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Tip for Recent Grads: Look Before You Leap

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Summary: What should you do if you hate the job you are in? When is the right time to leave? Find out in this article.


Question: I graduated with a bachelor’s degree in economics and now am working in a custodian bank doing investment accounting. I am miserable in my job and am looking into a more innovative field, such as becoming an information architect. I want to create something tangible that involves logic/science behind it as well. Will I need four more years of college and possibly still end up being disillusioned with IT?

Answer: The axiom “look before you leap” comes to mind. You have begun to describe what you are looking for in a new role, and that is a perfect start. To avoid becoming disillusioned in IT, however, be sure to uncover exactly what is making you so miserable in your current job. Because people tend to repeat behavior patterns, they sometimes unwittingly establish a cycle of bad relationships, unhealthy habits and, yes, mismatched career moves. Identify, through self-assessment and feedback from others, the job qualities and work environments to steer clear of, and then see how information architecture stacks up as a potential option.

The key roles of an information architect are to design and deliver site-content organization and navigation structures, align the site with enterprise-wide organizational goals and strive to make complex information clear. As you can imagine, there are significant job requirements.

But you will be happy to hear that a four-year degree specific to information architecture isn’t one of those requirements. There are plenty of career hybrids that pair a bachelor’s degree in another field with IT-related experience. You will be best served by taking a couple of information-architecture courses, reading books by authors like Edward Tufte and then gaining some type of related experience. You may have to start as a designer and work your way into project management and information architecture.

Begin to move toward your goal, while still in your current position, by talking to people employed as information architects, joining an association, designing your own web site and continuing your research.

See Be Happier at Work with These Tips for more information.

Tip for Recent Grads: Look Before You Leap by
Authored by: Andrew Ostler

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