There is no denying the tech industry is here to stay and the skills are important to remain relevant in any career. Many people are wondering if breaking into the tech is the next best move. Some are often intimidated and see no reason to try. Before you decide to avoid the tech industry, read 5 ways you can break into it, even if you are not a typical “techie”.
1. Stop Thinking About Your Age
We have all heard people say, “I am too old to learn this” or “I am too young to be taken seriously”. If you want to break into the tech industry you must stop considering your chronological age to be an obstacle. Chronological age is misleading and there is a culture in the US job market that believes, “Age is an indicator of one’s ability to learn”.
Think about your “Biological Age”, which is “how old you really are”. Times have changed. 40 is the new 30, 30 is the new 20, 60 is the new 50, etc. You are never too old to learn something new. And technology is not just for high-school students.
2. Start With the Small Things
No one has the ability to learn everything overnight. You may be thinking of “time” and whether or not changing industries is wasting time. But every change takes time. Start with the very small things that you can do for fun on your own time:
- Creating a blog or your own website/landing page
- Taking classes on Codecademy or other tools
- Do some free work for others as practice
The reason you should not expect to be paid at the beginning is that you are still learning. As you learn and build your confidence, you will get a better understanding of the right time to seek actual employment with a company.
3. Start Making Connections
You can get some face-to-face time with people in the tech industry by attending things like “Tech Meetups”, where entrepreneurs and product developers discuss new tech or give product demos. The more you attend these types of Meetups, the more you start to realize that the tech community is quite small, even if it has many members. The same faces show up all the time and it is a great way to get an understanding of the global community involved.
In addition, try attending and communicating with people who do webinars or run conferences in the tech industry. Attending a conference is an amazing way to talk to people in tech who may have booths set up or hold panels.
Social media is helpful, too. Platforms like Product Hunt and LinkedIn can provide you with the ability to connect and communicate with those running tech companies. Facebook groups targeting specific industries are always wonderful ways to chat with others in the career you are pursuing.
4. Update Your Resume
If you truly feel your age is a problem, get around your fears by updating your resume and remove the following:
- Date of graduation
- Work experience over 20 years old
- Make sure your resume includes the latest tech trends
- Be up to speed on cover letters currently in use for tech jobs
All of these will help you look like you are currently a part of the tech industry and willing to do what is necessary to make this your career.
5. Be Flexible, Humble, and Confident
This is new turf for you. So, it may be time to put your past experience behind you until you see a time to use it again. Just like the person who falls a couple of times learning how to ice skate, you are going to have to fall a couple of times before you learn the ins and outs of the tech industry.
This requires flexibility in the way you think, learn, and act. This is a new industry for you and the hours may be different, the people will definitely have different personalities, and where or how you work will change, too.
Anytime you start off in a new career (in case you forgot), you have to be open and willing to take on any challenge. Employers will appreciate your flexibility and confidence. And if you are humble about your abilities and lack thereof you will start to make yourself more valuable to a company.
The perks of your new industry will happen for you. It just takes a little more effort than you are used to in your older industry. But it will surely be worth it!