3 steps to boost your career in the cloud

Stuck in a rut in your IT job? Here's how to work the shift to the cloud to your personal advantage

3 steps to boost your career in the cloud
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It’s not easy to get ahead in large enterprises. Companies of that size are typically awash in policies and procedures that affect how far and how fast you can go as an employee. Years ago, I remember working for a Global 2000 company where it was understood that you had to leave and come back to get any kind of career acceleration.

These days, with the cloud technology talent shortage and the higher cost of that talent, companies are a bit more pragmatic. My advice to people stuck in the big-company IT job rut is to work the hype around cloud for your own career advantage. Here’s how:

First, you need to put in the extra time to learn all you can. Attend most of the local cloud computing meetups. There are Amazon Web Services meetups, cloud security meetups, and so on. Also, get all the certifications you can reasonably acquire. They are all in demand, and you can take the courses at any time without entering a classroom.

Second, make sure the powers that be are aware of your newly acquired skills. Give workshops at your company on cloud computing technology for all who will attend. Write articles for the company’s publications—and for outside publications, if they will have you. Don't brag, but do let as many people as possible know you have cloud computing chops.

Third, target emerging cloud projects, not jobs. Figure out when and where cloud computing will show up in your company, as well as who owns the budget. Don’t be afraid to offer help. Some projects are hard to get into because some managers treat them as exclusive clubs. However, when it comes to them deciding whether to hire new employees or outside consultants, you’re already sitting there with the skills they need, and that will likely push them in your direction. Negotiate your new pay and job at that point.

The lesson here is often repeated with new technology: With a bit of ambition and some willingness to give up personal time, a lot of personal good can come.