When looking to advance your career in today’s world there are plenty of self help books and developmental tricks that are at your disposal. And thanks to technology, many of these tips and tricks can be accessed by our thumbs at an instant. However, despite there being a plethora of sources, the vast majority seem to issue the treatment to all cases involving career advancement. Three mainstream tips that were illustrated by our text were tips such as follow your passion, develop your skills, and grow your network. All of these tips are applicable and friendly for a non-geek to employ, but what happens when a geek wants to advance via these tools?

When a geek attempts to employ “follow your passion”, the tip has little common ground with how the geek lives their life. Geeks do not live their lives in an attempt to achieve a life mission statement. It is also difficult for a geek to plug in a conceptualization of where they will be 15 years down the road. Career advancement for geeks seems too variable because of how fast technology changes. Rather than following their passion, someone with a technical background can advance more precisely if they devote themselves to logic. The tip that urges you to develop your skills is also unhelpful to those with technical personalities. People with technical backgrounds usually seem to already over apply this tip in their lives. Skill development is comfortable and feasible to a technical person because it allows them to comprehend new technologies and earn higher credentials/certifications. The author describes this tip as one that is like giving a drug to an addict. This seemingly good advice to the average joe, will only push the geek in a direction they know all to well. Lastly, the tip that pushes a geek to grow their network often times has no weight behind it. The idea of visiting with a large group of unknown people is an unattractive scene for a crowd heavily populated by introverts. Applying these three tools to people with a technical background is like trying to fit a triangle structure into a circle opening. Not matter how hard to push it wont quite fit.


So if the typical cookie cutter approach to career advancement does not succeed in a technical environment and lifestyle, how can geeks take initiative when seeking to advance their careers. Our author believes that geeks should be pushed to be more reliable and relational human beings. Geeks must become everyone’s go-to geek in order to create advancement. Ensuring that the experience you have with everyone you work with is imperative because it will help the geek be trusted and valued when being considered for a better position. Geeks should apply some do diligence in staying relevant in their network’s mind. Staying top of mind requires that geeks insist on not burning their bridges to individuals they respect, enjoy and are interested in. In my opinion, one of our tips from earlier can aid in career advancement for geeks if we could tailor it a bit. Tip two indicates that we should focus on skill development for advancement. The problem with this is it emphasizes the wrong brand of skills.  I feel that geeks should be motivated to pursue development of their soft skills rather than hard skills and credentials. These skills directly impact your performance and comfort while in social situations. Geeks with powerful soft skills will display a more noticeable confidence when building relationships and it could lead to an offer some time down the road.


In conclusion, when looking at the topic of career advancement I used to look at it as having a one size fits all solution. I now know that career advancement can be different just off the basis of personality. When thinking about advancing in your career field you should familiarize yourself with how fast your industry is changing and how you can better adapt to that change. Advancement is about timing and relationships. It takes time to build trust in your personal brand and it takes a relationship for you to become a relevant option.

Share your thoughts