Next move: Should I narrow down my broad IT skills?

Advice on your IT career

The question: Should I narrow down my broad IT skills?

I am 51 and have worked for about 12 years in the public sector. I have a wide range of experience in database design, project management, training, process mapping, application support and reporting tools. I am concerned that becoming a Jack-of-all-trades is limiting my career progression. How can I successfully market my wide-ranging expertise to prospective employers, or should I specialise?


The solution: Focus on the IT roles that you enjoy

Having a range of skills that you do well should never be a barrier to career progression. How you move your role forward depends very much on what you want to do and in what environment. Typically, the smaller the IT department, the more likely you are to cover the range of projects that you are currently involved in.

You do not say whether there is a particular aspect of your role that you enjoy. Do the customer-facing parts of your role, such as the training, give you the most fulfilment? Is it the project management side that makes you smile when you go into work?

You need to really look at this before making your next move.

I would recommend marketing your achievements to prospective employers rather than listing your skills. Look at things you have done for your current employer that have made a visible difference to the business or have saved it money. That way, you are showing what you can bring to the party and the experience you already have.

● Solution by Tracey Abbott, business manager at Wreay Group and Atsco board member

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

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