Changing careers can always be an intimidating prospect, and transitioning into a career in the tech sector even more so. It can be challenging if you have no prior experience -- professional or recreational -- within the field. Many tech jobs require specialized training and knowledge of various programming languages. Also, tech has a variety of career paths to choose from, which can be difficult to navigate as well. Fortunately, there are ways to change one step at a time, so you don't get overwhelmed with too many daunting tasks at once. Consider the following guide a do-it-yourself map to actualizing the change you seek.
Research Your Desired Role and Be Sure You Want It
The first thing to think about when seeking a new career is to be sure you want it at all. Sometimes the idea of a job can be far more appealing than the reality of it. Consider these factors to help you be certain.
Identify What It Is You Are Seeking In a New Job
Your current job has lost its appeal, or you're unemployed and want to get your foot in the door of something new. Figure out what it is that you need and want from your new job to prevent the same situation that's led you to consider a new career at all.
Find Positions That Fit Your Criteria and Expectations
Using your needs and wants list as criteria, search for new jobs that sound like they fit the bill. If you can't find a job that has everything you're looking for, you may have to rank your needs and wants to determine what's most important to you.
Research Education and Skills Necessary For The Job You Want
Once you've picked the job you want, it's time to do a little research. Find out what educational requirements and skills are necessary for the position. Be sure to make an honest assessment of your capabilities and areas you might be lacking.
Seek Out Free Classes In the Appropriate Subject Matter
There are lots of options for gaining exposure to an area you may not know much about, and a free class is an easy choice with zero risk. Most tech Bootcamps offer a catalog of no-cost courses available pre-enrollment. You can also search YouTube or social media.
Research Educational Options For Skills Acquisition
After taking a free class or two and confirming the job area you seek is viable, it's time to look for institutions where you can get your training. College can be an immersive experience, but you may not have the time to earn a relevant degree. Fortunately, other options can get you the skills you require. Consider enrolling in a Bootcamp program.
Enroll in a Tech Bootcamp That Can Teach You What You Need
Bootcamps teach tech skills in shorter, concentrated programs. Most of them offer online options, too, that you can take at your own pace. Bootcamps are a great way to learn the skills you need quickly from professionals in the field. And because Bootcamps don't have the credentialing bureaucracy of academia to navigate, they're able to update their curriculum more frequently. More frequent updates mean you're learning current best practices -- as well as what not to do -- which will be advantageous for your new profession.
Changing careers is all about being good to yourself. Maybe you haven't been making enough money, or you could be looking for a new challenge. Whatever the case, it's time to put your best talents and ambitions into play so you can get everything you want.
Embrace Your Interests
There's no point making a career change into an area that bores you half to death. What is it you like to do? If you're the creative type, you may want to consider coding where you have the opportunity to build. More of an analytical type, financial systems could be your area. Find the avenues that excite you and dive in.
Showcase Your Background
Employers have social media, and they know how to use it. While you may present a professional front in your cover letters, resumes, and interviews, they want to know more. Often, they'll check candidates' social media feeds to learn more about their prospective employees. Showcasing the things about your background that make you unique could be the ingredient that moves you to the top of the list.
Find Ways to Stand Out
Your background isn't the only way to set yourself apart. What are your hobbies and interests? Do you document your travel? Are you the fiercest TikTok dancer on the internet? Employers don't simply look for people who can do the job; they look for people who will fit in well with others. Show them why you're the one they want to run into at the water cooler.
It's always a good idea to strategize for success, no matter the goal. Figuring out how best to get the results you're looking for ahead of time will save you the stress of figuring it out along the way. Do your research, and figure out what you need to do to get the chance you seek.
Make a Plan
How will you achieve the results? Apply your strategy into concrete steps for success. If you don't have specific skills, plan how you're going to obtain them. Figure out how you're going to create an online portfolio for potential employers to access if you don't already have one. Once you make your plan, it's time to start checking each item off one at a time.
Need to obtain new tech skills and build a portfolio of your work? Be sure to visit Sabio’s website for all your training needs!
Redirect Your Talents To Executing the Change You Seek
What skills can you deploy to accomplish your new goals? Maybe you're an organizing guru. You can use those skills to lay out steps for landing the job. Perhaps you're a great salesperson. Use those skills to sell yourself. Often the best skills for success are ones you already have.
How many times have you heard, "it's who you know"? Networking is important to your job hunt. Not only can you learn who's hiring and which companies have the best reputation, but the more individuals you know in the field, the more opportunities you'll find.
Find a Mentor
Mentors are a great way to make sure your career transition is a success. These are experts in the field whom you can ask questions of and see what insider tips they can offer you.
