Gabriel Costa Oliveira, a web developer in Brazil, used to think he was stuck working an entry-level IT job in an international company because of his limited English skills. “Then one day my co-worker told me he’d gotten a better job with another company and how he had worked very hard to improve his English to get it,” Gabriel recalls. “I realized I needed to find a way to improve my English and up until that point, I had not made an effort to change my situation. I quickly signed up for English lessons and as a result, I was able to get a better IT position at my current company.”
Inspired by his co-worker, Gabriel took charge of his future and did what he needed to do to get a better job. It isn’t enough to think that if you work a job for long enough, you will eventually get a better one. Better jobs have more requirements and you have to make sure you have the most important skills to apply for them.
If you are looking to extend your career in the tech industry and you are feeling stuck, you are not alone. You are also not really stuck. You have options. What if you could do three things that you would benefit from for your entire career?
1. Improve your English skills.
Improving your English skills will open additional doors for you. You will be able to apply for jobs where English is required as well as jobs where your native language is required. Without improving your English, you are limited only to jobs where your native language is required. By working on your English skills, you will feel more confident about your career in IT.
The fastest way to improve your English is to take one-on-one lessons with an English trainer. You will be able to quickly learn the most important skills for reading, writing, listening and speaking English. The entire focus is on you with no distractions. Your lessons would be your time to ask questions and get the best help with pronunciation so you can sound more like a native speaker. Your improved English skills will continue to serve you for the rest of your career.
2. Learn new technical skills.
Just like learning a new language, you must also be willing to learn new technical skills. As your English improves, you will find desirable jobs that also have more technical requirements. Take a look at technical skills that are in high demand. It is even better to look for ones that are in high demand but there is a shortage of people with the skills. Once you have identified these marketable IT skills, find a mentor, teacher or legitimate course to help you learn them.
While it is tempting to learn new tech skills on your own, I would like to point out that by doing so, you will often find yourself frustrated and stuck after a short time. You may also learn bad habits for the skills which you will have to fix later or the bad habits may keep you from success with that skill. Hiring a mentor or teacher or taking a course will teach you the best industry practices for that skill or skills. You will learn to do it right the first time. These new skills will also give you access to more jobs and will also save you a lot of money should you start your own business. For example, by learning to code, you could build your own application to start instead of hiring a developer when first starting your business.
3. Master the interview process.
Lastly, if you are able to master the interview process, you will always have great opportunities for advancement in your career. Even when you have mastered English and learned all of the best technical skills, none of it matters if you can’t get past the interview. Understanding the most common interview questions and how they should be answered will be the key to your success.
Being able to comfortably answer interview questions based on the needs of the company is how I was able to work in the IT departments of several large corporations. I feel so passionately it that I have produced a free video series where I teach you how to answer the most common interview questions. The videos are available right here on the Stack English website at: Free English Videos
So now you have three solid ways you can jump start your IT career when your English is not very good. Improve your English, learn new technical skills and master the interview process. These three things will make you a winner for life.
What IT job would you like to apply for and what are the requirements that you don’t have?
Leave your answer in the comments.