Building Your I.T. Career

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

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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
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Product details

  • Paperback | 384 pages
  • 184 x 228 x 22mm | 639.99g
  • Pearson It Certification
  • Upper Saddle River, United States
  • English
  • 2nd edition
  • 0789749432
  • 9780789749437
  • 1,615,680

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 Resume

Your Ambassador to the Professional World

The Purpose of Your Resume

Determining Who Is Looking at Your Resume

Busy Employers

Disinterested Employers

Resume Basics

Length: Brevity Is Key

No Paragraphs

Bulleted Lists

Documenting Your Professional Experience

Guidelines for Writing Your Resume

Writing Your Resume for Electronic Submissions and Online Optimization

Video Resumes


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:

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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About Matthew Moran

Matthew Moran is a business coach and technology consultant with more than 20 years of experience. He began his career as a data entry clerk at Blue Cross of California (Anthem). Over the next 6 years, he created a variety of database systems and a large automated document assembly system. The success of this system led to several consulting engagements in the healthcare and legal industries.

His consulting focuses on business-centric application development, with a focus on workflow automation. His clients include Northrop Grumman, HealthNet, Power-one, Maracay Homes, Waste Management, Primerica Financial, and others. He coaches I.T. departments on concept over process, a business-focused methodology for more proactive and solution-oriented technologies. He also coaches entrepreneurs and small businesses on matters of I.T., content strategies, online presence, and social media. He is a keynote and workshop presenter, speaking to colleges, professional organizations, and I.T. groups. He is also a songwriter and performer, performing solo and with his band.

He lives in Los Angeles, California, with his youngest daughter and their three dogs.
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