How Networking Can Help You Get Your Tech Groove Back
“A job seeker who is referred, is conventionally three to four times more likely to be hired than someone who applies for a position without a referral”.
This is an interesting insight into the recruiting process brought on by the international consulting practice, CareerXRoads. Wonder why?
It’s the same reason some people prefer meeting potential partners through friends instead of online sites - reliability! This approach also saves employers’ the time that it takes to go through a pile of similar resumes. Secondly, a resume only gives your employer an idea of your technical skills - but what about your soft skills?
To improve your credibility in the tech industry, it’s important to start building and nurturing relationships, not when you are looking for a job. No, this is an ongoing process, and it is especially important to initiate this when you are in a good place.
Here are some great tips to get you started:
1. Put the “net” in networking and connect on Social Media
This is the most seamless way to join target groups, increase visibility, find like-minded mentors and network your way to success. Take it from Mumbai-based coder, Aastha Patel, “As crazy as it sounds, I landed my first job through a Twitter DM (Direct Message). I used to follow my company’s CEO on Twitter and LinkedIn, and when I graduated, I decided to shoot him a message...Now, I work there”.
2. Get offline and out there
The tech world hosts a melange of events every year, from hackathons and conferences to leadership meets and mentorship forums. Attending such events is a great way to get to know the who’s who of the industry and since it’s likely that the same people attend them, it’s an opportunity to make some friends (trust me, these contacts go a long way)!
3. Start engaging
Make the effort to actively ask questions during Q&As, stick around after the talk to make an impression and be interactive and communicative. It’s a good way to show off your tech knowledge, but also a way to learn through the knowledge of others. There’s a lot of people and competition in tech, so you want to take every opportunity to make sure you’re a face to be remembered.
4. Follow up, follow up, follow up
Your job isn’t done after exchanging cards or connecting on LinkedIn. If you want to see this professional relationship going anywhere, reconnect and follow up! Tech companies get in touch with a lot interested people who want to land the same job as you. If you want to be the first person they call, you’ve got to make yourself visible and memorable.
5. Choose the right mentor
This is probably the most important thing you need to know. Navigating your career and figuring out how to get ahead can be daunting, especially if you're trying to go at it alone. In such times, having a mentor can be a blessing. Find yourself a mentor who is experienced and has been in the tech game for some time. You should choose a mentor who is invested in your growth and communicates what he or she plans to do, so you’re both on the same page.
Last but not the least, your mentor should be someone you can trust and learn the tricks of the trade from. Kruti Mehta, whose mentor helped her ease back into the work environment after a five-year sabbatical shares, “In a lot of ways, it is like learning to walk all over again. In such times, having a hand to hold is a blessing. One minute they’re guiding you through your baby steps and the next thing you know, you’re running on your own.”
6. Find a support system
Being a woman in the tech industry is not always easy so when things get rough, find someone - family, friends, your partner and sometimes maybe even your mentor so that you don’t have to go through it alone. No matter what challenges you face, don’t be afraid to turn to your loved ones so, you can lighten your burdens and take a moment to value what matters the most.
That said, it’s never too early to board the networking train. With a strong network and great mentors, you can become an unstoppable force in a world that’s continuously changing. So, go get your tech on and conquer the world!