Attend Professional Conferences
Most pathways have a national affiliation or organizing body where best practices get showcased to those interested. Find ones with panels covering topics from the job you're pursuing and strike up a conversation with as many people as you can.
Talk to Workers in the Field
A great way to learn about the career path you're seeking is to talk to the people already doing it. Offer to buy them a coffee or stronger drink if they'll sit down with you for twenty minutes and let you pick their brain.
Attend Relevant Job Fairs
Job fairs are a great way to talk directly to recruiters and learn what they look for in candidates. It's also a great way to let them know you're training -- or just complete training -- for a career in their sector.
Always Follow Up
Send a quick email as thanks after talking to someone in the field. Or, check in with a recruiter after the fact, so they see your determination.
Keep in Touch
Not everything is instant, and maintaining a relationship with people will keep you in mind when the next opportunity arises. Sending quick updates on your training progress is a good, non-intrusive way to remind them of your goals.
Don't Expect Fast Or Easy Results
It's important to recognize change takes time. Whether you need to master new skills or network your way to the decision-makers, nothing happens overnight. Put in the necessary work to get what you want.
Find Time In Your Current Life To Focus On The Future You Seek
We all have busy lives. Whether it's family, friends, or your current job, your time is in high demand. Make sure to carve out dedicated space for the action needed to make your change.
Study Costs Schemes For Training, So You Know What You're Getting Into
Bootcamps and training programs can have vastly different financial schemes. Some allow you to train first then pay back later. Others offer reduced rates for stakes in your future income. Be sure you're comfortable with the route you choose.
Learn Everything You Can
You don't just want to get the job; you want to stay at the position. Learning everything you can through all means necessary will best prepare you for success not just in your job hunt but after you land your new gig.
Practice and Study
Practice makes perfect, and whether you're taking tutorials online or attending Bootcamps, the more you study and implement your new skills, the better you'll be.
Take The Time To Build A Portfolio
Don't go in unprepared. Employers want to see what you've done. When seeking a career change, you may not have a portfolio from previous jobs, but that doesn't mean you can't make one. Bootcamps will teach you various skills to showcase in a portfolio, but you may have to do the work after. It's worth it.
Update Your Resume and Be Sure To Highlight Your Relevant Skills
You've put in the work to gain new skills. Now it's time to update your resume with emphasis on everything you've learned. Be sure to list the skills mentioned in the job posting. Those are the ones HR reps will be looking for.
Research Available Jobs
Find out what opportunities are out there. What are the jobs you're going to apply to? It's time to focus on making the change.
Write a Cover Letter That Showcases Both You and Your Skills
Your cover letter should illustrate your personality while highlighting the work you've put in obtaining new skills. Employers will appreciate the forethought and dedication you put into making yourself ready for the position.
Once you've submitted for a job, it might take time for HR to sort through the resumes. After your interview, there may be several other candidates scheduled as well. Patience also applies to your job search because you may not find what you're looking for on the first look. When buying a car or home, the first option is rarely the final option. The same applies to the job search. Take the time to get it right.
Stay focused on your endgame, even when the road gets challenging. Pushing forward and staying on course will get you where you want to go.
Put In Your Best Effort
Learning new skills takes dedication. Make sure you're putting in the time and energy needed for optimal results. That goes for your cover letter and interview, too. Know what you want to say and know what questions you want to ask. Job interviews are just as much about learning if you wish to work there as the employer determining whether to hire you.
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Do Your Research Before the Interview
Know who the critical players at the company are. Learn about recent stories or developments affecting the employer, too. Showing what you know shows the work you put in ahead of time.
Be Prepared for Rejection
It's essential to recognize when a company chooses someone else, it does not reflect poorly on you. People get hired for different reasons, and you weren't in control of the outcome. All you can do is control your reaction to disappointing news, then press ahead and apply for the following position on your jobs list.
Don't Give Up
Training for new skills can be challenging. Navigating the job search process can be tricky. Giving up always ensures you don't get what you want. Stay focused, and don't let road bumps knock you off course. When you achieve the success you desire, you'll be happy you kept on course!
Take a Free Class!
If you're thinking about changing to a career in tech, but you want to take a free class or two to make sure you've found your path, check out Sabio's free course offerings
The Time is Right
The time is always right to take the first steps in seeking a different path. If you're unhappy at your job or want the career stability that comes with working in tech, now is the time to take action. Consider a zero-risk, free course to see if tech is right for you, or enroll in a Bootcamp to gain new skills. Inaction never got anyone anywhere. Be proactive and find the path that puts a smile on your face today!