Want to break into the world of tech?

It's not as difficult as you think.

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Photo by Domenico Loia on Unsplash

I saw you work for…

Over the past year and a half I’ve witnessed my LinkedIn inbox explode, spent countless hours providing informational interviews and had the chance to reconnect with many (former) academic and professional colleagues.

Why?

Well, it turns out you get pretty popular when you work for one of the top music & technology companies in the world.  

Any Discover Weekly Fans here?

I wasn’t aligned to HR or the Talent Acquisition team and only served as the hiring manager for IT roles on my team, but I obliged, because it pays to pay it forward.

While I left the organization last May to focus on my consulting practice, just last week I found myself on a call with a new friend from Ladies Get Paid who was looking to break into tech. I told her my story, a winding career journey that took me from analyzing wholesale nuclear energy to developing leaders in the construction industry, and eventually led me to the world of Spotify.  

Want an invite to the party? Here’s what you need to know.

There’s no secret code. 

Breaking into technology, or any new industry for that matter, is not impossible. The rate of growth at start-ups and tech firms means hiring rates are also rapid. Diverse skill-sets and competencies are valued. Can you apply your current skill-set to the role you’re interested in? Can you innovate and add value to the team and culture? You’re golden.

Speaking of diversity…

If you’ve been avoiding the technology space for fear of discrimination, don’t. Just do your homework. Many organizations are on the forefront of building inclusive, global environments that support their employees. In fact, on November 9, Spotify announced a truly groundbreaking policy of Flexible Public Holidays, citing “People are our most important resource and everyone should have the opportunity to celebrate what’s important to them and feel included in doing so, regardless of who they are, what they believe in, where they come from…” I dare you to follow Isa Notermans, the Global Head of Diversity & Inclusion, and not be impressed by the strides this company is making to build inclusivity.

You must like working with people

Your image of tech might be a bunch of Chuck Taylored and hoodied hipsters, headphones on, staring at their Mac screens for 12 hours a day. This might be true for some engineers but there are a ton of roles and teams that support the functioning of a technology company. And getting work done at a fast pace requires a lot of communication and collaboration.

Be prepared to learn. A lot.

Your colleagues will be smart. Wicked smart. Bring your unique talents and skills to the table and take a bite of humble pie at each meal because you’ll rarely be the smartest person in the room. Embrace the discomfort, ask questions and view each day as an incredible learning experience.

Is it good enough? Proceed on.

Be prepared to part ways with your perfectionist ways. The pace of your deliverables will make achieving perfection nearly impossible. Organizational change, growth, restructuring, new teams and colleagues will require you to be nimble, operate clearly within ambiguity and get shit done. Operate by GEPO. Good Enough? Proceed on. And if this concept is difficult to remember, don’t worry, your agile coach will make sure you learn it.

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