As tech continues to play a larger role in almost every industry, more professionals are being thrust into the world of technology, even though they have little, if any, direct experience. This is especially common when companies use cross-functional teams to help develop or implement a new or improved solution in the workplace, as professionals who largely focused their careers in fields like accounting, policy, marketing, and more are becoming increasingly involved in these activities.
Entering the world of tech without any specific experience is daunting, particularly since many IT professionals seem to speak their own language, filled with industry-specific jargon and acronyms. But, it isn’t necessarily as challenging as it seems. Here are some tips to help you get started.
As mentioned above, many tech terms feel almost foreign to those who aren’t familiar with the idiosyncrasies of designing or implementing new technology. Plus, IT professionals are incredibly comfortable with the jargon, so they tend to toss it around with ease.
If you ever find yourself getting lost in a conversation that is largely focused on the technical aspects of a project, the easiest thing to do is admit you don’t understand and ask questions to increase your level of competency. Most tech pros aren’t put off by requests for clarification, particularly in cross-functional teams, so reaching out isn’t likely to have any repercussions.
Plus, it’s important to remember your IT team members likely have just as many questions about your area of expertise as you do about theirs, so you’ll probably have to walk them through some topics with which you are already comfortable. By keeping that in mind, the idea of asking questions can feel less intimidating, as everyone is essentially in the same boat.
While there is no need to run off and get a new degree just to survive a single project, gathering information about the topics involved can be a wise move. This can include anything from basic internet research on the items being discussed to taking a few introductory courses through a website to taking a boot camp-style class to help you get up to speed.
Often, the online tech community is incredibly willing to share information, so the number of online resources can be astounding. If you have trouble locating sufficient details, talk with one of the IT pros involved in the project and see if they have some recommendations. They may be able to point you in the right direction.
Alternatively, if your company supports mentorship programs, you may be able to connect with a tech worker for some real hands-on training. They can go over the information you need to feel confident about the project and help you experience some of what they do on a daily basis, in relation to the associated tasks.
In the end, getting involved in tech for the first time doesn’t have to be scary, and it can actually be an excellent opportunity to learn new things while on the job. If you are interested in learning more or are hoping to find a new position in the near future, the professionals at The Squires Group can help. Contact us today to learn more about what we have to offer.