Renew Your IT Skills Before It’s Too Late

In the IT world, things move quickly. If you don’t keep up with the latest trends and technologies, you’ll quickly fall behind. IT managers and company directors are in a unique position – they need to stay on top of their game but also have to manage other aspects of IT. It can be difficult to find the time to renew your skills or knowledge. As a project manager for IT, you need to keep up to date with the latest technology solutions. If you don’t, it can have disastrous consequences for your career and your company as a whole. So don’t run out of time – make sure you’re always keeping your skills current!

IT moves fast, if you stray behind (as an IT manager or director), you might not get to come back. To update your technical skills, you need to make time. Your time is precious to both you and your company. What you do with your time can have dire consequences if you don’t plan ahead. Your IT department depends on you and your management skills, so make sure you plan your time accordingly.

What Can Happen if You Don’t Plan Ahead

If you don’t plan your time, your time can wither away from you. Being stolen by different small IT problems, business problems or meetings which could have been an email. Everything around you can steal your precious time. But this doesn’t have to be the case if you plan your time. However, if you don’t create a plan, you will:

Lose Your Business:

If you don’t keep in the know of hackers’ trends, you may find that you lose your business. New hacking trends come around everyday, and if you or your employees don’t know about them, hackers will enter your systems. After being hacked, 60% of small businesses do not make it past 6 months. You will never know if your business can survive hacking, so you shouldn’t give it the option. Update your skills and knowledge to stop hackers in their tracks.

Your Skills Will be Below Average for An IT Manager or Director:

If you don’t keep up with the latest news in IT or computer science, you might find that you quickly do not have the skills to do the job. The IT world works fast, and new technologies are being made every day. If you don’t keep in the know, you may find your skills lacking compared to other IT managers or directors who have kept up.

Your knowledge should continuously be growing at the same speed as the new technology. Very quickly you’ll find your skills are no longer up to par and that you can’t keep up with the IT world. Your job will become more difficult as you go on. Save your time; renew your skills and knowledge.

Your Job Opportunities Will Decrease

You may not be in the position right now that you want to leave your job, but what about in the future? IT Managers and Directors both have the opportunity to leave a job when they wish. If you don’t keep up with the latest trends or skills, employers will not choose you for the job. When you don’t keep up with the latest trends or update your skills, it may be more difficult to find further employment opportunities. Making you unable to leave and go to other companies. If you can prioritise learning, you are better set up for your future.

You’ll Miss Technology which Can Help Your Business:

New software can make your work easier for you and your team. It can also make your processes faster, leaving you in a better position at work. IT is an important part of any business, so not having the latest skills can put you at a disadvantage. You are responsible for keeping the IT in your company up to date.

You’ll Become a Burden Instead of An Asset:

Your IT skills are something that should be helping your business move forward. If you’re not keeping up with the IT world, then you’re going to quickly become a burden on your business instead of an asset. Your business will have to continuously support you and help you catch up which takes away valuable resources from other areas.

It’s important to keep up with IT no matter what role you play in a company. Whether you’re an IT manager or director, keeping up with the latest technology can help you in your role. And it can help your business.

So What Can You Do About It?

The first step is admitting that you might lack knowledge in some areas. If you’ve been letting your IT skills fall by the wayside, then it’s time to take action and do something about it.

How To Save Your Time by Updating Your Skills

Keeping up with trends and renewing your skills are important for your future and the future of your business. But there is an even greater importance on saving your time to complete the goals for your future and the future of your business. Save your time by:

Prioritise Your Day So You Can Renew Your Skills

Not every email is the same. Not every meeting is the same. Depending on what email system you use, you can categorise your emails based on the 4 D’s method. The 4 D’s method is a great method for prioritising your emails depending on what needs a response and how quickly the response is. The 4 D’s are ‘Do now’, ‘Delete’, ‘Delegate’, and ‘Defer’:

    • Do now: prioritise the emails which need an urgent response.
    • Delete: delete the emails you don’t need to respond to.
    • Delegate: delegate the emails that others in your business can do. You don’t need to do everything yourself.
    • Defer: defer the emails that you need to respond to, but not urgently.

Once you have categorised all your emails, you can respond to them in their sense of urgency. Start with the ‘do now’ emails, then once you have time, do the ‘defer’ emails. Delete and delegate as you go. This way, your inbox says manageable and you can save time in your diary for renewing your IT skills.

This is a real example of the 4 D’s of prioritisation in use.

Block Out Half an Hour Each Day to Update Your Skills

At the end of the day, block out 10 minutes on your diary so that nobody can invite you to meetings. This will also make sure others know you will not respond on email. You will still have the rest of your day to complete your other tasks. This will give you 10 minutes per working day to renew your skills without interruption from other staff members. On the whole, you’ll have just under an hour to quickly polish your abilities over the week, giving you just enough time to be an expert in IT.

Remember: you do need to make sure you are taking the 10 minutes per day renewing your skills. Rather than just continuing with your work.

Get More Qualifications

You can look to online IT courses – such as those provided by Microsoft – to get you up-to-date quickly and without having to take time out of the office. You never know where this could lead you. In the future you may decide to do a bachelor’s degree to further your education.

Additionally, there are dozens of free resources available online that can help you brush up on your IT skills. If you’re short on time, try making a list of the areas you need to focus on and commit to spending 10 minutes each day on these. Increasing your knowledge and your certifications can make you more likely to get increase your average salary. Rewarding you for all your hard work.

Read a Book to Renew Your Skills

The best way to keep up to date is to read a book outside of work. You don’t need to finish the entire book in one sitting, you can spread it out over time. If you do 10 pages per night, you’ll find that you finish the book without noticing. You can also change the number of pages per night depending on your availability. 10 pages per day will roughly amount to 1 book per month. Try it now and see what you can do – become your best IT self.

Listen to Podcasts to Renew Your Skills

With podcasts, you won’t need to save time to learn. Podcasts are used by every industry in the world and are available for free on different apps (Spotify being one). These podcasts will show you the new trends in IT at the click of a button, which you can listen to on the go. You can listen to them in the car, on the bus, at the shops, whilst doing mindless tasks at work, and even at the gym. The latest trends can be thrown at you through audio to make sure you keep up with all things IT wherever you are.

Podcasts mean that you can learn without putting much thought into it. Podcasts never have an expiry date too, so you’ll always have more to catch up on.

Become the Best IT Manager or Director: Renew Your Skills

Your day is filled with lots of time-wasters, but if you take the necessary precautions and use the methods above you will keep up with the ever-moving IT world. You will be able to achieve any job opportunities you want, and your skills will be up to par with the best in your industry.

The bottom line is this: if you want to stay ahead in IT, don’t let your skills become stale. Take the necessary steps now to renew and update your skills so you can keep up with the rapidly changing landscape of IT.

If you are still looking for more ways to save time, consider outsourcing your IT to trusted companies. That way your team will have more time for the big stuff.

Here at Jera IT, we are cybersecurity specialists for small to medium businesses (SMBs). We are here to help with all your business needs. Speak to us today to find out more of how you can save your time with IT.