What makes an IT Professional stand out above his peers? We have compliled this list from interviewing thousands of IT Professionals over the last 20 years. We would like to invite you to add to this list from your own experiences by commenting on our blog.

1. Be solution-oriented

Look at every task you are given as a product / service delivered by you being the company. Every product has a customer / user that needs to use this and benefit from it. Rather than looking at a job just as a means to an end and being there in working hours. This might require of you to work longer hours than usual at times. Linked to this, every product or service has to be delivered in a reasonable time frame. This definitely also does not mean you have to be a workaholic to be successful, one should live a balanced life so I suggest you should always ensure that you also have enough rest, even if it is between projects delivered.

2. Keep your skills updated

“School is never out for the true professional”. This is especially applicable for IT as we have continuously evolving technologies in the IT industry, it is so easy to fall behind. This is also one of the reasons why we have a skills shortage in our industry.

“Rack up those certifications”. It is just a fact that employers take IT Certifications seriously. Certified candidates earn higher salaries and are preferred in job interviews. Keep the certifications relevant to your job, updated. (We have a training school in our group – to assist with that : see http://www.getcertified.co.za/ ) .

3. Build relationships.

People are more important than technology, so do not neglect building friendships along the way in your IT career. It is not alone “what you know” – it is also “who you know”. Colleagues, bosses, customers / end-users fall into this category. Make sure that while you are delivering the best solutions possible, you are also build strong friendships and remember we are all part of the human race.

4. Specialisation vs. generalisation

Your goal should be to be a specialist in your field, but you should not neglect the basics of a generalist. While being the top guru in your field, do not rely on other people to clean up the basics. For example while being a top Software Developer, it can be very positive to know how to fix your PC (and those of you users in times of need). An end – user looks up to an IT Professional as someone who knows everything.

5. Take responsibility

When choosing tasks on a new project, look at the core skills that will make the project successful. This is not always being a project leader, often a key member in a team plays a critical role when it comes to keeping the customer / users happy. Keep adding happy customers to your list and CV, it will add to you your success.