The question: Should I expand beyond Progress?
I have worked in IT for six years and am now out of work. I am a Progress professional. I have tried several agencies and the market seems quite flat. I want to broaden my skill set by breaking into web-based technologies. What is the best means of trying to find a suitable position, which will enable me to do so? Is it worth investing in some courses?
Don't deny your Progress expertise
Your six years' experience in the industry is a great asset not to be undervalued and over that time you will have developed skills that will appeal to all employers.
That said, you should take every opportunity to expand your expertise, whether you are currently in a job or not. You should also look to increase your skills in two areas:
- Your technical skills by looking at the Progress market to identify where the installed base is moving technologically and upgrade your skills accordingly
- Look to upgrade your business skills by describing yourself not just as a Progress professional but as an IT professional. You will immediately find that your marketability improves
Although not ideal, one approach you should consider is considering temporary positions. These jobs can be a good way of increasing your experience of different working environments and can often open new doors that may not have been an option. This way you will increase not only your technical skills but also a broader range of skills like project management.
When you do come to look at permanent positions, try and find them with employers that offer good access to training. This may not necessarily mean those with huge training programmes, but those that offer access to relevant pockets of training when needed.
Solution by Terry Watts, chief operating officer, E-skills UK
The panel: MSB International, Best International, BritishComputer Society, Computer Futures, Computer People, Elan, Reed Technology, Zarak Technology, E-Skills UK
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