Now more than ever, companies are seeking talented individuals with tech-related skills to adapt to the surging digital growth the industry has experienced in recent years. Salaries have gone up and many companies—whether directly in the tech space or searching for candidates with tech experience—have even resorted to hiring remotely to meet demands. Despite these trends, the tech industry is still a highly competitive arena that, for many, is uncharted territory. That’s where guidance from a tech mentor comes in handy.
Whether you have plans to obtain a tech-related degree, are a recent tech graduate on the job hunt or want to break into the tech industry from another career path, a tech mentor is one of the best resources you can enlist on your journey. These invaluable connections can help you set goals, find training programs and link you to other industry professionals. Any questions that you have about the industry and finding your place within it can be answered by the right tech mentor. So, how do you find one? It’s easier than you might think.
1. Ask Around Your Network
First, take a look at those around you in school, at work or in other organizations you’re involved with. Think about your family, friends and colleagues. Do any of these individuals have experience with or work in the tech industry? If so, talk to them about your interests and let them know you’re looking for advice. If no one in your immediate circle fits the bill, don’t be afraid to ask those you know if they have anyone in their network who could offer further guidance. It’s important to remember that a mentorship can be formal or informal; as long as you are learning new skills and gaining proficiency, any experience counts.
2. Participate in Tech Groups and Communities
Tech communities allow you to meet up with other like-minded individuals looking to grow as well as industry professionals who want to share their knowledge. That makes them one of the best ways to find the right mentor. Because the industry is so diverse, you can even find specific groups dedicated to just about any area in the tech space. That means that, whether you are looking for a local in-person group that focuses on startups or an online community that discusses minorities in the industry, there are countless options.
3. Attend Tech Events, Conferences and Panels
Hackathons, seminars, career fairs, workshops and other similar events can be incredible networking tools. While attending, immerse yourself in activities, ask follow-up questions and set time aside after events to converse with speakers and participants alike. Not only will you get the chance to hear from tech professionals and industry leaders, but you’ll also have the chance to meet others like you who work in or want to join the industry. In an industry where everyone and everything is connected, you can never have too many contacts in your corner. Sparking conversation with any of these individuals could lead to a good mentorship!
4. Reach Out On LinkedIn
Do you have a company in mind that you want to work for or a specific dream job that you’ve been working towards? LinkedIn is the perfect platform to find industry professionals at those companies in those positions. Follow these individuals, engage with their content regularly and ask specific close-ended questions related to their posts. You can also try to “connect” with them. Don’t feel discouraged if they decline. Maintaining gratitude and showing interest will pay off with the right tech mentor.