Whether you ask a recent coding bootcamp grad looking for your first software engineering position, or a total tech newbie trying to get any position, people will tell you the same thing: It's both what you know and who you know. So, how do you know more people? Networking!
I hope you'll find these tips useful at your next in-person or virtual networking event!
2. Take on a volunteer role. You can make amazing connections and friends by signing up to help at events, and what feels better than giving your time to helping a good cause? Plus, being a volunteer and having responsibilities to take care of creates structure for networking/things to do if you feel awkward or need a minute to yourself.
3. Pace yourself, but also remember to push yourself. If you know huge events (or video conferences!) with lots of people are not your cup of tea, don’t sign up for five of those events in a week (unless you’re going for immersion). Do sign up for them, but maybe go for one in a week, alongside a mix of smaller networking opportunities.
4. Be creative - networking can take place anywhere. Once you start considering networking to be simply connecting authentically about your career with others, all sorts of opportunities will arise. The real thing to look for is any opportunity to meet other people in your field.
5. Bring a friend! Not only is it nice to have at least one person you know in a room (or video chat room!) full of strangers, but you can be each others’ accountability buddies and help advance each other’s job search. Set and talk about networking goals together, and introduce each other to people you meet.
Maddy is a coding bootcamp graduate and software engineer. She graduated from UW-Madison with a Bachelor's degree in Genetics, and also has a background in nonprofit work. Having created a career transition into tech for herself, she is passionate about teaching others and facilitating their growth in tech.