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Building Your I.T. Career: A Complete Toolkit for a Dynamic Career in Any Economy, 2nd Edition

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Building Your I.T. Career: A Complete Toolkit for a Dynamic Career in Any Economy, 2nd Edition

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  • Copyright 2013
  • Dimensions: 7-3/8" x 9-1/8"
  • Edition: 2nd
  • eBook (Watermarked)
  • ISBN-10: 0-13-297825-3
  • ISBN-13: 978-0-13-297825-5

Building Your I.T. Career

A Complete Toolkit for a Dynamic Career in Any Economy

Second Edition

Break in. Move up. Earn more. Stay on top.

Get the I.T. career edge you need right now!

“They” say it’s tougher now to build a great career in I.T. “They” complain about outsourcing, cutbacks, and the tough economy. Don’t complain: act! Right this minute, outstanding I.T. jobs and careers are out there: You just have to know how to get them! This 100% I.T.-focused, up-to-the-minute toolkit delivers all the insider skills and insights you need to get your next great tech job now—and build lifelong success in the industry. It will help you plan your career, set achievable goals, organize them into practical action items, and make it happen!

Totally updated for today’s newest hiring trends, Building Your I.T. Career, Second Edition is packed with examples from real I.T. pros and hiring decision-makers, it will help you get in, get promoted, get raises, and stay in demand—one easy step at a time!

-- Focus on the I.T. careers you'll be happiest and most successful in

-- Discover what opportunity looks like today—and how to take advantage of it

-- Adopt the proactive attitudes associated with I.T. career success

-- Master the personal communication skills you need to get a job—and succeed when you have it

-- Develop more effective cover letters and resumes, and interview brilliantly

-- Break in to I.T. for the first time

-- Build your social media and offline networks, and use them to supercharge your job search

-- Negotiate salary and employment agreements that get you what you deserve

-- Learn (and do) what it takes to get promoted

-- Take advantage of telecommuting and consulting options

-- Move into management (if that's what you want)

-- Use mentors and career coaches effectively

-- Become a high-priced hourly consultant

-- Gain the personal financial discipline that liberates you to choose your best career options

-- Make yourself nearly indispensable

Sample Content

Table of Contents


Part I: Your Career

Chapter 1: The Toolkit Approach to Career Development

Justifying the Need for an I.T. Toolkit

Actions & Ideas

Chapter 2: Career Building Defined

The Danger of a Tool-Driven Mindset

A Job Is Not a Career

    Perspectives on Career Development: Careers Are Nonlinear

    Perspectives on Career Development: A Working Plan Makes Tedious or Unrewarding Jobs Bearable


Actions & Ideas

Chapter 3: Information Technology: A Great Career

Why I.T. Is a Great Career


    Performance-Based Advancement

    Opportunities for Continuous Learning

    Pay and Perks

What About Outsourcing?

    Outsourcing Is About Value, Not Costs

    The Jobs That Won’t Be Outsourced


Actions & Ideas

Chapter 4: Defining Yourself: Aptitudes and Desires

Considerations in Your Career Choice

    Factors to Help Decide Your Career Path: Needs

    Factors to Help Decide Your Career Path: Desires

    Factors to Help Decide Your Career Path: Skills


Actions & Ideas

Part II: Filling Your Toolkit

Chapter 5: Self-Assessment

The Power of Self-Assessment

The Dangers of Self-Assessment

Four Questions of Self-Assessment

    The Origin of the Four Questions

    Question 1: Do I Make My Employer’s Job Much Easier or Much More Difficult?

    Question 2: If I Gave Notice Today, Would My Employer Have an Instant Sense of Relief or Dread?

    Question 3: Do I Perform My Job Better Than My Employer Could Perform My Job If He/She Needed To?

    Question 4: If Asked How I Can Improve in My Job, Do I Cite External Factors–People and Resources–or Do I Take Responsibility?

Conclusion: Making It Personal

Actions & Ideas

Chapter 6: Attitude

The Effect of Attitude on Your Career

Positive Mental Attitude

    PMA Is Not a Panacea

    PMA and a Plan

Beware: Two Pitfalls of Attitude

    Unrealistic Expectations

    Skill Deficits

The Role of Attitude

    What You Think of Your Employer

    The “Us Versus Them” Mentality

    Management Got There by Luck or Schmoozing, Alone

    Your Coworkers

    Humble Arrogance: The Attitude of Personal Value


    The Myth of the Self-Made Man

Attitude Checks


Actions & Ideas

Chapter 7: Communication Skills

Defining Communication Skills

The Benefit of Communication Skills: An Effective Communicator Is Viewed as More Intelligent

