Starting a tech career 101
The tech field is sporadically evolving! Each day, more and more people find more reasons to want to get involved with tech for varying reasons, some for the job security it offers, some for the financial comfort it offers, some for prestige it offers, some want to because others are in it. I mean who wouldn’t want to be in an industry that has stable demand and is important to many different other industries??
But, some people get it wrong at the start! Because of this, some find it really hard to actually get started, while some gets through the getting started phase, but their zeal dies out real fast, their passion gets worn out and they begin looking for something else outside of tech.
This might be different for career switchers, as they come into tech with a more definite agenda.
Tech is a field like any other, there are ups and downs with building a career in tech.
There is no right or perfect way to start or build a great career in tech, you can come up with your own approach to tech, what we’re going to be talking about are just ways that have worked for some others in the past, can also work for you if you follow through.
Steps to starting a career in tech:
Connect your passion with tech :
The best way to know what suits you is to think about what you like doing, what you’re passionate about and find a tech career that is closely related to it. Another way to do this is think of what you want to be able to do, build or be in tech, then find a tech career path that can help you achieve that.
Ensure it’s a career path you like and can pursue and start learning towards it. Sometimes you might not be able to launch into this immediately, you can start with a seemingly easier track, having your dream tech career in mind.
For career switchers, ask to take up tech related tasks in your current role or company.
Start your learning journey; things to help you in this journey :
Do random article reading on the internet to get familiar with your chosen career path in tech, you can also watch youtube videos and podcasts if you’re a more visual person.
Afterwards, signup for a proper course to guide you through learning and developing yourself in your chosen career path.
Alternatively, you can also join a learning community, where learning is coordinated. An example is the LadiesDoTech(LDT) community, you can sign up and learn with other ladies, be an active member of the community, ask questions no matter how dumb you think they are. This is how you validate what you know and get more understanding. Answer questions from the little you know because the more you share, the more you know.
While on your journey :
Create a learning path for yourself that includes all that you need to know to be relatively confident in your field. This is basically a learning outline for all you'd need to learn as a beginner in the field.
Ensure to familiarize yourself with the foundational concept of the course. First, ask yourself the why, the how and the when and try to get these questions answered. This way, you’re able to get a strong foundational knowledge of the course and this is what will make you stand out as you progress, improving your research skill, being able to find answer on the web is one soft skill every techie must have, get clarifications from senior tech colleagues who have been in the space longer on areas you don’t understand.
Sometimes humbling yourself to learn the very fundamental principles of a field can be very frustrating, especially as everything might not make sense at the time and you don’t see how the knowledge can be useful, but stay with it, one baby step after another and it will all make sense.
Set achievable goals for yourself based on your learning path and career aspiration.
Participate in tech trends like 100days of code.
Practice practice practice, no matter which tech career you’re pursuing, you have to learn how to get down to the dirty jobs, just learning and maybe talking alone won’t get you there, avoid being a talk techie, where you talk as though you know it but deep down there is nothing, humble yourself to practice what you’ve learned, do the dirty work, this way you would come out more confident.
Get a place to intern :
After practicing and getting a bit confident in what you know, find an actual work place to intern, to see how what you have learned and practiced translates to solving real world problems, this will increase your confidence more in how much you’ve learned.
While on the internship or job, continue learning and practicing,the truth is that learning never stops, the level of know how that brought you into that internship or job, won’t be sufficient to keep you there or take you higher, you have to learn deeper concepts about the role, you have to dig deeper and get even more confident in what you do.
Leverage the power of social media :
Lastly, leverage the power of social media, create a profile for yourself on important media platforms, follow people and organization that do what you want to be, learn from their posts and talk about your career progress on twitter or Instagram, you get more dedicated to your goal this way, as you know people are watching, don’t get carried away with wanting to impress, so you post copy and paste things you know nothing about, you can get good referrals and jobs just by posting about what you do, your progress, your projects and all.
Key Take home :
Be dogged about your goals, no matter how much mentorship you get, only you can make your dreams come alive.
Be consistent in pursuing your tech career and the result will eventually show, just take one baby step after the other.
Be an active member in the LDT community, ask questions don't be shy, raise a topic of interest and spark conversation around it, that way you learn better from people's ideas and opinions on the subject matter and you can be more confident sharing your opinions. This is also something you can do on twitter.
Note to our ladies reading :
You’re a lady! You're strong! You’re creative! You’re exceptional! Live to the fullness of who you are! push off limit! your only limit is your mindset, expand it! Do not accept defeat! Be Vocal! Be visible and globally present!
PS: This article is a summary of our first community webinar.
If you liked this, you'd love the other events we have coming up, so if you’re a lady, hurry up and join our community now. If you’re not, ensure to follow us on the different social media platforms, we have something planed for you too 😊
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