Chris Jones

Chris JonesLearn from your peers: career advice from top professionals in the IT industry

We spoke to IT professionals across the industry, from IT directors to specialist recruitment consultants, about the advice they would give to individuals looking to enhance and further their IT career. Among other tips, they highlighted the importance of a good plan of action, always being adaptable, and a lot of soul searching.

In the first of the series we met IT Development Director, Chris Jones, and heard his views on hiring new team members, and his advice for avoiding common IT career pitfalls.

Chris started working in IT Support but is now IT Development Director at OfficeTeam, one of the largest office product and service suppliers in the UK.

Chris cited flexibility and a willingness to learn as two of the key traits he looks for in a potential new recruit: “My current team is very diverse in experience and skills – people who are good with numbers concentrate on SQL and reporting, while people who are organized look after coding and development. As IT is an ever-changing profession, and the pace of change is accelerating, you are looking for flexibility and a willingness to learn. Personality is also really important as IT is more than just coding or maintaining equipment, it is about taking people’s ideas and delivering solutions that drive business.”

He says that a common pitfall for career progression is trying to master everything: “It is really important to decide on the area of IT that is of interest and then put your effort into becoming the best. It is also very important to stay current; too many IT professionals learn skills that become outdated and are therefore not required.”

Planning your career and finding out more about the subjects you’re really interested in is easy to do with our BCS Personal Development Plan: a free tool which enables IT professionals to record career objectives and map their career path.