Community It, Child! And How To Do It

Hey Tech Woman,

In efforts to assist ease my transition from nonprofit & schooling to tech, I’m reaching out to ask for some recommendation on how you can make that leap? Any finest practices, issues to look out for or keep away from? Concepts on the place to search out mentors (I’ve made some blind connections on LinkedIn, semi-fruitful). I’ve began making use of for alternatives, and will probably be in search of internships in addition to apprenticeships, however I discover that first-hand recommendation is actually invaluable.

— Gabrielle Hodgson, Inventive Director, through electronic mail submission.


hen I look again at my profession path, it wasn’t a straight and simple trajectory. I attempted a large number of jobs on my method via the labyrinth that secreted my true calling writing code. Tons had been epic fails that made me depressing, however a number of had been key steppingstones that led to the technical roles I cherished, and finally, to the place I’m right now as VP at Forbes. Earlier than discovering these techie roles I thrived on, I attempted my hand as a server, bartender, home cleaner, administrative assistant, video retailer clerk, graphic designer, lifeguard, and swim teacher, to call a number of. Navigating via is rarely good and you must count on to make a number of errors alongside the way in which.

At first look, this looks like a posh and extremely particular query, however it may be simplified into one thing we are able to all relate to: how do I get the place I need to be? There are apparent solutions resembling gaining experience via coaching and certifications, however for me, networking has proved probably the most useful of all of them, although the method might fluctuate relying on the place you might be in your profession.


For those who’re simply beginning out as an expert, otherwise you’re working in the direction of a profession change, however haven’t gotten your foot within the door fairly but, hunt down connections through social media resembling LinkedIn and Twitter. Connecting with people is a good suggestion, but in addition join with organizations and firms you contemplate business leaders. Search for these unicorns that commemorate a mix of each your discipline and one thing that makes you distinctive. Girls in Tech (WIT) is an instance for me, as somebody in expertise who identifies as feminine. A bit wanting and also you’ll discover your area of interest. For those who get caught, you’ll be able to at all times write your favourite Tech Woman.

Search for both junior or intern alternatives you’ll be able to apply to. Do your homework and determine who the hiring supervisor or recruiter is and if potential, write them instantly to precise curiosity. It really works, and to show it, in current weeks I handed on the names of a number of Jr Engineer candidates who pinged me on LinkedIn they usually’re now setup with interviews. Hiring managers gained’t curse you for contacting them, and in the event that they do, you in all probability don’t need to work for them anyway. So don’t be shy.

One other perk you’ll be able to benefit from are organized mentorship packages. Simply this previous week, I noticed Women in Know-how’s (GIT’s) Mentor-Protégé Program talked about on Twitter and utilized to be a mentor. Monitor related organizations that provide skilled help and apply to be a mentee to realize individualized assist.


For those who’re already within the sport, I can’t stress sufficient how essential it’s to continually construct your community. Schedule one-on-ones with friends and leaders simply to introduce your self and check-in often. In particular person and group classes, don’t cross up the chance to ask questions or give enter. I typically discover radio silence when a name for questions arises, and it’s actually a wasted second if it isn’t used to familiarize everybody with you. You gained’t be handed these alternatives fairly often, so after they pop up, use them to differentiate your self.

Set up your self as an issue solver by working enchancment concepts into your check-in conversations. Not solely will you determine a strong skilled relationship by proactively scheduling time with these you’re employed with, however in the event you provide you with methods to optimize operations as a part of these discussions, optimistic buzz will unfold and also you’ll be an unstoppable pressure.


For those who’ve been within the sport lengthy sufficient to be thought-about skilled, your networking technique ought to evolve to the place you determine your self as an professional. Hunt down panel and moderator alternatives at conferences and coaching occasions and volunteer. The extra public talking and group interplay, the extra you determine your model. Simply final month, I had the privilege of moderating the Girls in Tech Panel on the 2022 Jamf Nation Person Convention (JNUC). I collaborated with superb friends and colleagues that I by no means would have met with out taking part. Odds are you want a trip, anyway.

Most important for you as an skilled skilled is performing for instance and prepping these extra junior than you. Tackle as many mentees as you’ll be able to. Get entangled in organized mentorship packages such because the Women in Know-how’s (GIT’s) Mentor-Protégé Program already talked about. Unfold your data readily and willingly.

It’s our duty to coach the following technology to take the helm. If we don’t…who will?

Have a query or work problem you’d like answered in a future article? E-mail me at [email protected]. And you’ll learn the earlier column Woman On Woman Crime In The Office.

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