any advice for confused souls like me?

The solution

Talk to your boss and chat to your bank

Moving up the career ladder is a great aspiration to have. Arrange a career meeting with your manager to discuss opportunities and make sure you are clear about where you want your career to take you. If your manager is also clear, they will be able to look for opportunities for you which previously they may not have considered. For example, they may know of a new project that needs your skills and this would also allow you to increase your knowledge.

Your HR department may be able to help with personality tests that can indicate if you have the skills to move into people management. You could ask if there is an opportunity to manage a less experienced team member on a trial basis.

Research and planning are key to starting your own business. Be clear about what you will offer. Will it be a service or a product? Offered locally, nationally or worldwide? Who will be your competition and how will you bring your business to market? A number of the high street banks offer advice and templates for business plan generation which will help you think through exactly how your business will work, projected income and expenditure as well as advice about being self employed. Business Link provides a wealth of advice and awareness courses for those thinking of branching out on their own.

Solution by Kathryn Proudlock, life coach at No Limits Coaching

The panel: Plan-Net Services, Hudson, Reed Technology, Zarak Technology, No Limits Coaching, The Training Camp

E-mail your career questions to computer.weekly@rbi.co.uk


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