Written Communications

    General Guidelines

    The Letter


    The Well-Crafted Paragraph

    The Well-Crafted Page

    Online Presence/Social Media

Verbal Communication


Presentations and Training

    Don’t Wait Until You Are Asked to Speak to Learn This Vital Skill

    Cover No More Than Three to Five Main Points

    Work from an Outline, Not a Script

    Maintain Eye Contact with Your Audience

A Brief Note on Listening


Actions & Ideas

Chapter 8: Technical Skills

Your Technology Skills

The Role of Learning

The Fear of Obsolescence

Another Perspective: Transcendent Skills

Reducing the Parts

Tips to Speed Up the Learning Process

    Start with Concepts

    Don’t Study What You Know

    Don’t Worry About Catching the Latest Trend

    Focus on Solutions, Not Technology


Actions & Ideas

Chapter 9: The Cover Letter

The Purpose of Your Cover Letter

Three Vital Ingredients in Your Cover Letter

    Gratitude for the Opportunity

    A Significant Accomplishment

    Your Interest in Becoming a Producer


Actions & Ideas

Chapter 10: The Resumé

Your Ambassador to the Professional World

The Purpose of Your Resumé

Determining Who Is Looking at Your Resumé

    Busy Employers

    Disinterested Employers

Resumé Basics

    Length: Brevity Is Key

    No Paragraphs

    Bulleted Lists

    Documenting Your Professional Experience

    Guidelines for Writing Your Resumé

    Writing Your Resumé for Electronic Submissions and Online Optimization

    Video Resumés


Actions & Ideas

Part III: Putting Your Toolkit to Use

Chapter 11: Breaking In to I.T.

Correcting Perception

I.T. Happens Outside of I.T.

Other Avenues into I.T.


    Ask for What You Want

    Ask for Advice

    Beware Your Online Persona


Actions & Ideas

Chapter 12: Building an Active Contact List

Enjoy People

Develop a Personality

Have Other Areas of Interest

Engage in Conversation

Track and Remember Your Contacts

Share Opportunity

Professional Networking and Social Media


Actions & Ideas

Chapter 13: The Job Search

Getting What You Want Requires Wanting Something

Defining the Job Search

Remember: Looking for Work Is Work

The Toolkit Approach to Finding a Job

Job Search Outline

A Job-Search Comparison

    Method 1: The Standard “Passive” Job Search

    Method 2: The Proactive Job Search

    Method 1 Versus Method 2

    A Word About the Out-of-Town Search

Social Media and the Job Search

    Gentle Reminders

    Don’t Overfocus on Social Media


Actions & Ideas

Chapter 14: The Interview

Practice Your Interview Skills

    Be Prepared to Answer Difficult Questions

    Where Do You See Yourself in Five Years?

After the Interview


Actions & Ideas

Chapter 15: Salary Negotiations and Employment Agreements

Start Early

Know What You Want

Understand the Employer’s Perspective

Be Creative

Be Firm

Your Worth to the Company

Negotiations Never Fail

Be Flexible

Employment Agreements

    Seek Legal Counsel



    Bonuses and Performance Perks


Actions & Ideas

Chapter 16: On-the-Job Promotion

On the Job

Maintaining and Building Your Network

Identifying Areas for Success


Working for a Tyrant and Other Joys

    Determine Whether Your Boss’s Actions Are Personality or Personal

    Understand That People Are “Where They Are”

    Take an Objective Path to Evaluating What They Say

    Handling Criticism


Actions & Ideas

Chapter 17: Your Career and Social Media

Social Media/Social Network Definition

Privacy Concerns

What Is Your Use of Social Media?

    Just Personal

    Just Business

    The Crossover: Business and Personal

Not a Professional Networking Replacement

The Seven People You Cannot Be Online

    The Angry Individual

    The Conspiracy Theorist

    The Party Animal

    Vulgar Vicky or Lewd Larry

    The Unwanted Kisser

    The Used Car Salesman

    The Family Strife Poster

How to Use Social Media Effectively

    Share Knowledge

    Share Opportunities

    Put Relationships In Context

Assessing Your Use of Social Media

Social Media Conclusion

Actions & Ideas

Part IV: More Options to Build Your Career

Chapter 18: Telecommuting

Careers That Lend Themselves to Telecommuting

The Benefits for the Employee

The Benefits for the Employer

The Concerns for the Employee

The Concerns for the Employer

Conclusion: Next Steps

Keys to Successful Telecommuting

    Project-Based/Free-Agent Mindset

    Apply Discipline

    Clear Expectations

    Technologies for the Telecommuter

    Resources for the Home Worker


Actions & Ideas

Chapter 19: Consulting

The Consulting Life

The Benefits



    Exciting Projects


The Pitfalls

    Business Planning: Taxes, Legal


    Trading Time for Dollars


    Ongoing Marketing

Resources for the Consultant

Online Supplements for the Consultant


Actions & Ideas

Chapter 20: Management


Process and Time Management

Critical Skills You Need Now

    Presentation and Meeting Skills

    Team-Building Skills


Actions & Ideas

Part V: The Value-Added Toolkit

Chapter 21: Make Yourself Indispensable

A Word About Value

Being Proactive

Understanding Technology’s Role in the Organization

Maintain a Business-First Mentality

Create Standards, Automation, or a Programmer’s Toolkit

Create a Peer Knowledge Network

Be Known as the Go-To Resource

Be Ready and Willing to Take On the Necessary Responsibility

Have Experts You Call On for Your Organization

Be Passionate About Something!

