Everyone knows building technical skills is the key to getting ahead in the tech industry.
However, you need to do a lot more than simply master code to get ahead. No matter what your next career goal is, or your ultimate career goal, it’s essential to have a strategic approach to reaching your objectives.
There are many positive steps you can take that are specific to your career, but generally speaking, if you are looking to push your tech career forward, you’ll want to hone your networking skills, get a mentor and brush up on your business skills.
Network like a pro
There are a lot of misconceptions around networking. It isn’t supposed to be “glad-handing” and asking for job referrals. When done properly, networking involves getting to know other people and building mutually beneficial relationships.
If you’re starting from square one, start networking with those closest to you. Talk to family members and close friends about your career and ask them about their latest career developments. Once you’ve gotten used to having these ‘networking conversations,’ start branching out – talking to those in your company and your industry about career-related issues.
Getting involved in your community and your industry is essential for efficient networking. When you do volunteer work or attend industry events, you’re getting to meet people outside your normal circles, people that could become essential network connections.
Get a mentor
A mentor is someone in your network who is in a position to give you good career advice. Finding a mentor can be difficult, but a successful search can be invaluable.
One good approach to finding a mentor is to simply ask your direct supervisor. they may be willing to take on the role or might know someone who is willing. If not, try talking to people in your network. Retired professionals and those approaching retirement are particularly well-positioned to provide younger professionals with advice and direction.
Once you have a mentor, regularly talk to them about your latest career developments, current career goals, and progress of those goals.
Embrace business skills
Unfortunately, many tech professionals fall into the trap of dismissing business know-how, maybe because they don’t want anything to do with management or leadership positions.
However, even if you don’t want to become a manager, learning essential business skills can help your tech career in many ways. For instance, if you understand your company’s marketing or human resources objectives, you can better design systems to meet those goals.
In addition to basic business awareness, tech professionals shouldn’t ignore soft skills, like leadership ability or communications techniques. These skills are invaluable and can be useful in unexpected situations.
At Thompson Technologies, we help people become the well-rounded tech professionals they need to be in order to achieve their career goals. If you are currently looking for career assistance in the tech industry, please contact us today to find out how we might be of service.