Breaking into the tech industry and landing your first job when you have no experience may seem hard. It may seem even harder if you don’t have a background in technology, and only just making your transition into the tech space.
Hard. But doable, and very much so, if you have a plan. Here is a 6-step guide that will help you transition into the technology field and land your first dream job
1. Get Rid of the Mental Barriers
Ridding yourself of mental barriers will get you in the right headspace and ready for what lies ahead. This is not the time to start doubting your decision to make the transition or whether you are cut out for employment in the technology field.
What you should do, instead, is to focus on the bigger picture. Remind yourself why you decided to make the transition in the first place, and why you want that tech job. Think beyond that first job and picture where you’d like to be as a techie in the next couple of years. Succinctly put, get perspective first, before all else.
2. Shortlist Dream Companies and Job Openings
Shortlist the companies you’d like to work for, and why these companies are such a good fit for you.
The next step for you is to do some research on the job openings that you’d like to fill, paying close attention to the listed job descriptions. Do a self-evaluation against these job descriptions and identify your knowledge gaps.
What skills are required of you for a particular role, which you do not have? Make a list of these skills.
3. Bridge the Gap
After identifying the knowledge gaps that would stand in the way of your getting employment in the technology field in the step above, be deliberate about bridging this gap. You can do so in one or more of several ways.
Your first option is to go online and find the resources you need to become self-taught. It will take time, commitment, and discipline. You can also enroll in formal classes, be it online, or at your local college or university. If you are a veteran, you can use your GI Benefits to cover the cost of learning new technology skills at an academy, Bootcamp, or elsewhere.
4. Establish a Voice in the Industry
Build an online presence and create a personal brand around this presence. A website, blog, and profile on professional networks will do. Use this space to showcase what you bring to the table in terms of drive and resourcefulness.
Let others know what you can do in a way that beats the best-crafted resume. Ensure that you make regular updates, adding the new skills that you learn.
Work towards increasing your readership and followers. Do this and you will be expanding your network, and you can never tell when you may get an employment opportunity from a referral.
5. Connect with the Right People
Do more research on your dream company and identify influencers and people who can mentor you? Ask to meet up over a coffee, and be sure to prepare for your meeting.
The whole idea is to find out from an insider what it is really like to work at that dream company you wish to join. You can also delve into inquiring about how to go about securing an employment opportunity at the company.
Ask for any resources that may be helpful, what the interview process is generally like. If the person you are meeting can connect you to someone else who is in a better position to help, then it will be an even bigger win for you.
Even after your meeting, keep the conversation going, be it over email or occasional calls. Your new contact will be championing for you from within the company, even going ahead to share internally advised job openings, or job adverts before they get to the public domain.
6. Do Your Best at Interviews
Interviews can be quite overwhelming, but you need to make sure you put your best foot forward when you are invited for one. Alongside your well-polished resume, confidently express to the interviewing panel why it is you are a good role fit, and the value you will bring to the company if hired.
You may not land your first dream tech job after your first, or even second interview. What’s most important is that you don’t give up, but keep putting yourself out there. As you send out your resumes for consideration for various employment opportunities, keep working at polishing on the soft and hard skills required for the job.
There is a wide range of employment opportunities for skilled and passionate techies. Work on being a good role fit, even without any experience, and it shouldn’t be too hard for you to land your first tech job.