Never Blame, and Always Have a Corrective Plan

Adopt Concept Over Process


Actions & Ideas

Chapter 22: Concept Over Process

What to Expect

What Not to Expect

COP Objectives

COP Origins

What Is a Process-Driven Mindset?

    The Role of Technology

Moving from Process Driven to Concept Driven

    A Concentric View

    A Note About Time

    Developing Proactive Solutions

    A Warning/Suggestion

    COP Is Not About Technology!

    Start with the Goal of Business

    Understand Your Objective as an Employee

    What About Mission Statements?

    From Goal to Analysis

    Understand the Industry

    Understand the Business: The Organization’s Role in Its Industry

    Understand the Workflow

    Understand the Relationships: Interactions/Dependencies

    Workflow Analysis

    Project Definition

    Congruencies: What Currently Works

    Incongruencies: What Currently Does Not Work

    Omissions: What Is Currently Excluded or Not Addressed at All


Actions & Ideas

Chapter 23: The Role of Mentoring

Mentor Characteristics

Mentoring Others

    What Qualifies Me as a Mentor?

    The Role of Mentor Is Not a Power Position


Actions & Ideas

Chapter 24: Career Coaching

Career Coaching Topics

What to Look for in a Career Coach

What to Expect from Your Career Coach

    A Methodology or Approach

    Coaching Styles

    An Initial Assessment

    A Positive Attitude

    Clear Communications

The Limitations of a Career Coach

    Fix Irresponsible Career Mistakes

    Improve Your Skill Set

    Land You a Job

Individual Coaching Versus Group Coaching

    Group Coaching

    Individual Coaching

How Coaching Is Structured

How Much Does Coaching Cost

Coaching as a Career Path

    The Traits of an Effective Career and Business Coach

    The Benefits of Being a Career Coach

    Getting Started as a Career Coach

A Final Word on Coaching

Topics of Discussion

Chapter 25: Financial Control

The Impact of Finances on Career Building

Financial Control Creates Options

Financial Control Is Largely Mental

Money Is a Tool

Debt and Spending

Some Basics of Financial Planning and Stability

    Defining a Basic Budget

    Creating Your Budget

    Cash-Flow Summary: A Weekly Plan


Actions & Ideas

Chapter 26: A Professional Blog

What Is a Blog?

Really Simple Syndication and Notifications

How Do Blogs Work?

Why You Should Blog

    Sharing Expertise

    Search Engine Ranking

    Be Positioned As an Expert

Blogging Basics


    Quantity or Length

    Multipart Blog Post

What to Write About

Writing Style: Tone and Voice

    Blogging Multimedia

    Energy, Energy, Energy

Using WordPress

    Content Management

    Hosting Options

    Domain Registration and Hosting

    Themes (Layouts)


    Sidebar Widgets


Getting Started with WordPress

Actions & Ideas

Chapter 27: 12 Weeks to Profitable Consulting

About 12 Weeks

    A Week-by-Week Overview

    Your Starting Point

    What Does Profitable Mean?

The Profitable Consulting Toolkit

A Website/Blog

    What You Need on Your Website




    Transition from Selling You to Selling the Company


    Other Web Content

    My Website: MatthewMoranOnline.com

Business Cards

Mailing List/Newsletter

    Don’t Advertise, Teach

    What to Include

    Newsletter Distribution

Your Services

    Exercise 1: Why Do You Want to Be a Consultant?

    Exercise 2: What Can You/Should You Be Paid For?

Sales and Marketing Basics

The “I’m a High-Value Solution” Perspective

Developing Your Pitch

Your First Case Study

    The Case Study Framework

    How to Use Your Case Studies

Tools for Tracking Your Business

    Managing Your Time and Tasks

    It Isn’t the System But Being Diligent with a System

    Clarity and Reduced Mental Noise

    Establish a Routine: Your Ideal Day/Your Ideal Week

    Using Google Calendar

Pre 12-Week Kickoff: Getting You Ready

    Let’s Hang a Shingle and Win a Client

    How to Use the 12 Weeks

    Review Constantly

Actions & Ideas

Chapter 28: Be Proactive! Be Positive! Add Value! Share Opportunity!

No Job Makes a Career, No Job Breaks a Career

Adversity Happens

Overcoming Adversity

    Talk to Someone

    Look at What You Can Be Grateful For

    Set a Schedule

    Find Someone You Can Be Accountable To

    Find an Easy Success

Staying Engaged with Your Career

    Always Have a Pet Project

    Surround Yourself with Positive People

    Take a Leader to Lunch Once in Awhile

    Spread a Little Bit of Passion or Excitement About Technology to Youth

You Make a Difference

Where Do You Go from Here?

Appendix: My Reading List

9780789749437    TOC    2/1/2013


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