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How to Score a Technology Job: 10 Essential Actions to Take

I often get a query from a friend or a friend of a friend to guide them starting a career in the technology field or change their current technology field to a new one. Following are my recommendations to anyone regardless of the technology field they are interested in or if they had any prior education or experience in Information Technology or NOT.

Scenario:

Person X wants to get into the technology (software, hardware, cloud, DevOps, Cyber Security, PM, BA, QA, etc.) field and start a career. He or She may or may not have prior experience or education in the technology field, but they are very motivated, interested in learning, and grow in the chosen technology area.

Game Plan – Kashi’s Framework

It is imperative to make sure whichever area of the technology you are interested in, you are passionate about it, ready to invest time and effort, willing to give more than 100%, have perseverance, and determined to succeed. If you have all these ingredients, I personally don’t care if you have prior education in IT or previous experience in IT. I am sure given these above ingredients you can be very successful in any field. Following is the high-level TOP-10 action items that I would recommend anyone:

The most important thing to know is that we are now living in the Information Technology age (fourth industrial revolution) that provides access to tons of information for FREE and allows anyone to become a technologist if it is their cup of tea!

1. Train yourself in the technology field you are interested in by doing formal courses or training (self-paced online or community college) e.g. Harvard Business School Online Course, Coursera, Udemy, Technical College Classes, Salesforce Trailhead, etc.

2. Get Certification in the selected field as it helps demonstrate your credibility and skills. e.g. Salesforce Admin Certification, AWS Certification, DevOps, Cyber Security Certification, Project Management Certification, QA or Business Analyst Certification, etc.

3. Share Knowledge that you learn on various forums to help build your brand in the chosen field e.g. Write articles on Medium or LinkedIn, Create a free blog and post there, Create a Facebook Page or Tweet, etc.

4. Join Online Groups on LinkedIn or Facebook or User groups to participate and to network with others e.g. Salesforce Trailblazer Community, Linkedin Group, Facebook Groups, Microsoft User Community

5. Join Local Meetups or User Groups to learn, participate, connect with like-minded people and build your network. You will be surprised how helpful it could be to help you land your first job. You can find related meetups in your area of interest by googling it. e.g. Salesforce User Groups, UI/UX Designers Meetups, Cyber Security Meetups, etc.

6. Volunteer for Non-Profits is one of the best ways to gain real professional experience and help them as well. Search your local non-profit or post on related user groups and share that you are available to give 10 hrs per week or so to help any non-profit in the chosen area. You will be surprised how many non-profit may benefit from your skills.

7. Attend Conferences to learn how other customers are using the technology, what are their business use cases, what are their pain points, and what are the possible solutions by other vendors. If you can afford to go to the related technology conference then you should go to get the exposure and network. One of the best ways to attend the conference is to apply for being a speaker to share your knowledge. You may find some FREE or very affordable local conference by Users Community to attend e.g. Salesforce Dreamin, World Tours, Dreamforce, etc.

8. Interview Prep – Learn to Sell Yourself is a skill that most people underestimate or neglect. I would say this is the most important skill you need to develop after your expertise in the chosen area. In my experience, if you can convince the interviewer that you are the right person for the job and the organizational culture, and you have prepared yourself academically and professionally then they will be willing to give you a shot regardless of not having enough experience in the field.

9. Get a Short Term Job to start building your professional experience in the area. I would recommend starting with an internship or junior level job or a short term consulting contract to grow professionally in that area.

10. Getting a Mentor or a Coach will help you along this whole journey. You will be surprised how many people will be willing to help out, what you need to do is just ask around. A good way to ask to meet up for a coffee or a drink and share your passion and ask for their help.

Bonus! Give Back by helping Others

This is simply good Karma. Helping others will give you a inner peace and satisfaction and will help make the world a better place

Tip: Have Patience and Perseverance. This is not an overnight process and it does take time. Don’t be discouraged if you feel like you are not getting anywhere. It might take you good 3-6 months to be ready and land your first job.

I will be very interested to learn everyone else point of view on these. Do You Agree or Not? What else would you add or remove? Share your thoughts vis Comments below! 

HTH & Good Luck!

Kashi – @KashifAhmed

Note: These are just my personal views and the above list is not meant to be a complete list that guarantees you to land a job, but it a starting framework. IMHO, if you do the above, it will put you in a very good position to succeed in the technology area of your interest.

Image by Igor Link from Pixabay

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Last modified: February 21, 2023

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