Why Now is a Good Time to Review Your Specialist Dynamics 365 Career Plan
Planning the next move in your career is often a daunting prospect.
However, when you’re a specialist in the IT industry, you’re under more pressure than most to stay ahead of the curve. After all, the technology industry is constantly evolving, bringing new career opportunities into the market, and creating demand for new skills.
Unfortunately, many Dynamics 365 professionals continue to underestimate the importance of a strong career plan. In fact, 39% of UK specialists don’t plan at all.
Now’s the Time to Review Your Progress
Now that we’re halfway through 2018, it’s the perfect time to make sure that your strategy is still working for you.
Regularly reviewing your career plan helps you to ensure that you’re on the right path towards your IT goals. What’s more, now is the time of year when many organisations conduct their mid-year reviews. It’s also when promises of promotion, pay-rises, and access to cutting-edge projects are kept, or broken.
If you find that after another six months with the same company you haven’t achieved as much as you’d hoped, this may be a sign that you need to make a change. For some, that may mean looking for something new, whereas for others, it’s about overcoming personal challenges and roadblocks. Whatever’s holding you back, now’s a great time to reorient yourself and get back on the right track to success.
So, how do you start?
1. Decide What You Want to Do
The first step in a successful mid-year review (whether this is a formal one or one you do for yourself) is comparing where you are now to where you want to be. What did you hope to accomplish by the time the first half of this year was up, and why didn’t you reach your goals? If the problem is something you can work on yourself, like a need for additional training or a problem with time management, then switching roles isn’t the answer.
On the other hand, if you’ve frequently asked for development opportunities, but you haven’t seen any support from your manager, or if the company doesn’t feel right for you then a change may be on the cards. Ask yourself:
- Are you being challenged in your role, or making any progress?
- Are your Dynamics 365/AX skills being properly utilised?
- Do you feel happy in your position?
Remember, before making any rash decisions, discuss your options with your employer, and explore the market for any opportunities closer to your goals.
2. Update your Qualifications
In a fast-paced environment like the IT industry, specialists need to frequently update their qualifications and skills to stay on top of their career plans. For instance, if you’re a Dynamics 365/AX consultant looking to take on more responsibility, show your employer that you have the right skills with MCSA certifications.
Microsoft-certified exams will help to expand your skillsets and give more weight to your CV if you decide to pursue a different role in the future. You can also speak to your manager about any additional training that would make you more valuable to your team, or more likely to get the promotion you’ve been waiting for.
3. Strengthen your Soft Skills
If you haven’t achieved your career goals so far this year, but your technical talents are cutting edge, then the problem may be with your soft skills. Speak to your manager and ask for feedback about why they think you haven’t come as far as you’d hoped this year. A common problem for Dynamics consultants is an issue with communication. When you spend all day dealing with complex languages like PHP and Python, it can be hard to connect with people in your group.
Of course, Dynamics 365 is a very people-focused technology. If you want to excel in your role, then you need to be able to speak to people in a language they can understand. Learning how to articulate carefully and translate complicated jargon into everyday speech can make you a more valuable employee.
4. Start Networking
When working with a recruitment specialist to find IT pros, many modern companies look at social media for signs of a candidate’s personal brand. Making sure that you have a presence on networks like LinkedIn can help you to make stronger connections with mentors, experts, and peers who develop your career.
If you feel you need a little guidance to reach the next step in your career plan, a commitment to networking can be a great way to get the support you need. Speaking to people on social media, or even in-person at IT events can help you to access new insights, new opportunities for job interviews, and more.
A social profile also gives you a way to keep people updated on how your CV and talents are growing. With endorsements from clients and updates about your recent training, you can show future employers how valuable you can be to their team.