Four optional career paths – How software companies can support the development of their personnel?

Work-related dreams and needs change as people get more experienced and face new situations. A good career path is a combination of personal development, passion and a good salary. In this article, I will describe all the career paths our software company of more than 700 specialist has to offer.

Career path 1: Development as a specialist

Development as a specialist is a conventional career path for those who are interested in and inspired by working as a specialist in customer projects and in teams, in particular.

When working as a specialist, learning requires not only training and possible certificates, but also the ability to participate in projects where lessons learned can be put into practice.

The risk is that a specialist remains standing still for too long, doing familiar things using familiar technologies.  This is an indication that special attention needs to be paid to learning: learning is inevitably slower if you only do things you have always done.

Career path 2: Responsibility for customers

Normally, many different people are responsible for sales and service production in IT service companies. In practice, when using modern and agile methods, digital services are maintained and developed in close and constant cooperation with the customer’s development team – often in the customer’s premises.

Specialists who work in these types of roles are in uninterrupted interaction with their customers and learn to know their needs better and more thoroughly than salespersons who inevitably communicate less with customers. This is why it is very useful to make use of this tacit knowledge better than before in order to improve customer relationships.

If you are interested in these types of roles, start by talking about your areas of interest with your supervisor or a salesperson who is responsible for customer relationships.  In this new role, working as a specialist continues, of course, to be your main job.

Many specialists, especially in Finland, have a biased attitude towards customer responsibilities, not to mention sales. However, I have learned, during my career, that having a background as a specialist forms an excellent framework for roles involving sales tasks. Often, many successful salespeople have previously worked as specialists. I would like to encourage every specialist to seriously consider this type of a career path if this idea interests you even slightly! I also started as a specialist and shrunk back from sales, but I encouraged myself to try and have never looked back.

Career path 3: Starting and developing a new business

Many of us have thought about starting a new business or working in a young, dynamic and rapidly growing company which offers many opportunities to build something new.

However, the threshold of starting a business is often too high. Of course, it also involves many risks. This is why we have developed a model, with which any employee can start to develop new business concepts and new business activities in addition to or alongside their regular work as a specialist.

To get started, two employees and an existing customer need are required. We have developed a path to establish an independent company via certain pre-defined steps.

The goal is to help employees who are interested in business development and entrepreneurship to learn and develop business skills. At the same time, we benefit as a company, as we are able to expand our range and create new business.

Career path 4: Independent consultant

When we started our company, we only offered independent consultants to our customers to work under their supervisors. We offered permanent employment relationships from the very beginning, while salaries were tied to customer invoicing. This model was on hiatus for a while.

Last year, we decided to establish Siili_one, our subsidiary which follows this original Siili principle. This model allows experienced consultants to have access to high earnings based on customer invoicing. This work requires an independent approach and solid expertise, but it is also rewarding, as independent consultants can have more impact on their work, its content and their salaries.

Read more about Siili_one

Siili philosophy

Our goal is to offer the best possible environment for professional development. Because we have, in a little more than ten years, grown into a company with a broad service range and significant international operations, this is possible.

We are all different and, often, we are not even aware of our own unique strengths.  Different career paths offer opportunities for learning and gaining new experiences. If you feel that a certain career path does not suit you, you can always seek a job or path that is the right one for you.

 

Written by Timo Luhtaniemi

 

A good start for a career in software business is to apply for our Master & Apprentice program where you learn the best practices and essential skills of software development. 

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