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The 3-Step Game Plan To Become the ‘MVP’ of Your Tech Team

Level up your tech skills for 40% off to become your team’s Most Valuable Player. 

March Madness season is officially in full swing! Brackets will be busted, legends will be born, and new champions will be crowned. But even if you aren’t a college hoops fan, becoming the MVP of your team is something you can work towards all year long in the tech industry. This is far from an easy task though, and the numbers certainly back that up. According to a recent study by global professional services firm Aon, on average, only 10.2% of U.S. tech workers receive a promotion each year. 

What’s the difference between these high performers and the remaining 90% of tech workers though? How do you currently stack up in terms of career standing? Most importantly, what steps can you take to work on your game, improve your skills, and score big next promotion cycle? In this article, we’ll cover the 3-step game plan to becoming the Most Valuable Player on your team, along with what you can do today to get started. 

Step 1: Stay in-demand by stacking new skills

It’s no accident when you see stars like LeBron James and Steph Curry come back from the offseason with a new dribbling technique, trickshot, or crossover combo added to their arsenal. Even the best players on the planet are consistently in the gym working to patch up holes in their game. No matter, if you’re an entry-level developer or middle manager clawing their way into the C-Suite, taking inventory of where you need to improve is an invaluable skill in and of itself in the tech industry.

That’s where an online learning platform like Udacity becomes a critical partner for you in your career journey. And with the average shelf life of skills being only 2.5 years today according to IBM, stacking the latest ones has become a key aspect of everyone’s job description. Udacity allows professionals unlimited access to our library of 80+ Nanodegree programs, 350+ courses, and 370+ real-world projects with a single subscription. To date, 80% of learners saw positive career outcomes after taking a Udacity course. If basketball players have 24/7 access to training facilities, coaching staff, and the latest equipment, think of us as your 24/7 gym for learning in-demand tech skills. 

Step 2: Become an all-around team player

On the court, MVPs know when to take the game-winning shot and when to hit their teammate with the game-winning assist. It’s not enough to have the ability to bring the best out of yourself, you also have to be able to bring the best out of others you share the court (or cubicle) with. The importance of being a team player is true even for the most talented of professionals. In fact, when coaching legend Phil Jackson took over the Chicago Bulls in 1989, he knew the only thing standing in the way of their team and the NBA championship was getting Michael’s buy-in on sharing the spotlight with his teammates. Reportedly, in a private meeting between the two, Jackson told Jordan he would likely not get another NBA scoring title because of this new commitment. Jordan was immediately sold, and six NBA championships later, the rest is history. 

A large part of becoming a better teammate comes down to developing empathy, which is a cornerstone of being an in-demand professional. Empathy has become a buzzword over the past decade in terms of professional development, and there’s a good reason for it. Research has shown us that employers are 75% more likely to promote individuals with high emotional intelligence than those without it. Regardless of your current role or career goal, combining your hard tech skills with soft skills like EQ and effective communication will only serve to get you on the fast track to your promotion in tech. By doing so, you’ll become a dual-threat player on the court – one who’s able to sink the game-tying three-pointer and lock down your opponent on the defensive end as well. To get started, give these tips a try. Meditation and mindfulness app, Calm, shared five simple ways to show empathy toward others, which you can put into practice on your own team:

1.) Listen carefully to what others are saying. 

2.) Share your own feelings and experiences.

3.) Don’t jump to conclusions about how someone feels.

4.) Be aware of your own opinions and how they might color your understanding of others. 

5.) Offer your support, whether it’s a helping hand or a listening ear.

Just as Michael Jordan needed to get more of his teammates involved, tech workers need to do the same in order to go from ‘great’ to ‘MVP’. Now more than ever, it isn’t enough to only be talented, you also have to be supportive of the others on your team, cognizant of their contributions, and make them feel like a star in the roles they bring to the organization. 

Step 3: Develop the ability to perform under pressure

In a landscape as fast-paced and competitive as tech, the ability to stay poised under pressure is an indispensable skill to have. Much like the high-stakes games of March Madness, where every play counts, tech professionals must navigate complex challenges with precision and composure. Just as basketball players face intense situations on the court, tech teams encounter deadlines, bugs, and demanding stakeholders in their daily work.

Staying calm under pressure is not just about keeping a cool head too – it’s about making strategic decisions amidst chaos. In basketball, the best players don’t let the noise in the arena to deter them from executing their game plan. Similarly, tech professionals must block out distractions and focus on solving problems efficiently. Whether it’s troubleshooting a critical system issue or shipping deliverables on a tight timeline, the ability to maintain clarity of thought and make informed decisions distinguishes the MVPs from the rest. 

40% Off the Skills To Make You The MVP – Offer Ends March 26

This March Madness season, we want to make your career ambitions a slam dunk! That’s why from now until March, 26th at 11:59pm PST we’re offering new students 40% off their first month of Udacity as part of our March Madness promotion – that’s our entire catalog of 3,500+ skills and growing. Just use code MARCH40 at checkout to redeem this offer. Ready to swish your next shot in tech? Start by signing up for Udacity today.

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