Next move: How do I escape technical roles?

Expert advice for readers' career problems

The question: I have been a software developer since 1993 and have experience in C++, Unix and Sybase. I have been very technical in the past, but am no longer interested in this area.

I would like to become more business-focused, become a project manager or specialise in an enterprise-wide application, but I do not know how to move forwards.

The solution: Find a different role at your company

Business-focused or project management roles are both viable for you.

While you may have the technical capabilities to be a business analyst, you would also need good interpersonal and documentation skills. It will be hard to take on a role like this through an external move, so you will need to move into this role within your current company if you can.

A project manager needs planning and delegation skills plus the ability to deliver on time and to budget, and to cope with both upward and downward pressure. Again, you would need to move to this type of role within your current company initially.

You will find it easier to take up a development role within a new enterprise resource planning application than to move into a business analyst or project management role.

A fresh challenge with a "sexy" technology will motivate you and add value to your CV. Employers are more likely to train you in a new technology based on your previous track record in development.

The IT jobs market is buoyant, so look for new opportunities that will offer cross training.

Solution by Tristan Amin, IT management specialist recruiter at Hudson

The panel: Hudson, No Limits Coaching, The Training Camp, Wreay Group

Need advice on your IT career? E-mail your questions to: computer.weekly@rbi.co.uk

 

Looking for a career change? With over 90,000 jobs from all UK industry sectors, you could find your next job at totaljobs.com


This was last published in October 2006

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