Decentralization & innovation maximalist. Slogging community manager. Virtual CMO.
As the technology sector expands, there are exponential opportunities for people from all backgrounds and disciplines to carve out new careers for themselves.
Roxana Nasoi, Head of Growth at LaunchPool, Laura Walsh, COO of LaunchPool, Linh Smooke, Co-Founder of Hackernoon, Bridget Greenwood, Founder of The Bigger Pie, and Akasha Rose, Marketing Director at Sheesha Finance, share our top tips for launching your dream career in emerging technology.
What's the best way to get a job in the tech space?
I’m a social creature, so I like to discover opportunities through people and communities. Look at your skill sets, understand what problems you’d like to help solve that will bring benefit to our world, and then go and seek the opportunities that support both. If you’d like to understand how to upskill or recognise how your existing skills can transfer, then talk to those in the roles you aspire to have and learn about their path and their insights. Remember that’s their journey though, and you make your own. Be bold, and allow your desire for purpose drive through any hesitation or lack of action. If you’re interested in either AI/Blockchain then do get in touch with me and I’ll happily open up my network to you
Hey Akasha Rose.
I always advise people to look at their passions first. What makes them most excited about the space? - find the answer to the question.
Then, What is your skillset? Answer this question. Don't look away if you have soft skills, as opposed to hard skills (technical). Soft skills are much needed: it's one thing to build a product, but without marketing, sales, strategy, advocacy, the tech alone will not get you far.
There's a growing need for soft skills: Writing, Design, Social Media, Marketing, Community Management, Speaker / Presenter, Ambassador, Business Development, Growth & Strategy, Video/Audio Creator etc.
Sometimes, companies especially startups will not know what they need. Having a complementary skillset (2+ specialties) that interact with one another can offer you the possibility to be involved across different verticals or positions.
There's a growing need for an entrepreneurial mindset in tech, and the best way to market yourself is to put yourself out there, on a map. Thought leadership, writing, getting into conversations on social media, asking questions, asking for recommendations from people who know you professionally goes a long way.
Don't be afraid to speak up, question what seems to be "set in stone" - dare to think differently. Most people are afraid to show their personalities, their beliefs, and their values.
Being open about who you are helps you filter out the companies or environments you don't want to work in, and this is super important: figuring out who you don't want to work with!
I would echo the sentiments of my fellow colleagues. It’s also not just who you know, or what you do best, but how you adapt, especially to a fast moving space like blockchain/crypto.
You need to be highly adaptable, flexible, think fast and execute even faster. That isn’t to say that you don’t need to think things through or be strategic, but if you’re highly risk averse and need long chunks of time to make decisions, then perhaps the space is not for you. Which is just fine, as this industry certainly isn’t for everyone.
Also, I always advise you to be humble, but never a doormat.
Network, network, network and don’t burn your bridges because you never know who will have the next hot thing in tech. There is just so much going on, there’s ample space for anyone to sip a toe in and try it out.
The advice I have always heard, and which I support, is that if you have a dream role, just show up and show what you can do. If I have a choice between two candidates, I always choose the person who has shown that they care about the mission of the company and are ready to go the extra mile. If I have seen them ready to work to a high quality as a volunteer, I know they will do even better once they are paid.
One of the biggest pain points as a manager is having to motivate people. I always prefer to hire people's whose motivation comes from the inside, rather than simply the pay packet. In the area I work, crypto, this is a luxury we have, because so much about crypto is value and mission based and about changing the world for the better. So it naturally attracts self motivated people who are here for the world and not just the pay check.
I don't want to encourage working for free and being exploited however. There can sometimes be a thin line. If you have capacity, show up, show your stuff, and what you are made of. But if the team don't come to the party and acknowledge and appreciate you, and ultimately hire you, move onto greater opportunities because you deserve it.
Make sure if you are employed or contracted, you always have a written contract. Don't skip this step, you will learn the hard way that if someone can't sign a contract, they probably can't pay you for your work.
Linh Smooke you manage a team of 50, what are your thoughts?
Oooh good questions!
(I realized that these are general advice for getting hired in any industry in general but I think it will always be helpful no matter what position you try to apply for and where you’re at in your career)
This Slogging thread by Akasha Rose, Bridget Greenwood, Roxana Nasoi, Laura W and Linh Smooke occurred in Hacker Noon's Slogging community official #technology channel and has been edited for readability. To learn more visit Slogging.com
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